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MARCH 2024

Campaign News


“With such a talented generation of future leaders, Ukraine is looking forward to great opportunities”

Shekurie Ramazanova, Yelyzaveta Khodorovska and Vladyslav Stasiuk became winners of an essay contest organised by the EU Delegation to Ukraine on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity. The award ceremony took place in March with the participation of the EU Ambassador to Ukraine, Katarina Mathernova, and the Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, Olha Stefanishyna.

A total of 142 entries were submitted to the contest announced in January. 12 of them made it to the final. All finalists were invited to the EU Delegation to take part in the award ceremony.

It was so great to see and listen to the young finalists that participated. So much talent! Such clarity of purpose at such young age! Such eloquence,” Katarina Mathernova, EU Ambassador to Ukraine, shared her emotions. “Reading the essays was a joy. And it was really heartwarming to engage with them in person. Some finalists were just 18, that means they were eight when Maidan: the Revolution of Dignity took place. And one student was only 16. Wow. I am sure they all have a bright future ahead of them. Ukraine has great prospects with such committed and talented generation of future leaders. It makes me very motivated to continue with the essay competition and make it a little tradition for the Delegation.”

One of the winners, 19-year-old Yelyzaveta Khodorovska from Odesa, said she likes writing on topics that are important and interesting to her.

The contest was just such an opportunity to devote time to something I have been passionate about for a long time. In addition, it was important for me to explore the Revolution of Dignity at an informed age,” she said. “I am grateful to this initiative for giving another impetus to the education of an informed young generation of Ukrainians. I am sure that everyone who took part in the contest learned important things about the path to the European future.”

Yelyzaveta’s essay concludes with a reference to the EU’s decision to start accession negotiations with Ukraine. In her comments to EU4Ukraine Review, she agrees that the process will also require Ukrainian society to focus on the values that underpinned and inspired the Maidan.

We cannot afford not to have this momentum today. We pay a high price to be part of the EU. To lose the momentum and focus on European values would be disrespectful to those who stood on Maidan 10 years ago and continue this path to this day. Some of these people, unfortunately, paid with their lives so that we could be at the stage of starting negotiations today,” said Yelyzaveta.

She believes that we should be prepared for a long EU accession process and work hard.

Ukrainian society has to accept the fact that the bureaucratic and legal framework for membership requires reforms. It may seem unfair that Brussels is demanding the whole package of procedures from us in times of a major war – but this is the key to being a truly equal member of the EU in the future. Today, our focus should be on adopting the rules of the game that will lead us to success despite the difficulties,” said the winner of the essay contest.


EU may expand business support during the recovery phase

The European Union continues to support small and medium- sized businesses in various sectors of the economy. In March, a number of media outlets covered this issue as part of the ‘Together We Are Resilient. Together we are Europe’ communication campaign aimed at raising awareness of the EU’s support for SMEs and the opportunities available to entrepreneurs.

Since the full-scale invasion, many efforts have been made to help small and medium-sized businesses access affordable loans. We have provided a number of guarantees to financial institutions, which in turn are working with the Ukrainian banking sector to ensure access to finance,” said EU Ambassador to Ukraine Katarina Mathernova in an interview with ICTV. “But I think that during the recovery phase we will have to significantly expand this support, because it is a lifeline for the Ukrainian economy.”

The Ambassador also spoke about a new EU instrument to support Ukraine, including its small and medium-sized businesses: Ukraine Facility with a budget of EUR 50 billion. It is described in a publication on Ekonomichna Pravda titled “Ukraine Facility: Marathon of Economic Integration”. EUR 33 billion will be provided in loans and EUR 17 billion in grants. In March, Ukraine received the first instalment of EUR 4.5 billion.

European partners see the role of SMEs in rebuilding and modernising Ukraine as critical, so a key priority should continue to be to help solve war-related problems, finance new investment projects, and overcome the challenges of Ukraine’s integration into the EU market,” the publication says.

One example of the EU’s support for high-tech businesses, namely innovative start-ups, is the new EUR 20 million Seeds for Bravery project, which is being implemented with the financial support of the European Union through the European Innovation Council. Svyatoslav Sviatnenko, co-founder of Innov8, and Pavlo Kartashov, CEO of the Ukrainian Startup Fund, spoke about it on Radio NV. These organisations are part of the consortium implementing the project.

The funding application deadline for five grant programmes was in March, and a new round of competition was immediately launched afterwards.

The first deadline means that the applications from companies that have submitted by this date are evaluated by independent experts. Then a rating list is compiled, and decisions are made on who will receive funding. But the programmes are available until the second half of 2025,” explained Sviatoslav Sviatnenko. “The first deadline has passed, but you can still apply for these programmes.”

