The International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS) with the support of the International Visegrad Fund initiates the project “Ukraine and V4 countries: promoting better understanding”.
Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Hungary);
Institute for Economic and Social Reforms INEKO (Slovakia);
The crisis in relations between Ukraine and its Western neighboring states became one of the main developments in 2017 and testified the crisis of both Ukrainian foreign policy identity in general and Ukrainian neighborhood policy in particular. The Ukrainian-Hungarian, Ukrainian-Polish contradictions are only a reflection of the deep-seated crisis of good-neighborliness, while problems in bilateral relations have wider and deeper dimensions. One of the key challenges faced by the region is the urgent analysis of relations between Ukraine and its V4 neighbors and elaboration of policy recommendations to prevent their further deterioration. Ukraine should rethink its foreign policy goals and priorities, considering current internal and external challenges and dynamic processes. Establishment of an expert dialogue between Ukraine and its V4 neighbors can become an impetus for such a process.
The overall project goal is to improve understanding between Ukraine and its V4 neighbors through
- the establishment of an expert dialogue and tackling existing contradictions by efforts of civil society and expert community;
- facilitating transformation of the current lose-lose situation to a win-win partnership.
Current situation poses a regional challenge needed to be addressed by a new approach on good neighborliness. Establishment of continuous communication and dialogue among experts from Ukraine on one side, and experts from Hungary, Slovak Republic and Poland from the other, would contribute to increasing awareness on the logic of internal process in abovementioned countries, researching the contradictions in the countries’ relations, and elaborating new approaches towards advantageous and pragmatic bilateral relations.
Ensuring good and sustainable neighborhood relations between Ukraine and its Western neighboring countries is crucial for regional stability with a view of the existing security threats and challenges in the region. Elaboration of a new updated approach towards the relations between Ukraine and its V4 neighbors is necessary to improve and strengthen regional partnership and prevent the occurrence of new contradictions in the future. Escalation of contradictions between the neighboring countries has a direct impact on the security and cooperation in the region, while strengthening of regional cooperation at the expert level will facilitate the process of regional cohesion as well as promoting V4 values in the region contributing to the Ukrainian democratic transformation.
The International Center for Policy Studies, in cooperation with Cultural Vistas (Germany) and with the support of the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs, is launching a project to support Ukrainian activists and experts involved in the integration of internally displaced persons (IDPs) into local communities in Ukraine. 13 participants from different regions of Ukraine, selected on a competitive basis, will attend a six-day workshop session in Berlin and will be able to improve skills for promoting the integration of IDP into host communities.
Starting from 2015, Germany has been actively testing various initiatives to improve the integration of migrants, many of which are based on cooperation with local or regional organizations and the commitment of individuals to adapt migrants to new environments. At the same time, Germany faced a wave of negative backlash, which led to many misunderstandings and cultural stereotypes. To minimize the effects of such trends, civil society representatives have been actively involved in Germany to support "newcomers in society", regardless of their region, political preferences, religion, etc. To ensure experience exchange on this issue, ICPS initiates a training program for Ukrainian colleagues.
Participants of the given program will be able to get familiar with the German experience of overcoming perceptions, stereotypes, misunderstandings, and developing their own decisions to improve the integration of IDPs according to the Ukrainian context. In addition, the workshop program will also include the study of the German reunification example of 1990-1991 and the implementation of decisions directed at bringing together two social and political cultures (East and West Germany) of those times.
The workshop program will be held in September 2018.
Upon the return to their communities in Ukraine, participants will organize the events involving IDPs and representatives of host communities with a view to discussing their experience and find ways to overcome the challenges faced by IDPs in Ukraine.
Communication Campaign “Reinvent Respect” on Promotion of Tolerance and Mutual Understanding in the Society
The International Center for Policy Studies (ICPS) together with the United Nations Development Program in Ukraine initiates a communication campaign “Reinvent Respect” on promotion of tolerance and mutual understanding in the society.
The aim of the project is to reduce the polarization and strengthen dialogue among various social groups.
Within the framework of the project it is planned to establish the UNDP Tolerance Envoys concept in Ukraine to promote the values of tolerance and mutual understanding. Multi-level communication in the society regarding this issue should belong to moral leaders, opinion-makers and those Ukrainians, who have gained recognition in various fields.
The project activities cover the conduction of a series of events: public lectures for socially active groups in different regions of Ukraine on promotion and establishment of principles of mutual respect, practices of tolerance and acceptance of different opinions in the Ukrainian society.
The following known Ukrainians have joined the initiative:
Liubko Deresh – writer;
Natalia Sumska – acrtress;
Katya Chilly – singer;
Andriy Kulykov – journalist, media expert;
Larysa Denysenko – human rights defender, writer;
Alevtina Kakhidze – artist, performer;
Mykhailo Minakov – philosopher;
Yevgen Zakharov – human rights activist;
Gulnara Abdulayeva – historian, TV presenter;
Slava Varda – master of sports, TV presenter;
Mariana Savka – writer;
Pavlo Vyshebaba – musician, co-founder of the eco- and environment protection organization “One Planet”
The aim of the publication is to provide objective information on current political events in Ukraine and thorough analysis of major tendencies in domestic politics. Such analysis will assist in setting priorities in the process of implementing reforms in Ukraine and in evaluating quality of state decisions from the viewpoint of their impact and sustainability. Special attention is paid to evaluation of political competition in Ukraine and ability of key political players to address challenges.