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Sharing European integration know-how and CBC experience between Norway and Russia with Ukraine.

The project responds to 8 key issues:

  1. EU/EEA-Ukraine relations after Vilnius summit and recent disorder in Ukraine,
  2. need for better EU/EEA visibility in Ukraine,
  3. Slovak-Ukraine relations: keeping and enhancing the friendship,
  4. weak cross-border cooperation and regional development in Slovak-UKR border region and in the Schengen context,
  5. lack of research and scientific capacities in border area, poor education quality and limited international scientific cooperation in a border area,
  6. incomplete institutional capacities of think-tanks, NGOs and universities, and
  7. need to enhance and strengthen networking and clustering activities in CBC area.

The primary focus of the project will be creating a network and capacities for the future implementation of the Association agreement of Ukraine with the EU (AA) or some parts of it (if sectoral approach will be applied after current disorder in Ukraine) since the successful implementation of the agreement by Ukraine, including its DCFTA part, is a key precondition for achieving a qualitatively new level of CBC on Ukrainian borders with the EU member states, including Slovakia. Due to the fact that the Ukrainian AA/DCFTA agreement following its nature and scope is similar to the European Economic Agreement between Norway and the EU (EEA agreement) Ukrainian partners will benefit from experience of Norway in dealings with the EU policies and legislation under provisions of the EEA agreement.

Another important aim of the project will be to enhance CBC cooperation between Slovakia and Ukraine using Norwegian know-how. This aim can be divided into threefold specific aims:

  1. to facilitate sharing of experience, knowledge and expertise of Norway in developing CBC on its border with Russia with key actors of SK-UA CBC on regional and local level;
  2. to realise applied research in several sectors with policy recommendations for enhancing CBC cooperation;
  3. to build up capacities for endogenous development of the border area, also using Norwegian know-how from NO-RU CBC cooperation (e.g. example of Kirkenes (NO) and Nikel (RU)).

Project relevance and outputs

Primary attention was paid to creation of cooperation networks and capacities for the implementation of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement (selected parts of it), since the successful implementation of the Agreement by Ukraine, including its DCFTA part, is a key precondition for achieving a qualitatively new level of CBC on Ukrainian borders with the EU, including with Slovakia. Important goal was to enhance CBC between Slovakia and Ukraine using Norwegian know-how, e.g. via sharing experience, knowledge and expertise of Norway in developing CBC on its border with Russia.

Project included applied policy research in 5 sectors with policy recommendations, including strengthening capacities for endogenous development of the border area.  Created networks currently operate in the area of:

  1. business and economic cooperation: promoting mutual trade and investment, organizing business events, assisting entrepreneurs, etc. We also elaborated proposal to streamline the UA's institutional involvement in the AA/DCFTA implementation that is in line with the UA's proposal for the 5th EaP Summit, but we also produced 4 guidelines for UA businessmen on DCFTA and trade with EU;
  2. cooperation in energy: we actively contributed to EU/Slovakia-UA energy dialogue, but also supported cooperation between universities in the field of energy efficiency;
  3. reform of public administration in Ukraine: we transferred Slovak know-how in the field, provided advice at national and local level, and supported scientific cooperation in this field;
  4. multi-ethnic relations: we initiated expert and academic cooperation in this field, incl. policy recommendations for SK-UA governments;
  5. Cross-Border Cooperation: We initiated bi- and multilateral transfer of know-how and scientific cooperation on CBC as well as we created platform for development of new multilateral CBC projects.


Key project outputs

Economic reforms & trade: we produced publication on AA/DCFTA EU-Ukraine that includes proposals to streamline the UA's institutional involvement in the AA/DCFTA implementation. We worked out market analysis of the SK/UA cross-border investment and trade opportunities that was published as policy paper. Another 4 policy papers were produced as guidelines for UA businessmen on practical issues related to DCFTA and EU-UA trade. We organized international business conference in Mukachevo and 3 business/clustering workshops in Prešov.

Regional development and public administration reform in Ukraine: we created SK-UA expert team, which elaborated 2 policy papers providing Slovak experience with PA reforms in Ukraine, incl. recommendations for UA government. Two international conferences on this topic were organized in Uzhgorod with participation of representatives of municipalities and regional administrations of Western Ukraine.

