On June 25-30, in Stockholm, UNP representatives had the opportunity to discuss and outline the design of the future Eastern Partnership at the networking event “Europeanisation Partners in the EaP region: What EaP partners should do to make it work”. The event brought together 70 participants, including representatives from Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Armenia, Georgia, etc.
The program of the event focused on the following topics
1. Analysis of the current situation in the EaP region: the role and place of the EaP initiative in the transformation of the countries in the region;
2. Current challenges and problems of Europeanisation of the Eastern Partnership countries;
3. Reconstruction of the forms of interaction and conditions of support for the main actors in the Eastern Partnership region.
The Ukrainian delegation also presented its position on the future shape of the Eastern Partnership. A large-scale war in Europe. russia’s aggressive policy and actions pose challenges to both the EU and its partners. The war in Ukraine is of an existential nature for European and universal values. For this reason, the civil society in the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries should be united and focus on countering russian aggression with all available means, maintaining the sanctions regime against russia and supporting Ukraine’s accession to the EU and NATO as soon as possible. At this stage, the role of the civil society in the EU and partner countries in supporting Ukraine should be strengthened. Key points include:
- Support for sanctions against russia, including the need to replace russian fossil fuels as soon as possible and to impose sanctions on russian nuclear power.
- Joint action to strengthen resilience and restore Ukraine’s energy infrastructure; Coordination of gas/energy infrastructure development plans.
- Call for the end of russian presence in European/international organisations, associations and multilateral agreements.
- Stop the participation of russian representatives in international energy and environmental conferences/forums. Call on scientists to break off contacts with the russian federation.
- Local and national civil society organisations in Ukraine should play a leading role in peace-building efforts, humanitarian aid and reconstruction. The expertise that Ukrainian civil society organisations possess and have accumulated on the local level is fundamental to the success of the events.
- The European Union and its partners should strengthen sanctions against russia and respond to russian energy supplies that continue to fuel russia’s war against Ukraine. Russian fossil fuels should be replaced as soon as possible and sanctions should be imposed on russian nuclear power. Joint action is needed to strengthen stability and restore Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and to coordinate plans for the development of gas and electricity infrastructure.
- Ukraine needs strong support to hold russia accountable for all crimes committed as a result of its military aggression and to compensate for all the damage caused – to civilians, civilian infrastructure, national economy, environment, including financial, psychological, ecological, life and livelihood consequences, etc. An important element of this is the collection of evidence of war crimes. Ukrainian civil society plays a key role in documenting russian crimes and needs targeted support.
- It is necessary to increase the involvement of international institutions and respected international experts in the investigation of russia’s crimes against Ukraine, to ensure that these crimes and their consequences are widely reported in the world, and to inform the international community about what is happening in Ukraine.
- The world needs to know the truth about russia’s crimes, such as the destruction of Kakhovka HPP, which has not received an adequate response from the world, as well as about the real risks of terrorist attacks, for example at the Zaporizhzhia NPP or the Titan plant, and their consequences for the planet’s population and ecosystem.
The close involvement of NGOs from both the EU and Ukraine will help increase the transparency and accountability in the allocation and use of EU public funds. The civil society has relevant expertise to bring to bear and should be able to play a watchdog role to ensure that investment in new infrastructure is in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, in particular the path to carbon neutrality and zero emissions, and that reconstruction is positive. It will also ensure that investments benefit all different groups in the society, particularly the most vulnerable, including minorities and people with disabilities, and take into account the particular impact of war on women. The civil society has a clear role to play in prioritizing, planning and programming long-term reconstruction efforts, as well as in implementation and monitoring.
There is no doubt that the majority of participants confirmed Ukraine’s leadership in the Eastern Partnership region. We, as the UNP, must make every effort to confirm this and responsibly develop the Eastern Partnership towards Europeanisation. The main idea of the project within which this event took place was to hold these consultations with the civil society at the national and regional level and, based on the information provided during the workshops, to formulate recommendations for the future policy of the Eastern Partnership, which will be disseminated among the EaP Ambassadors in Brussels and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden.
Information provided by Iryna Kuropas, UNP WG2 Coordinator
Photos Igor Stukalenko, Iryna Kuropas
More about the project https://www.forumciv.org/sv/sweden-for-eastern-partnership