01.12.2018

Start at

30.08.2020

End at

600 thousand EUR

Amount of aid

The Council of Europe Project “Promoting civil participation in democratic decision-making in Ukraine”

Civil participation in decision-making is one of the democratic principles shared by all member States of the Council of Europe and, alongside elections, an important element to ensure good democratic governance at the municipal level, as it makes the voice of citizens and NGOs heard. Citizens who have a say in policy debates and decisions are more likely to accept them and to have an increased trust in local representatives and institutions.

To help member States ensure that civil participation has a real impact on the decision-making processes, the Committee of Ministers has adopted standards, such as guidelines and recommendations. The Council of Europe project* “Promoting civil participation in democratic decision-making process in Ukraine” is designed to help the country implement these standards and in turn to strengthen the dialogue and cooperation between public authorities and civil society in the decision-making process, further narrowing the gap between them at the national and local levels. Dialogue-building activities such as joint trainings and good practice sharing can help remove barriers between stakeholders in Ukrainian society and ensure inclusive and constructive participation, where citizens’ and NGOs’ opinions are considered by policy makers.

Through implementation of the project the Council of Europe offers a framework and a support for interaction and the enhancement of mutual trust and respect. It is a unique learning and practical platform aimed at expanding the knowledge of European standards and at developing the skills of NGOs and public authorities regarding joint development of policies.

The implementation of the project is aimed at:

  • Reducing the distance between citizens and public authorities,
  • Strengthening the dialogue and cooperation in the decision-making process;
  • Providing and expanding opportunities for involving citizens in public affairs management in line with the Council of Europe standards and best practices.

Building on the results achieved* of the pilot project in 2017-2018 that helped to strengthen the inclusive dialogue between NGOs and Kyiv local authorities, the new project aims at:

  • Improvement of the national legislative and institutional framework for civil participation;
  • Raising awareness of the Council of Europe standards;
  • Improving mechanisms for engaging citizens at the local level;
  • Strengthening the capacity of public servants and NGOs.

* In 2017-2018, the Council of Europe launched a pilot project that helped to build a dialogue between Kyiv NGOs and City Authorities. E-participation, advocacy plan of the Kyiv water strategy, participatory budgeting and development of principles on public consultations were the priority project issues.

The project contains two components:

I) Enhanced national institutional and policy frameworks for civil society development and participation

II) Improved local practical frameworks and increased capacity of local public officials and NGOs on civil participation

Impact

Effective dialogue and cooperation between public authorities and civil society in decision-making process are strengthened at the national and local levels in line with Council of Europe’s standards and best European practices.

Intermediate outcomes

  1. Enhanced national institutional and policy frameworks for civil society development and participation.
  2. Improved local practical frameworks and increased capacity of local public officials and NGOs on civil participation.

Immediate outcomes

  1. The monitoring findings and follow-up recommendations are considered and lead to the elaboration of an Action Plan for 2020 and recommendations for a new National Strategy for Civil Society Development.
  2. Draft legislation on civil participation and public consultations is improved in line with CoE standards and best European practice.
  3. The capacity of stakeholders in Kyiv and in pilot municipalities to engage and to communicate effectively with citizens during the decision-making process is enhanced.
  4. Expertise and dialogue on civil participation between NGOs and public officials in Kyiv and in pilot municipalities are reinforced.
  5. The capacity of NGOs to engage with public authorities in decision-making process is strengthened.

*This project supports the objectives reflected in the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine for 2018-2021 and in its Part III:

3.2. Promoting Participation and Diversity - Civil Participation

In 2014, the Council of Europe started to promote the effective participation of civil society in Ukraine in the constitutional process and the legislative reform work and to assist in setting up mechanisms for organised civil society participation. This work needs to continue and to be expanded in order to ensure that: the legal and institutional framework for the involvement of civil society in decision-making processes is aligned with Council of Europe and best international standards; a national strategy for promoting civil participation in decision-making is developed and implemented and the capacity of NGOs for influencing decision-making at the national level will be increased; civil servants are trained in the implementation of the law on public participation and other relevant legislation; platforms or mechanism.

Duration: 2019-2020

Budget: 600,000 EUR

Pilot communities (as of 28.08.2019): Drohobych, Lviv Region., Ternopil, Dunayivtsi amalgamated community, Khmelnytskyi Region, Kyiv

Areas