The International Seminar "Organization of the Negotiation Process in the EU: Experience of Foreign Countries"

"The European Commission has prepared a draft negotiation framework that defines the principles and procedures for negotiating accession to the EU and sets out EU’s position on the negotiations. These frameworks have specifics for each candidate country. It is important for Ukraine to understand them. Therefore, the purpose of the seminar is to share experiences on the conceptual aspects of decision-making processes and the dynamics of negotiations between EU member states." This was stated by Head of the NAUCS Nataliia Aliushyna who opened the International Seminar organized by the Agency together with the High School of Public Governance, the Center for Adaptation of the Civil Service to the Standards of the European Union, UN Women Ukraine and Hanns Seidel Stiftung Ukraine/ Hanns Seidel Stiftung.

According to the Head of the NAUCS, Ukraine needs to understand the experience of negotiating accession processes of EU member states and candidate countries. Each practical case provides an idea of what the EU requires from candidates and what complications can be expected along the way.

Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna expressed her gratitude to civil servants for their significant contribution to Ukraine's European integration achievements during the live broadcast.

"After the beginning of a full-scale war, you have repeatedly confirmed the enormous capacity of Ukraine as a European state, and in particular the Ukrainian civil service, as well as openness to interaction with civil society. The whole of Europe was mobilised to ensure that Ukraine received candidate status. We filled out the "book of statehood" of Ukraine - a questionnaire that was submitted to the European Commission as soon as possible. All this would not have been possible without the constant interaction of more than 80 government agencies, political mobilization of the entire state, and inclusive dialogue with citizens," said Olha Stefanishyna.

She reminded that Ukraine had prepared in advance for the start of negotiations on accession to the European Union, in particular, by conducting a self-screening of the compliance of Ukrainian legislation with EU law.

"The approach of preliminary planning and modelling will continue to be applied. In 2 months, we will enter the active phase of negotiations, and by the end of June we want to present our negotiating position. Our common stance with the EU is that the European Union needs Ukraine, and the EU needs Ukraine. Today, our identity is not in question. The EU countries already consider Ukraine as a future member. There is a strong realisation that our accession to the EU is only a matter of time. The question of how much time we need depends on us," the Deputy Prime Minister emphasized. 

"The key aspect on the way to the EU is the continuation of reforms, particularly in the public service. Compliance with agreements with European partners is a priority. In particular, it concerns open competitions for civil service positions suspended for the period of martial law. We are aware that the abandonment of competitive procedures is only a temporary norm. That is why we have included in the legislation a provision for their resumption after the end of martial law," emphasized Nataliia Aliushyna, moderating the discussion panel "Current state of organization of the negotiation process on Ukraine's accession to the EU".

She emphasized the importance of resuming competitions in areas where there are no hostilities.

"The NAUCS has prepared an algorithm for resuming tenders with 14 steps. These include the preparation and maintenance of regulations that comply with the principles of public administration and ОЕСD/ /SIGMA recommendations, the entry into force of new legislation, and the updating of the functionality of the Unified Civil Service Vacancies Portal. Ukraine will gradually improve its competitive procedures, taking into account the experience gained and following the OECD SIGMA recommendations. The full restoration of competitive procedures should take place in the 3rd quarter of 2026," said the Head of the NAUCS.

Nataliia Aliushyna noted the reform of the civil servants' remuneration system based on the classification of positions among the priority areas determined by the Ukraine Facility indicator.

"The Table of Reforms and Investments defines the result of this reform as the entry into force of legislation that complies with the principles of public administration set out in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, SIGMA) program," said the Head of the NAUCS.

According to her, since the end of October, the global classification of positions in government agencies has been underway, and the NAUCS provides its coordination, verification, approval and methodological support.

"This reform is recognized as one of the most complicated in public administration. The NAUCS cooperates with international partners who help us to study the practices and experience of different countries. We are currently working on the comprehensive reform implementation starting in 2025. Already in the first quarter of 2025, Ukraine will have to report on the adoption of legislation and its practical implementation. That is why Draft Law No. 8222, as a key basic policy document, should be adopted first. Immediately after that, the bylaws will be updated," emphasized Nataliia Aliushyna.

The Head of the NAUCS also called another important area - professional support for the training needs of civil servants. According to her, the trends in professional training include reducing the efforts of civil servants in search of relevant programs, a practice-oriented approach and self-education.

"The practice of organising training for public servants with the participation of European educational service providers is becoming widespread. On the basis of cooperation, we are implementing a number of programs on European integration and improving foreign language skills. Our partners are the Natolin4Capacity Building project and the European College of Natolin, the EF Language Learning Solutions educational organisation, etc.", Nataliia Aliushyna said.

According to her, the priority is also to strengthen the human resources of state authorities and local self-government authorities to implement state policy in the field of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

"Since 2020, the NAUCS has agreed on more than 60 general short-term training programs on European integration. In 2023, 10,212 civil servants were trained in this area. In 2024, the NAUCS developed and approved five relevant in-service training programs for 2,379 people. In total, in 2024-2025, almost 6,500 civil servants are planning to improve their skills in this area," Nataliia Aliushyna emphasized.

The Head of the Agency also noted the role of the High School of Public Governance in training in the field of European integration. The school has developed and approved 17 general short-term training programs with further training.

"A total of 1450 civil servants have been trained in the area of European integration. Under the special short-term program «Use of training technologies in the organisation of training on European integration and approximation of Ukrainian legislation to EU law», 40 trainers were trained to deal with European integration and approximation of Ukrainian legislation to EU law. In 2024, the High School will train 2,312 civil servants in the field of European integration. This year, 18 professional development programs will be implemented in this area," Nataliia Aliushyna emphasised.

She noted that learning foreign languages is a professional necessity for civil servants in the context of EU integration. In particular, as part of the NAUCS project with EF Language Learning Solutions, 20,830 civil servants from 1,057 state authorities and local self-government authorities are studying English. A total of 15,285 certificates of advanced English language training have been issued.

For reference:

The seminar was also attended by representatives of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Office of the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Deputy Ministers for European Integration, State Secretaries of Ministries, representatives of central executive authorities, other state authorities, and foreign speakers.

The Ukrainian speakers were Mariia Marchenko, Deputy Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Ukraine's Integration into the EU, Head of the Permanent Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mariia Marchenko, Deputy Head of the Department for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of the Office of the President of Ukraine , Kateryna Levchenko, Government Commissioner for Gender Equality Policy, and Oleksandr Ilkov, Director General of the Government Office for Coordination of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.

Among the foreign speakers were Baiba Braže, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Asier Santillán Luzuriaga, Head of Section "European Integration, Governance and Rule of Law, Civil Society" of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, Gregor Virant, Head of the OECD/SIGMA Programme, Benjamin Bobbe, Head of Division for Central and Eastern Europe, Hanns Seidel Foundation, Sabine Fraser Günes, UN Women's Representative in Ukraine. A welcoming speech was also given by Maraš Dukaj, Minister of Public Administration of Montenegro.

Relevant? Tell your friends