On 13 November, the European Economic and Social Committee, the EU institution representing organized civil society, brought together representatives from EU institutions and Ukrainian civil society in a seminar in Kyiv with the aim to explain the practical implications of the Association Agreement to a wide audience of civil society organisations. Representatives from the EESC, the European External Action Service, the Committee of the Regions, the Support Group for Ukraine and the EU Delegation to Ukraine, as well as their Ukrainian counterparts presented this matter from different perspectives.
Some conclusions were shared by all parties:
- the fact that there was a momentum for reforms in Ukraine right now and that Ukraine should not and could not wait longer;
- the importance for the Ukrainian civil society to gradually take on board the European social model if they really aspired to European integration, including the involvement of social patners (employers and trade unions) as an essential part of that model;
- the benefits of the Agreement would not be visible immediately, but would be deep and sustained in the long term;
- the need for the EU and the Ukrainian Government to launch a widespread communication campaign in order to inform Ukrainian civil society on the meaning and consequences of the Association Agreement, in order to foster civil society ownership of the process.