On September 28, 2023, the “New Europe” Center organized the 2nd EU Accession Exchange Forum in Kyiv with the participation of high-ranking officials and leading experts. The Forum was supported by the International Renaissance Foundation and the European Union, within the framework of the joint project “European Renaissance of Ukraine”.
The Accession Exchange Forum is a unique platform that brings together politicians, experts, opinion leaders, mass media representatives and officials from both candidate countries and EU member states. Its main goal is to propose solutions to the most pressing issues related to the process of accession to the European Union.
The forum is a continuation of the annual Association Exchange Forum, which our Foundation held together with the “New Europe” Center with the support of the EU. It was also attended by activists and officials of the countries that signed the Association Agreement with the EU and confidently moved towards membership. The forum changed its name and purpose after Ukraine entered a new stage of European integration and submitted its application for membership.
This year’s Forum was conceived as a platform where we can “check the clocks” of European integration with those who, like Ukraine, are currently moving from the status of a candidate to a full member of the EU.
The event was dedicated to exchanging views on the accession process, discussing good practices, new ideas, lessons learned and finding new opportunities in relations between the European Union, the countries of Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans.
During the introductory speech, the executive director of our Foundation, Oleksandr Sushko, emphasized that:
“We are holding this meeting in order, first of all, to discuss the path of reforms in the candidate countries, and then to carefully consider the lessons learned from the past experience of other candidate countries. This experience proves that in addition to positive achievements, we had something wrong yes. So we have to discuss the experience of other countries in order to avoid common mistakes and build the right path for the future.”
Almost 100 participants devoted their time to discussions about what affects European integration now:
- challenges of Russian aggression for Ukraine’s integration into the EU;
- reforming the EU for new members;
- reforms in candidate countries.
The Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olga Stefanishyna, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Ihor Zhovkva, EU Ambassador to Ukraine Katarina Maternova and high-ranking officials of other candidate countries also joined the participation.
“In order to obtain a triumphant expansion, it is necessary to continue and even accelerate internal reforms in Ukraine. The geopolitical factor (the process of joining the EU) will drive this process, but this element (reforms) is what you cannot move to geopolitics without. The EU is so complex that without of a reformed country, this system is impossible to understand. It is important to carry out internal reforms step by step,” said Katarina Maternova, EU Ambassador to Ukraine.
The recording of the broadcast can be viewed here, and the “New Europe” Center collected key quotes from the speakers of the Forum on its Facebook page.
The forum was held within the framework of the “European Renaissance of Ukraine” project, which is implemented by our Foundation with the support of the EU.