On December 11, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna met with international development partners, foreign ambassadors, specialists of the European Integration Offices in Dnipro and Kherson, as well as representatives of Poltava and Khmelnytsky regional state administrations engaged in the preparation for the opening of European Integration Offices.
The participants of the meeting discussed plans and initiatives to intensify European integration changes in Ukrainian regions.
"Deepening European integration processes in the regions is one of the Government's priorities, as it will allow citizens from all over the country to take advantage of opportunities and experience the benefits of Ukraine's rapprochement with the European Union. This is the so-called decentralization of European integration," said Olha Stefanishyna, adding that it is important to establish closer contact between local authorities and international partners in order to synchronize efforts and ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of joint work.
"The newly created regional European Integration Offices are a great opportunity to combine the efforts of development partners and local authorities. I hope that our international partners will support such an initiative. That will ensure the sustainability of the reforms we are working on together," said Olha Stefanishyna. "So far we have created two Offices - in October in Kherson and in November in Dnipro. Work is currently underway to open such offices in Khmelnytsky and Poltava. I call on other regions to actively participate in this process."
The Deputy Prime Minister explained that by establishing the European Integration Offices, the Government aims to unite business, the public, scientists and local authorities in a joint European integration effort and establish their effective dialogue with international partners.
"In addition, the opening of the Offices will show the practical side and benefits of European integration for the citizens of Ukraine in each region, so we need to pay more attention to our communication in the regions," said the Deputy Prime Minister.
Olha Stefanishyna also drew attention to the need to strengthen the institutional capacity of regions to implement large projects that will meet the ambitions and capabilities of such regions. In particular, it is the participation of regions in European cross-border programs and other EU initiatives.
"I hope that the European Integration Offices will become a driver of these processes. To do this, it is important to build strong partnerships between Ukrainian and European regions to share experiences, strengthen their participation in European programs and initiatives," said the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.