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Seminar for representatives of Ukrainian civil service to hear about Czechia’s experience of the EU accession process


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Government Office, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry for Regional Development, organized an online seminar on the EU accession process for Ukrainian civil servants on 29 November 2023. Ukraine is a candidate country and is awaiting a decision regarding the start of its accession negotiations. The decision may be made by the European Council as early as on 14 or 15 December. The aim of the seminar was to share Czechia’s experience – not only in relation to the accession process before prior to joining the EU in 2004, but its experience as an EU member, which can help prepare Ukraine for EU entry now.

Over 110 representatives from Ukraine’s civil service took part in the seminar. The seminar was divided into three parts. It focused on the areas identified by Czechia, in cooperation with the Ukrainian side, as being important in the current phase of the pre-accession process.

In the first part, Tomáš Přenosil from the Department of Compatibility of the Government Office explained Czechia’s mechanism for implementing EU legislation and the functioning of the main ISAP database for this purpose. Marie Perglerová from the Department of Environmental Support for Rural Development of the Ministry of Agriculture shared Czechia’s experience with the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy. Agriculture will be one of the most complex chapters in the accession process for Ukraine. Another challenging area will be cohesion policy. Jakub Bělohlávek from the Department of Management and Coordination of EU Programmes of the Ministry for Regional Development spoke on this topic.

In the second part, Jiří Jílek from the European Union Policies Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared his experience of the accession process. He focused on the structure and functioning of the negotiating team, the negotiation strategy, problems and bottlenecks in the accession process and ways to solve them, and finally on the transitional periods and lessons learned.

The last part was dedicated to current topics related to the EU enlargement process. Eva Húsková from the European Affairs Communication Department of the Government Office focused on the topic of communication strategy. She looked at the changes in this area since Czechia joined the EU, and presented how communication about the EU works within the Czech state administration. She also offered practical advice in this area. Ivana Tvrdoňová from the Department for European Legal and Institutional Support of the Government Office addressed the topic of EU reforms, which appears in parallel with the topic of enlargement. At the end, Jiří Jílek returned to the topic of gradual integration, which will play an important role before joining the EU.

Enlargement is one of the foreign policy priorities for Czechia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs actively assists candidate countries in their path to EU membership by sharing its experience. In recent months, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has organized two seminars for representatives of the Moldovan civil service, shared its experience of the accession process at a Europeum Institute for European Policy seminar for Ukrainian officials, and also shared its experience of the approximation of EU law at the Industrial Property Office seminar for Montenegrin civil servants.