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Workshop in Kharkov for experts from the Eastern Partnership countries


From 10 to 14 October 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic organised, in cooperation with the European Commission, a workshop in Kharkov, Ukraine on Public Administration Reform at the local and regional level.

The event has been organised under the auspices of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, H. E. Karel Schwarzenberg, within the scope of the Eastern Partnership Panel on Public Administration Reform, to follow up on a successful seminar which took place at the premises of the Czech MFA in Prague in November 2010. 25 experts from the partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) took part in the workshop, among them civil servants as well as NGO representatives.

The event was opened jointly by the Deputy Mayor of Charkov, Mr. Igor Terekhov, the Czech Ambassador at large for the Eastern Partnership, H.E. Petr Mareš, the Head of the EU Delegation in Kiev, H.E. José Manuel Pinto Teixeira, the Czech Ambasador in Ukraine, H.E. Ivan Počuch and, on behalf of the Polish EU Presidency, the Consul General of Poland in Kharkov, H.E. Jan Granat. In the following presentations, the participants addressed the Public Administration Reform processes at the local and regional level in their own countries. The further discussions took place with the participation of experts from the Czech Ministries of Finance and Regional Development, the EU Delegation in Kiev, the Estonian e-Governance Academy and four Czech NGOs – „Renewal“ (Oživení), the Independent Social Ecological Movement „Nesehnutí”, Agora and People in Need (Člověk v tísni). The discussions focused on fundamental issues such as developing democracy and citizens’ participation at the local level, decentralisation of state functions, supporting the financial autonomy of local and regional governments, countering socioeconomic disparities in regional development, fighting corruption, supporting sustainable development and implementing e-governance at the local and regional level. The participants also shared their experience with representatives of the Kharkov City Council.

The workshop was evaluated very positively by the participants as they will be able to use the information gathered in their daily work, but also because of the newly acquired valuable contacts. The Czech MFA is interested in organising similar events in the future, in cooperation with other EU Member States and institutions. In developing expert cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries, the Czech republic wishes to contribute to the approximation of their reforms with EU standards, promoting the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, political pluralism and civil society as well as to developing partnership and building confidence among the countries of the region.