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EPLC Regional Seminars in Fall 2018, Vinnytsia and Lviv

Eastern Partnership Leaders for Change

The last two of the regional seminars ”Eastern Partnership Leaders for Change” for this year took place on the September 20th until the September 26th in Vinnitsya and Lwiw. The aim of the project is to encourage ambitious young professionals and to empowering them to civil and political activism. The participants came from the three countries with EU-Association Agreements; Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.

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The first seminar took place in Vinnystia and was subsequently repeated with new participants in Lviv. Included in the programme were discussions on European values, challenges of the Eastern Partnership and of the implementation the Association Agreements. Furthermore interactive workshops and practical case examples were provided to equip the new generation of political leaders and civil society not only with theoretical knowledge, but also with practical skills. The working languages were English, Ukraine and Russian. The project is organized for the third year now, by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Ukrainian Institute for International Politics in partnership with Eduardo Frei Foundation from the Netherlands.

At the beginning, Rostyslav Tomenchuk discussed the external image of the Eastern Partnership Countries. The participants worked on strategies how they could improve, as future political or civil society leaders, the way how the European Union and the NATO sees their countries. In the course of the discussion a participant stated: “We should focus on the positive developments in our country (Ukraine) and not only attract attention with bad news and scandals.”

The second day started with a presentation on Christian-Democractic and European values by Isabel Weininger (KAS Kiew). In small groups the three central values freedom, justice and solidarity were explored and the conclusions presented. Within the following discussion the participants stated not only their personal opinions, but also the different perspectives of the three countries. One participant noted “Freedom is the opportunity to have the choice to be yourself.” The necessity of building a system of Justice which is free of corruption and an independent was also pointed out by different participants.

Subsequently Nadija Afanasieva (UIIP) presented an introduction into the Instruments, tools and programs for cooperation between the EU and Eastern Partnership countries.

Polina Kazakevych of the Ukrainian Government Office for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration illustrated the achievements and the challenges of the implementation of the norms of the European Union. The participants raised questions concerning the regional implementation of these norms.

On the third and last day of the seminar Mustafa Bal and Wouter Hoff, trainers from the Eduardo Frei Foundation introduced ways to launch a successful political campaign. The following questions were answered: How can you have a political and personal impact on people that you want to attract? Which methods and tools should be used and how to present yourself authentic and trustworthy on social media? In small groups the participants produced a 30 seconds long campaign and helped each other to improve constructively.

Evaluating the seminar, participants confirmed the success of the project, to support multipliers of the European idea, to give them the opportunity to network and exchange between the three countries, in order to carry their knowledge into the regions. A participant drew the conclusion: “I really liked the atmosphere, because I usually do not have the opportunity to get together with young people from different countries and discuss political topics and develop strategies.” Another conclusion was: “We are here to restructure and renew ourselves and we will come back home with new ideas”.

The 60 most successful participants out of the four regional seminars in 2018 will be invited to the International Forum in Kiev in spring 2019.

Authors: Isabel Weininger and Priscilla Pirschle

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Isabel Weininger

Isabel Weininger

Staff Abroad

isabel.weininger@kas.de +49 30 26996 3941
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