PHOTO: ROWAN HEUVEL | UNSPLASH
The 10th Danube Participation Day unfolded its impactful discussions on October 23, 2023, at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Hosted alongside the 12th EUSDR Annual Forum, this year’s event focused on the theme “Ukraine’s recovery towards EU membership.”
Exploring Key Questions:
Under the overarching theme, the event aimed to delve into two crucial questions:
Potentials at Local and Regional Levels: What potentials do the local and regional levels in Ukraine offer, and how can the cooperation of civil society and local actors in the Danube region contribute to the EU accession process?
EUSDR’s Role in Facilitating Cooperation: How can the EUSDR facilitate stakeholder cooperation for recovery and EU accession?
Following insightful discussion brought forwards by the panellist, a series of workshops took place to dive deeper into the specific aspects of recovery. The objective of the workshops was to define up to 3 main messages/priorities for the recovery/EU accession process that can/should be implemented in the framework of the EU Danube Strategy/where the EU Danube Strategy can contribute. Below you can find the messages yielded by each workshop.
Workshops and Their Messages:
Workshop I: Sustainable Recovery – Shaping Modern European Development
- Coordinating Environmental Recovery: Coordinating efforts of all institutions in post-war environmental recovery measures in Ukraine.
- Implementing Best Practices: Implementing “best practices” and knowledge from countries in the entire Danube region for Ukraine’s recovery.
- Planning Future Recovery: Planning the future recovery process in line with the EU Green Deal and all related EU environmental policies.
Workshop II: Democratic Recovery – A Vision for Boosting Good Governance
- Current Standstill Period: Recognizing the standstill period after the Russian aggression and the fragility of EU values, emphasizing the need for trust-building.
- Vision for the Future: Articulating a vision that focuses on rebuilding trust through a participatory approach, especially on the regional level, with reinforced dialogue with civil society and promotion of transparency.
- Requirements for Progress: Emphasizing the importance of reinforced dialogue with civil society and promoting transparency as essential requirements for progress.
Workshop III: Social Recovery – Strengthening a Socially Inclusive Future
- Pressing Social Challenges: Addressing pressing social challenges related to the (re-)integration of different social groups into (post-)war Ukrainian society.
- Preparing for (Re-)Integration: Advocating for the preparation of (re-)integration processes, gathering ideas and knowledge from Ukrainian refugees, and utilizing digitalization and AI for social challenges.
- Implementation in Recovery Plan: Highlighting the necessity to link the implementation of such measures to Ukraine’s recovery plan and leveraging long-term cooperation structures and networks of the EUSDR.
Overall, the 10th Danube Participation Day provided a platform for insightful discussions, fostering collaboration and envisioning a prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive Ukraine on its path towards EU membership. The workshops’ messages underscored the importance of coordinated efforts, good governance, and social inclusivity as integral elements of Ukraine’s recovery journey.
As the discussions continue, the Danube region stands united in its commitment to support Ukraine’s transformative process and strengthen the bonds of cooperation for a better and integrated European future.