The International Renaissance Foundation announces starting a joint 2-year project with the European Union – “European Renaissance of Ukraine: a civil society initiative for sustainability and recovery.”
This project aims to improve Ukrainian civil society’s contribution to policy dialogue on Ukraine’s EU integration and post-war recovery. The project also aims to support Ukrainian civil society in contributing to Ukraine’s inclusive, participatory, accountable, and climate-friendly smart recovery into a country guided by European values and principles and able to meet the high standards of human safety and security, justice, and development.
“In 2022, Ukrainian civil society became one of the pillars on which Ukrainian statehood rested and made it possible to repel the Russian invaders. Today, volunteers, activists, and experts continue to contribute to the future victory”, says Oleksandr Sushko, executive director of the Foundation. “We are convinced that in the future, a developed and diverse civil society should become a driving force for positive changes: both in the field of recovery and rebuilding and the processes of accession to the EU. Civil society will help make these processes open, inclusive, strategic, effective, and therefore successful.”
The project is designed for 24 months and has two mutually reinforcing objectives:
- empowering and providing resources to civil society organizations and community-based initiatives so that they can contribute meaningfully to smart and participatory reconstruction and post-war recovery of Ukraine, with a particular focus on accountability of how inclusively, strategically, and effectively the reconstruction aid is used at the national and community level;
- strengthening the role, capacity, and engagement of civil society in advancing Ukraine’s integration into the EU and supporting the pursuit of the necessary reforms, providing feedback and policy advice in the context of EU-Ukraine negotiations, and debating common challenges with national and international stakeholders.
“IRF has been a Framework Partner of the European Union in Ukraine since December 2019. Together with the EU, we strengthened the voices of Ukrainian civil society to make our movement toward Europe irreversible. Despite the war, Ukraine has a window of opportunity for our transformation and integration with Europe today. This is the final return to the family of European nations and will be the very European Renaissance of Ukraine.” – explains Dmytro Shulga, director of the “Europe and the World” Program of the International Renaissance Foundation.
Beneficiaries of support will be CSOs working with local communities on a wide range of issues, including local development, local democracy, human security and public safety, energy efficiency, climate-friendly practices, independent media, budget accountability and participation, rehabilitation, and re-integration of war veterans. We will seek to support sharing know-how to support communities in their strategic planning, raising and absorbing external funds for recovery and development.
Also, we will support think tanks and advocacy groups, providing strategic ideas, planning designs, implementation monitoring and feedback, and promoting policy and legislative changes in various areas necessary for a successful advance toward membership in the EU. These may include justice and accountability reforms, migration policy, energy transition, climate sustainability, digital transformation based on rights, reforms of the customs and other public service institutions and regulators, etc., in line with the EU acquis.
We will also support Ukrainian think tankers’ and activists’ engagement in international partnerships, networking, debates, and advocacy in collaboration with CSOs from other EU applicants/candidates (Moldova, Georgia, Western Balkans) and member states.
“Ukraine is steadily moving towards the EU, despite all the challenges of the war. Civil society plays a significant role in this forward movement. This new project is designed to support him during the war, preserve the results of his work over the past years, and strengthen his contribution to European integration processes. The project also aims to restore Ukraine — both preparation for the recovery process now and direct actions after Ukraine’s victory.”, says Tetyana Shulga, sector manager of the EU Representation in Ukraine.