Energy cooperation: main output is the unique publication on enhancing energy security and cooperation between EU/EEA/SK and Ukraine, including energy efficiency on municipal level. Two policy papers were elaborated in this field. We organized Central European Energy Conference, which has been a major international conference on energy cooperation in Europe and with Ukraine in 2016 in Bratislava ( The conference became part of the SK PRES in the second half of 2016. Workshop on energy efficiency for UA municipalities was organized in Uzhgorod.

Multi-ethnic relations and tolerance: two publications were produced; the first one focuses on current problems of multi-ethnic relations in Slovakia (and Europe) and includes analysis of the Roma minority living in the SK-UA CBC area. The second one is a study on minority languages used in SK-UA CBC area. Two policy papers were drafted; the first one addresses growing extremism in Slovakia and the second one provides for best practices of Roma integration in SK municipalities. 3 expert workshops were organized on the above topics.

Cross-Border-Cooperation: main output is the publication comparing CBC up north between Norway and Russia and Slovakia and Ukraine. Norwegian experts also elaborated 2 policy papers analysing CBC between Norway and its neighbours. One international conference in Prešov and one expert workshop that included V4 & Ukraine format in Uzhgorod was organized on CBC issues.

2 policy events on development EU/SK-UA cooperation were organized in Bratislava and Kiev. We also organized 2 summer schools for 80 SK and UA university students. 9 research stays of SK experts in UA and vice versa were organized.

Project was structured into several “levels” and addressed several target groups. First of all, we provided Ukrainian government with policy recommendations, and also shared experience and best practices related to actual reform processes initiated in relation to the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement. We initiated broad political, expert and also public discussion on EU/EEA/SK and Ukraine relations, both at European, but also at regional/cross-border level, esp. in areas related to economic cooperation (trade and investment), regional development and public administration reforms (esp. in/for Ukraine), cooperation in the field of energy, multi-ethnic relations and combatting extremism, and finally, cross-sectoral topic, i.e. enhancing cross-border cooperation between Slovakia and Ukraine using Norwegian best practices.

At regional/CBC level we established stable cooperative partner networks with a perspective of sustainable cooperation and development of joint projects. It is a unique network of 22 institutions: universities, business and trade support institutions and NGOs, that are active in CBC and in 4 thematic areas covered by the project. Network is open for accession of other partners willing to cooperate.

As regards expert, academic and scientific cooperation, if not speaking about signed agreements on joint cooperation, exchange of experts, lecturers and students, joint expert publications - outcomes of applied policy research - have been elaborated with policy recommendations for relevant actors at EU/EEA, national and regional level. Strategies on the development of cooperation and transfer of know-how in the area of trade and economy, energy, regional development and public administration in Ukraine, multi-ethnic relations and cross-border cooperation have been communicated to relevant stakeholders at all level, but will be also used for further expert discussion, political, and also general public events, as well as for teaching at participating universities.

More than 1 566 participants attended 18 events organized within the project. Esp. business related events promoted trade and investment at regional level and should bring positive development in the SK-UA borderland. We are also proud of organizing huge SK PRES supported conference (SET PLAN - CEEC) on energy cooperation in Europe. It is concrete example of EU/SK assistance to Ukraine in helping it to gain energy independence, followed by concrete projects such as reverse gas flow from SK to UA, energy efficiency projects for municipalities etc.



Indicator Original value Aim value Reached value
Project output indicators      
Partners (institutions) involved in partnership/network of CBC 0 17 22
Initiatives focused on better cooperation of employment services, education institutions, employers and other relevant institutions 0 9 5
Participants involved in project activities and events 0 1210 1566
Project results indicators      
Key research priority sectors 0 4 4
Publications related to the main research topics 0 5 5
Policy Papers 0 15 15
International conferences 0 8 8
Expert events 0 7 7
Number of participants 0 1210 1566
Networking events 0 5 5
Created and established networks 0 4 4
Networked institutions 0 20 22
Accomplished energy audits 0 3 0
Project documents to improve energy efficiency of municipalities 0 1 0

Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Staromestská 6/D, 811 03 Bratislava, Slovak Republic