Within the technical cooperation of the European Union SOCIEUX+, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine held the first online working meeting: “Coordination between the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine and NGOs providing social assistance to veterans and their families”.
It should be noted that Ukraine is cooperating with the European Union for the first time within SOCIEUX+ EU Expertise on Social Protection, Labour and Employment. The program is designed to assist partner countries in developing and managing their social protection systems. It also provides countries with consultations and helps in the development of relevant legislation and policies.
It was the Ministry of Veterans Affairs (thanks to successful negotiations with the European Commission) that became the first department among the central bodies of the executive power of Ukraine, which initiated the involvement of technical assistance within SOCIEUX+.
“Currently, the situation in Ukraine is very difficult: the war is ongoing, part of the territories is occupied, and thanks to public organizations, it is possible to provide aid that covers more people. It is essential for us that the cooperation between the Ministry of Veterans Affairs and NGOs be improved and more coordinated for better assistance to our Defenders and their families. Within the cooperation of this project, we should create such cooperation that will allow us to establish a partnership for the sake of a common victory,” emphasized the head of the expert group on interaction with public associations and the development of the veteran movement of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs Hanna Demydenko.
During the event, representatives of Ukrainian public organizations learned about the experience of their colleagues from Lithuania, their standards, practical advice on working with vulnerable sections of society and cooperation with the government.
“In recent years, there has been a tendency in Lithuania to unite public organizations into “umbrella” associations for more effective cooperation with the government. With this model of work, the public does not need to spend time on creating a common opinion, because it has already been formed within the scope of the work of NGO representatives in the “umbrella” organization. In the same way, the authorities do not need to convey their views on draft laws or resolutions to each NGO separately. This significantly increases the effectiveness of establishing social support,” highlighted Director of the NGO “Institute of Law” (Lithuania) Rytis Jokubauskas.
On the part of representatives of Ukrainian NGOs, problematic issues regarding the provision of social services were voiced.
In general, the cooperation of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs with SOCIEUX+ involves two projects. The first one is work with the public sector, and the second concerns the development of veteran entrepreneurship.
Background information: SOCIEUX+ EU Expertise on Social Protection, Labour and Employment is a facility for technical cooperation between public and social partner peers established and co-funded by the European Union. The general objective is to expand and improve access to better employment opportunities and inclusive social protection systems.