In March, Radio NV also aired a programme on another area of business support from the EU for the development and implementation of green solutions. Grants for businesses are provided under the Climate Innovation Vouchers programme. In March, ten winners in the first round of the call for proposals were announced, who will receive a total of EUR 442 thousand.

Climate technology is not just about solar panels and wind power. It can be anything from fabric manufacturing to construction. Any inventions,” explained Roman Zinchenko, Chairman of the Board of Greencubator, the NGO that implements the programme. “We support companies that implement green solutioions in all sectors of the economy. Agriculture, materials, metals, energy efficiency, transportation, energy management, etc. All of these are included in the Climate Innovation Vouchers portfolio.”

In March, a series of videos about the winners of the Business Recognition Awards 2023 was also released. The EU Delegation to Ukraine acknowledged companies that have achieved significant success in their respective fields, including through the effective use of EU support.


Film festivals in Poltava and Lviv close the communication campaign on EU support for Ukrainian culture

In March, Poltava and Lviv hosted the “Culture in Time of War” Documentary Film Festival. The festival featured a series of five films produced by Ukraїner, a multimedia Ukraine studies project, with support of the EU Delegation to Ukraine as a part of the Together We Create. Together We Preserve communication campaign.

Four of these films are “regional” — dedicated to cultural life in the west, east, north, and south of the country. The fifth film focuses on the work of Ukrainian museums during the full- scale Russia’s invasion. Before Poltava and Lviv, the films were screened in Kyiv and Chernihiv.

Culture is the cornerstone of any nation’s identity that shapes its traditions, values, and principles of people and nation states. That is why it is so important to protect and preserve these cultural heritage treasures, especially in times of great threat of destruction and annihilation,” said Katarina Mathernova, Ambassador of the European Union to Ukraine. “This is the aim of our support for Ukrainian culture, which the European Union has strengthened and has been expanding since the onset of the large-scale Russian war.

This is what the documentaries produced by Ukraïner as part of the “Together We Create. Together We Preserve” campaign are about, as well as the European culture of Ukraine, with its deep historical roots.

The film screenings in Lviv and Poltava marked the closing events of the Together We Create. Together We Preserve communication campaign. The campaign aimed to inform Ukrainians about the support that the European Union provides for preserving Ukrainian cultural heritage and development in times of war. The communication campaign was implemented by the EU-funded project Communicating EU for Ukrainians (CEU4U). Before the screenings of films about culture during the war in different cities in Ukraine, the audience had the opportunity to communicate with representatives of the project and artists who received support from the EU.

Project News


Coworking spaces and more: how Pyriatyn community is building value chains

Tomorrow, we will host students from Pyriatyn’s School 6 and the village of Povstyn. Firstly, they will have a biology lesson where they will learn about currants. Then they will be taken to the garden for a masterclass and shown how to prune apple trees. Anyone who wants to will be able to try it themselves. We will give each child a currant bush – last year our children planted cuttings,” said Natalia Tsyganko, deputy headmaster of Berezova Rudka school, at the end of March.

This is a garden coworking space that operates at the school as part of an EU-funded project to develop value chains in the dairy and berry clusters of the Pyriatyn community in Poltava region.

Schoolchildren in Berezova Rudka grow carrots, apples, beetroots, potatoes, currants, raspberries, tomatoes and beans. High school students explore social entrepreneurship.

School headmaster Mykhailo Prokopenko said the project helped a lot with purchasing equipment.

Back in 2018, we started planting a garden and berry plots. However, doing everything manually is hard work,” the headmaster reflected on his long-standing idea to develop student entrepreneurship. “Fortunately, the local council first bought us a tractor, and thanks to this project, we got a set of tools – a milling cutter, a potato planter and digger, a sprayer, and a plough. We even offer some of our services to others.”

The schoolchildren have great achievements. For example, last year they grew almost four centners of raspberries, more than two tonnes of carrots, and eight centners of beets on their plots.

The garden coworking space in Berezova Rudka is one of six that operate within the project. There are also art sewing, pottery, 3D innovation, and two culinary workspaces — one of them is also in the village, operating on the basis of the Shamrock cafe. Students from the garden coworking space sell tomatoes for pizza there.

Last year, all coworking spaces held more than 26 charitable events, 200 masterclasses, 270 workshops, 300 lessons, and 200 tours. They took part in charity fairs to raise funds for the Armed Forces more than 30 times.

The value chain development project in the dairy and berry clusters of the Pyriatyn community is being implemented by the Civil Society Institute.

