Ukraine-Romania: Narrowing the Perception Gap

04:20 PM 25-2-2014

The joint project of IWP and Romanian Center of European Policy was aimed at arranging the communication between the representatives of Ukrainian and Romanian civil society to establish the atmosphere of mutual trust and collaboration.Though Romania a neighbors of Ukraine, the tight relations between these two countries are hitherto established neither on state level nor on the civil one. Partially this can be explained by the relations between Kyiv and Bucharest based on joint strategic interests, which are still in the thralls of misunderstanding of the incorrectly made interpretations.
Ukraine-Romania Forum I
The first Ukraine-Romania Forum of civil society was held on May 26-27, 2012 in Bucharest. Within two days the participants of the Forum were discussing the issue of bilateral relations and possibilities for bilateral project development.
Leading experts on the relations between Ukraine and Romania, as well as the representatives of major think tanks in Ukraine, including IWP Chairman of the Board Victor Shlinchak, the IIWP director Alyona Getmanchuk, political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko, Vitaly Bala, Oleksandr Paliy, Director of the School of Political Analysis Oleksiy Haran, expert of the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting Kateryna Shynkaruk, Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Oleksandr Scherba, expert of the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy Natalia Belitser et al were present from Ukrainian side.
The Romanian side was presented by the Director of the Centre for Independent Journalism Ioana Avădani, Director of the Institute of Public Policy Oleksandra Violeta, an expert of the Centre for European Policy Dragos Dinu, Director of the Center of Energy and Environment Consulting Ionut Purika, Director of the Romanian Academic Society Sorin Ionita, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania Teodor Baconschi, an expert of the European Council on Foreign Relations Nicu Popescu, Director of the Romanian Center for European Policies Christian Ghinea and others.
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The policy brief: “Narrowing the Perception Gap – View from Bucharest and Kyiv”
In accord with outcome of the first Ukraine-Romania Forum the IWP and Romanian Center for European Policy made up a policy brief, where they have analyzed the negative stereotypes about Ukraine common in Romania and vice versa, and developed the recommendations how to reduce and ultimately destroy them. This research may be useful for diplomats of both countries in order to develop the bilateral relations based on partnership to reach strategic goals. The full text of the policy brief: “Narrowing the Perception Gap – View from Bucharest and Kyiv” is free to download here.
Ukraine-Romania Forum II
The second Ukraine-Romania Forum of civil society was held on January 23-24, 2014 in Kyiv. The leading Ukrainian and Romanian experts, including participants of the first Forum, diplomats and journalists took part in the meeting.
The Ukrainian side was presented by the IWP Director Alyona Getmanchuk, IWP Deputy Director Sergey Solodkyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2007-2009) Volodymyr Ohryzko, Scientific Director of the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Oleksandr Sushko, Oleksiy Semeniy et al. Kyiv was visited by such honorable Romanian guests as: Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs (1989-1990) Sergiu Celac, Director of the Romanian Center for European Policies Christian Guinea, Senior analyst of Jamestown Foundation Vladimir Socor, a former EU Customs Adviser Dorel Fronea et al.
Ukrainian and Romanian experts paid great attention to the perspective of Ukra-ne-Romania relations development. The participants agreed that we shouldn’t overestimate the value of current problems, the enormous attention, which makes the negative background in media of the promotion of neighborly relations and cross-border relations. Experts appealed to focus on non-conflict issues and directions which are of bilateral interest.
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Policy Brief “A Call for the EU — Time to Step in”
On March 12, 2014 the IWP presented the policy brief “A Call for the EU — Time to Step in” within the discussion “Window of possibilities: What the EU Wants from Ukraine and Ukraine from the EU?”. The experts of the IWP have summarized the main ideas and expectations about the EU on behalf of Ukrainian civil society representatives in the most critical period of Ukrainian development. In general, the Ukrainian expectations about the EU can be conditionally divided into four categories: signing the Association Agreement as soon as possible, process of visa liberalization, providing financial assistance and providing a clear membership perspective. Full text of policy brief in Ukrainian and English is available here.

The project realization is supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania.