On October 15, in Kherson, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna opened Ukraine’s first Regional European Integration Office.
Among the key activities of the Regional European Integration Office: cultural and educational projects, in particular, the dissemination of knowledge about the European course of Ukraine among schoolchildren and students; increasing business contacts between entrepreneurs of Kherson region and EU member states; implementation of the Association Agreement; achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular gender equality.
"Today, the "decentralization" of European integration triggers in Kherson, which should spread to all regions of Ukraine. The network of regional offices will help to form effective platforms for dialogue and cooperation of foreign partners, civil society and local authorities so that the benefits of European integration are tangible and visible in every region, every city and town," said Olha Stefanishyna.
The Deputy Prime Minister stressed that the opening of the first regional office is also important for the residents of the occupied Crimea, because it is Kherson region that citizens enter after crossing the administrative border with the peninsula.
"The European Integration Office in Kherson is the first of the European integration points closest to the Crimean peninsula. It is of paramount importance that everyone who comes to Kherson region across the administrative border with Crimea can take advantage of European integration opportunities, get advice and practical information about Ukraine's course towards the EU membership and its advantages and opportunities," said Olha Stefanishyna.
The Deputy Prime Minister also stressed the importance of forming the widest possible network of regional offices for European integration in Ukraine.
"Kherson region is the first among the regions where offices for European integration will operate, but we already see interest from other regions of Ukraine - Khmelnytsky, Dnipropetrovsk and Poltava regions today in contact with us to learn the successful experience of opening regional offices and spread this example to their regions," said the Deputy Prime Minister.