In order to have a future, a community should think about its youth. Our project in the Pyriatyn community is about the future,” said Roman Tkachuk, head of CSI. “Young people who leave school adapted to the modern and vibrant world are able to develop themselves and contribute to community development.”

The head of the Civil Society Institute is convinced that the innovations promoted by the project in various areas of the local economy create a sense of empowerment among young community leaders to succeed on their own. They see that this can be done both in the newest field of robotics and in the traditional community-based horticulture, food or sewing industries.

The project works not only with schoolchildren. With its support, 67 micro-greenhouse farms, 5 tractor-based land cultivation centres, 3 small dairy farms, and a grain storage facility based on polymer sleeves have sprung up in the community. A biomass baler was purchased and a fuel briquette manufacturing facility was commissioned.

More information:
Theproject page on the Civil Society Institute’s website
CSI’s Facebook page


Rehabilitation done differently: first training school for physical therapists completed

It’s been a few weeks now, and I’m still impressed, and I want to keep the impressions for myself,” said Polina Tyutyunnyk, an assistant physical therapist, about her participation in the five-day Physical Therapists of the Future training school held in Ivano-Frankivsk in March.

The school was organised with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine and with the financial support of the European Union under the EU4Recovery — Empowering Communities in Ukraine.

As the war continues, the demand for physical therapists’ services is growing. There are patients with mine-blast injuries, spinal injuries, amputations,” Polina explained. “And even outside the war, our services are increasingly in demand, in particular for the rehabilitation of children.”

Polina works with children at the Professor Rudnev Centre for Mother and Child in Dnipro. She sees how the attitude towards patients and rehabilitation is changing. “Previously, they prescribed a general treatment programme, therapeutic exercises, and let the child go. They did not care whether the rehabilitation programme was individually tailored or evidence- based. Nowadays, rehabilitation is geared towards maximising patients’ independence in everyday living and adaptation. This is so that, despite their limited abilities, children could interact with their peers and improve their quality of life.

Dnipro is one of the regions selected for the healthcare component of the EU4Recovery project, along with Chernihiv, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Sumy, Mykolaiv, Poltava and Kherson. In each of them, 10 communities were selected – 8 primary and 2 in reserve.

Healthcare facilities in the communities have received questionnaires, based on which they will select staff to participate in the Physical Therapist of the Future trainings.

Polina Tyutyunnyk agreed to join the programme right away. She says she was a little worried because she had only a year and a half of experience in the occupation, but these worries turned out to be in vain.

“We were taught by very high-level professionals who could answer all our questions. The programme was very well structured, with a tight schedule,” she recounted. “We were tired, but at the end of the day we had a feeling that our brain was filled with knowledge, and that’s really cool.”

A total of 24 rehabilitation specialists took part in the school. This year, in September, another such training will take place.

The main message I took away from the School of Physical Therapists of the Future is that we, young professionals, physical therapists, are the driving force that can develop and improve rehabilitation in Ukraine. In particular, the encouraging stories about professional growth of physical therapists Serhii Huda and Volodymyr Magas inspired us to make changes. The most important thing is to keep going and not be afraid of failure,” Polina Tyutyunnyk concluded.


The project offers training on how to compete in EU grant calls

The Agency of European Innovations received almost 800 applications for participation in the webinar ‘ChatGPT digital service as an assistant in generating project concepts for EU programmes’. It took place in the second half of March and became another event of the project called Recipes for Success in EU Programmes.

The ongoing training within the project should help Ukrainian CSOs and other organisations to better prepare applications for EU programmes.

We draw attention not only to the relevant technical procedures, but also to the importance of getting to know the basic principles and objectives of EU programmes. After all, each of them, in their descriptions and guidelines, focuses on various important challenges and issues at the European level, which the competitions are aimed at solving,” stressed Ivan Kulchytskyy, President of the Agency of European Innovations. “In fact, applicants for funding from these programmes must show that the project deliverables will have a positive impact on solving these problems and challenges.”

In December 2023, the AEI became the winner with its project called ‘Recipes for Success in EU Programmes’ in the ‘Assisting in the Preparation and Start of Negotiations on Ukraine’s Accession to the EU’ call for proposals under the European Renaissance for Ukraine. It is jointly implemented by the EU and the International Renaissance Foundation. As of the end of March, the agency has already held eight online events.

We took part in a webinar on AI. After all, this is a new tool that is rapidly spreading, in particular as an opportunity to simplify one’s work. Among other things, when writing a grant application, says Yana Dnistryanska, head of the Baryshivka Grain Company CF. – In times of war, it is sometimes difficult to collect all thoughts and write something. And when this is the case, AI will be very helpful.”

