The fight against corruption
In 2014, to reinforce public administration in Ukraine, the Riga Graduate School of Law (RGSL) ran an intensive three-day training programme on anti-corruption for the officials of the Ukrainian public administration and members of NGOs – “The fight against corruption in transition: the Latvian experience for Ukraine”. The programme included theoretical training and practical case studies as well as visits to Latvian institutions involved in fighting corruption. In association with the RGSL, a project for Ukrainian officials on combating corruption was also implemented in 2015 with the aim of transferring knowledge and expertise from Latvia in preventing corruption, promotion of good governance and transparency.
- In November 2014, the Riga Graduate School of Law designed an annual training programme supporting studies in Latvia for public officials and civil society representativesfrom the EU Neighbourhood Policy and Central Asian countries. The programme has drawn considerable interest: more than 320 applications were received for the spring semester 2015, including 61 applications from Ukraine. One Ukrainian student was selected. The autumn semester of the programme was launched on 28 September 2015, and five Ukrainian students were enrolled. Highly positive reactions to the course have been given by participants in the programme, and some say that the programme has already helped their careers.
- In 2015, Latvia allocated 40,000 euros from its development cooperation budget to support 15 Ukrainian students in the spring semester at the University of Latvia’s European Studies programme. Contributions to education can be regarded as a long term investment in the development of Ukraine’s future leaders.
Administrative and territorial reform
Since 2014, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (MEPRD) has been cooperating with the Chernigov Oblast in Ukraine to facilitate the region’s territorial reform and municipal cooperation. MEPRD experts provide advice to Ukrainian officials on various legal and financial aspects of reform. A regular exchange of training visits is taking place.
The project was continued in 2015; it envisages methodological and advisory assistance to Ukraine’s public institutions in composing projects on a merger of municipalities thereby helping ensure a transparent, effective and understandable merger process. Assistance target the municipalities of Chernigov Oblast which are intended to become merger pilot projects not only in the region but also on a national scale. The main tasks of the merger project are to produce a development strategy and a model of administrative structure for the municipalities to be merged and hold public consultations on the project.
A delegation of the Ukrainian dairy sector visited Latvia in December 2014 to learn from the cooperation experience of Latvia’s farmers and dairy companies, the introduction of EU standards and certification in the dairy sector and other matters related to dairy farming.
Another project (implemented by the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre) in 2015 was entitled “Knowledge and experience transfer on introducing of EU legislation for the establishment of an agricultural advisory system and a balanced development of rural areas in Ukraine”. The project aims at facilitating the establishment of an agricultural advisory system in Ukraine for the transfer of EU legislative provisions towards the development of agricultural production and cooperation by applying Latvia’s experience.
In response to requests from the Ukrainian side, a visit to share Latvia’s experience took place at the end of November 2015 and addressed the questions of European integration.
Transparency and public participation in financing of local governments
In 2015, SIA Civitta Latvija and the MEPRD carried out a project aimed at:
- increasing the transparency of the use of public funds and reinforcement of public participation in their monitoring.
- Main activities: 1) evaluation of methods of public control applied by NGOs, identification of the factors that hinder such control; 2) a round table discussion; 3) experience sharing concerning financial control of local governments; 4) drawing up a communications plan and a manual.
Ensuring potato quality and phytosanitary legislation
In 2015, the State Plant Protection Service implemented a project aimed at:
- supporting the State Veterinary Service of Ukraine in the development of legislation and procedures to protect Ukraine from the introduction and spread of organisms harmful for potatoes.
- Main activities: 1) evaluation of current legislation; 2) preparation of recommendations by the working group; 3) a study visit by professionals to Latvia; 4) training of regional inspectors.
Urban development planning
In 2015, PROVIDUS Centre for Public Policy implemented a project aimed at:
- capacity-building among NGOs and local governments for participation in urban development planning and decision-making.
- Main activities: 1) devising a training plan; 2) a three-day training session in Ivano-Frankivsk and Odessa; 3) compiling a tool-kit for participatory research and public participation.
In September 2014, the MEPRD arranged an experience sharing visit to Latvia for officials from the Ministry of Regional Development, Building and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine and the country’s e-governance experts to present to them Latvia’s experience in the introduction and protection of digital services, the establishment of a legal framework for them and use of such services in communication.
In 2013, having won a co-financing competition, the Baltic Environmental Forum carried out a project aimed at increasing knowledge and awareness among the general public, NGOs and would-be professionals on saving energy and how to increase the energy efficiency of buildings through a complex approach considering socio-economic, technical and environmental aspects. Ukraine was one of the project locations. The outputs of the project are as follows:
- Informative materials on energy saving and means of increasing energy efficiency;
- Guidelines for NGOs and local authorities on outreach measures;
- A training programme for members of flat owners’ associations and representatives of flat owners for contacts with maintenance companies;
- A training segment in a distance learning programme for future professionals in the area of management and renovation of buildings in Ukraine and Belarus.