The trainings are of great interest to the target audience, the AEI notes.

When we applied for the project funding last year, we knew that various donors and organisations in Ukraine are currently implementing a lot of activities on project management and preparing applications for EU programmes. That’s why we planned for an average participation of 60-80 people in our events,” said Ivan Kulchytskyy. “But in reality, the average number of participants who directly participated in the first eight events was almost 200. In addition, the videos of these webinars have been viewed more than 1500 times.”

The need to raise awareness of potential Ukrainian applicants about the procedures and modalities of EU programmes is confirmed by the surveys that the agency undertakes when receiving applications for participation in events.

For example, a survey on knowledge and experience in project management most often shows a 3 out of 5 on a five-point scale. The level of awareness of and participation in EU calls for proposals is about the same.

Most participants have a below-average level of awareness of these two components. This also confirms why the activities we are carrying out within the project are worthwhile,” Ivan Kulchytskyy concludes.

Olga Kvashuk, project manager of the International Renaissance Foundation’s Europe and World Programme, recalls that one of the priorities of last year’s call for proposals was to engage a broader range of Ukrainian organisations, particularly at the local and regional levels, in new opportunities to tap into the EU budget programmes that the candidate status opens up for Ukraine.

We have supported a number of projects that are currently training representatives of local communities, academic institutions, NGOs and clusters to prepare high-quality applications, become more visible and find European partners to develop and implement joint initiatives,” she says.

More information:
AEI Facebook page


Young actors from Ukraine and Slovakia created a play about the future

At the end of March, a documentary film about the international project ‘Looking into the Future’ was premiered being its final event. The project was jointly implemented over several months by the Garmyder Theatre in Lutsk and the ZUŠ Jozefa Rosinského v Nitre art school in Nitra, Slovakia, with funding from the European Union’s Culture Helps programme.

The participants were teenagers aged 14-17, 10 each from Lutsk and Nitra. Some had experience in theatre, some did not – but together they created an impressive and sensual performance called ‘Looking into the Future’. It is about the integration of teenagers from different cities and the search for resources for the future during the war.

Five of the project participants in Lutsk studied at our Dohory Dryhom (Upside Down) theatre studio, and the other five were children who moved to the city after the Russian invasion broke out. So, not all of them had been involved in theatre before,” says Ruslana Porytska, the director of Garmyder. “Similarly, in Nitra, the participants were those who studied drama at the art school and Ukrainian children who moved to Slovakia due to the war.”

Nitra, Donetsk, Lutsk, Rubizhne, Bratislava, Uzhhorod, Kramatorsk, Novoukrainka, Novyi Mosyr, Kherson, Mariupol, Shala, Izium — these are the hometowns of the performers.

At the first stage, the children took part in training and acting practices separately in Lutsk and Nitra. Then the Ukrainian team came to Slovakia, and all 20 young actors and actresses created a play in five days.

After leaving, the teams created Ukrainian and Slovak versions of the play in their respective towns.

The rehearsals in Lutsk for ‘Looking into the Future’ were held at the Cultural Shelter, which is connected to another EU-funded project implemented by Garmyder and completed in March.

The shelter was equipped with the financial support of an infrastructure grant from the House of Europe.

Even before the war, Garmyder organised the Hangar art space in Lutsk, which turned into a large volunteer headquarters after the invasion began. And for traditional social and cultural activities, it rented a large room in a new building and set up a shelter there.

Later, the Hangar was used as an art venue again, and a problem arose: there were two spaces, but only one set of theatre equipment. So, we had to move it from the Hangar to the Cultural Shelter and back again all the time, explained Ruslana Porytska.

Now the shelter is equipped with light, sound, chairs, tables, and switching gear,” says the director of Garmyder. “It is already a full-fledged art space.”


EUACI helps partners with a new tool

In March, the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative (EUACI) presented an integrity assessment of the municipal utility company Mykolayivvodokanal. This is one of the new tools of the programme aimed at increasing the efficiency, accountability and transparency of municipal enterprises in partner cities, minimising corruption risks and improving public service delivery.

In addition, EUACI, together with its consultants, conducted integrity assessments of water utility companies in other partner cities: Chernivtsi, Chervonohrad and Nikopol.

The integrity assessment of utility companies is aimed at improving the quality of services and internal processes. However, the most important thing is that such an assessment opens a window for attracting additional investments, including international ones,” said Allan Pagh Christensen, Head of the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative. “We are glad that our partner cities are open to this type of cooperation. This is one of the steps towards building a transparent and accountable community.”

How the integrity assessment works. First, the methodology is developed for a particular enterprise. It is based on the best practices of assessing corruption risks in state-owned and municipal enterprises, relevant Ukrainian legislation and OECD corporate governance principles.

The assessment is conducted in 8 areas and has more than 80 indicators. The key areas are general management, services, communications, corporate governance, ethical aspects, public procurement, asset management, financial and economic performance, etc.

Based on the assessment findings, a detailed report is prepared, and a Risk Mitigation Plan is developed in cooperation with the company and the municipality. It is approved by the executive committee of the municipal council. EUACI then assists the company and the local administration in implementing the plan within its mandate and monitors the implementation together with the administration.

The integrity assessment is currently underway for the central municipal hospitals in Chervonohrad and Zhytomyr, the municipal public transport enterprise in Chernivtsi and the Municipal Roads Administration in Zhytomyr.

The decision of our partner cities to assess performance of strategic utilities is an opportunity to look at their operations from the outside following a specific methodology. It is clear that there are areas in which enterprises are weaker, and there are areas where they are stronger,” said Taras Sluchyk, manager of EUACI’s Cities of Integrity component. “After the assessment, companies will not just get a list of risks and a clear plan to mitigate them. Among the areas that usually require special attention are operational planning, transparency in public procurement and implementation of corporate governance mechanisms.”



WithfinancialsupportfromtheEU,theSeedsofBraveryproject is holding a call for proposals for Ukrainian technology start-ups and SMEs offering innovative solutions, services or products. Grants of EUR 10,000 to EUR 50,000 are available. The call is ongoing with interim deadlines.

The deadline for the current round of applications
— 25 June 2024

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Applications for the grant call under the Culture Helps programme are still being accepted. Joint projects of two or three organisations aimed at integrating Ukrainians into new communities through cultural activities can be supported. Each collaboration must have at least one partner from Ukraine and one partner from another Creative Europe country.

Deadline — 10 April 2024

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Eight calls from the EU-led Creative Europe are now available — four in the Culture subprogramme, three in the Cross-Sector Cooperation and one in the Media. A mandatory condition to compete is to have an existing consortium from several countries participating in the programme. One can find partners through the Creative Europe Desk Ukraine.

Deadline — 25 April 2024

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Culture Moves Europe, a programme of individual grants, supports artists and culture professionals in the implementation of projects across the Creative Europe countries, which are not their country of residence. The call is open to individuals and groups of up to 5 people. The grant contributes to travel and subsistence cost sand offers additional top-ups on an individual case basis.

A project can last between 7 to 60 days for individuals and 7 to 21 days for groups of up to 5 people.

Deadline — 31 May 2024

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As part of the Creative Europe programme, the Innovation Labs call for proposals is ongoing to foster new approaches to content creation, access, and distribution in the digital transition age.

Deadline — 25 April 2024

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Get more information about how to attract grant funding for a cultural or creative project in the free online course European Grants for Cultural and Creative Projects, developed by the National Desk of the EU’s Creative Europe programme in Ukraine in cooperation with Creative Practice.

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Customs Reform

The Institute of Analytics and Advocacy, together with Technologies of Progress CSO, is now accepting applications for participation in a sub-grant call for non-governmental organisations within the framework of Accountability and Capacity-building for Customs Oversight and Reform Development (ACCORD) with the financial support of the European Union.

Deadline — 28 April 2024

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The Natolin Fellowship Programme, a scholarship from the College of Europe in Natolin (Poland) for Ukrainian PhD students and recent graduates, is now open for applications. This is an 8-month professional development programme, fully funded by the EU, to support Ukraine and Moldova in their accession negotiations with the European Union.

Deadline — 10 May 2024

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The House of Europe, with the financial support of the EU, is launching a free online Digital Labs programme for professional development centres for teachers. There is an opportunity to develop a project proposal to improve a professional development centre under the supervision of leading experts and gain new knowledge.

Deadline — 18 April 2024

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Interregional cooperation

The Interreg Europe Programme is launching a call for proposals for projects from organisations in the EU and seven candidate countries (including Ukraine) to improve interregional cooperation and regional development policies. The call is focused on innovation, sustainable development and inclusiveness. The call is open to public authorities, legal entities under public law and private non-profit organisations.

Deadline — 7 June 2024

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Investigative journalists are invited to apply for the annual IJ4EU Impact Award, which honours the best investigative journalism conducted by teams from across Europe. To be eligible, investigations must have been published between 1 October 2022 and 31 December 2023.

Deadline — 2 May 2024

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‘Communicating the European Union for Ukrainians’ (CEU4U), an EU-funded project

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