Stärkere Einbeziehung der Zivilgesellschaft beim Wiederaufbau der Ukraine angemahnt

Anlässlich der internationalen Wiederaufbaukonferenz für die Ukraine am 25. Oktober 2022 hat die internationale zivilgesellschaftliche Plattform für Konfliktlösung in der Ukraine CivilM+, der auch Austausch e.V. angehört, eine stärkere Einbeziehung der Zivilgesellschaft gefordert. Eine starke Beteiligung der Zivilgesellschaft ist ein Schlüsselfaktor für den erfolgreichen Wiederaufbau und die Modernisierung der Ukraine.

CivilM+ empfiehlt den internationalen Geldgebern acht Punkte, die in der nachfolgenden Erklärung nachzulesen sind:


“Strong Involvement of Civil Society is a Key Factor for Successful Recovery, Reconstruction and Modernization of Ukraine”

The successful recovery, reconstruction and modernisation of Ukraine is impossible without a duly engagement of its Civil Society as a consultant, monitor, and evaluator throughout all stages of this durable process. Therefore, the continuous and perpetual involvement of Civil Society in the recovery processes on all levels – from local and regional to national and international – is a key precondition for the successful recovery as such and lies at a core for the interest of all sides involved.

CivilM+ proposes to establish a consultative body of civil society representatives with diverse, complementary expertise to function on the national level in Ukraine. This institution should operate based on the clear inclusion criteria and rules for participation for civil society experts, those representing Ukrainian and international civil society organizations, in all recovery-related processes.

Since the very first day of the full-scale war, Ukrainian Civil Society has proved its enormous courage as well as strong crisis-response capacities in the humanitarian and security dimensions. Moreover, due to its multi-faceted expertise and the persevering activities in support of the Ukrainian people domestically and internationally, Civil Society continues to be one of the main contributors – along with the Ukrainian military – that ensures the overall ability of the Ukrainian nation to resist the external aggression.

Civil Society is the candidate with the strongest expertise and networks and, therefore, ought to be duly included into the elaboration, societal and political discussion and implementation of the holistic reforms at all stages. As a watchdog, Civil Society has the strongest mandate for overlooking Ukraine’s modernization, democratic and transparent development and further approximation into the EU. The Nobel peace award 2022 granted also to the Kyiv-based human right NGO “Center for Civil Liberties” – one of the CivilM+ members – is only one of the many signals for the strong expertise and capacities of the Ukrainian civil society actors. Moreover, there is a wide network of well-established NGOs and grass-root initiatives that have proven effective joint action in different dimensions: documenting war crimes; promoting information exchange on war-related developments and actors affected; saving lives of civilians; facilitating humanitarian aid; urging international partners for stronger political, military, humanitarian, and financial support to Ukraine as well as lobbying for the country’s further integration into the EU.

CivilMPlus welcomes the start of the international dialogue on the recovery of Ukraine marked by the high-level meeting of the representatives of the 58 international delegations in July 2022 in Lugano, Switzerland. The platform supports the multi-stakeholder approach, the exchange and cooperation between official and non-official actors and the reference to the vital role of Civil Society in the recovery process.

At the same time, we clearly observe that the national authorities of Ukraine and governments of some EU member-states have only partially consulted Civil Society in the respective processes so far. Consequently, only limited civil society expertise was integrated in the Ukraine Reconstruction Plan. As a result, the plan lacks the perspectives of crucial civil society actors as well as more concrete roadmaps for the Plan’s implementation on the national, regional, and local levels. This means Civil Society should be better consulted on such core issues as, for example, the reintegration of the IDPs, people from the formerly occupied territories, and other vulnerable groups effected by the war; the further implementation of the decentralisation reform, in particular when it comes to the administration, restoration of education and urban development in the destructed areas; sustainable reindustrialization and the topic of the diversification of economy; strengthening of the social cohesion in crisis circumstances, etc.

Civil Society, as no other relevant stakeholder, is at all times well-informed about the needs of the different categories of people and have good capacities for mobilizing people’s ownership and action. Furthermore, particularly indispensable are competencies of Civil Society in fields such as people’s human security and the organisation of mutual support on the local level; transitional justice; protection and documentation of human rights violations; monitoring policies regarding culture and practices of rule of law as well as democratic, participative/inclusive and transparent decision making and anti-corruption mechanisms. All of abovementioned are the pivotal preconditions of a future strong, resilient and democratic Ukraine.

Hereby, in relation to

  • the International Expert Conference on the Recovery of Ukraine by the German G7 Presidency and the European Commission on the 25th October 2022 in Berlin and
  • considering the intensified international discourse regarding the urgent relief aids to Ukraine and a launch of the country’s reconstruction, modernization, and accession to the EU,

the international civil society platform CivilM+ urges all relevant international stakeholders and the German Government in particular to ensure a proper inclusion of civil society as a consultant, monitor, and evaluator throughout all stages of the recovery of Ukraine. Civil Society can, being involved in the preparation of concepts and getting convinced by the results, function as a remarkable factor of societal mobilisation for implementation of these concepts.

Recommendations by CivilM+
to the International Donors Leading the Recovery Discourse:

  1. Ensure that the international dialogue on the recovery, reconstruction and modernization of Ukraine views Civil Society as a full-fledged party of the discourse and ensures the representation of Civil Society experts at all respective high-level and working-level meetings.
  2. Rely on the expertise of Civil Society when advising the Ukrainian authorities on the strengthening of the absorption capacities for the incoming donor funds on the national, regional, and local levels. Encourage the Ukrainian authorities, especially the Office of the President and the Cabinet of Ministers, to rely stronger on the contribution of Civil Society when developing concrete implementation roadmaps to the National Recovery Plan.
  3. Invest into the strengthening of the existing dialogue channels between the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian Civil Society stakeholders, urge the national authorities to consult Civil Society on a permanent basis, and support mainstreaming of the Civil Society expertise in the policy-making process in Ukraine, especially when it comes to the implementation of the reform agenda from the EU candidacy package. In particular, support the establishment of a consultative body of Ukrainian Civil Society representatives to ensure a perpetual dialogue and engagement of Civil Society in all recovery-related processes.
  4. Consult the Civil Society Manifesto 2022 (Lugano Declaration) on the key criteria for the reconstruction of Ukraine. The document was developed by a coalition of the renewed Ukrainian civil society organizations, many of which are also CivilMPlus members.
  5. Make sure that all post-war recovery measures correspond to the national reform plan suggested by the EU candidacy status that Ukraine was granted by the EU Commission in summer 2022. All international recovery measures should assist the Ukrainian government with the successful implementation of the national reforms, the country’s overall modernization, and, in a longer term, ensure its accession into the EU.
  6. Strengthen the capacities of Ukrainian Civil Society to monitor and evaluate the reconstruction process on the national, regional and local levels. Ensure necessary methodologists and trainings are available to civil society.
  7. Help the Ukrainian Civil Society actors to be heard and present at any international forum, institutions, and networks related to their issues of engagement. Support their involvement in international work and strengthen their natural role as a strong actor of global/multilateral agenda of the 21th century including and beyond the problems of war, migration, recovery, but also contemporary sustainable economic, political, and societal development.
  8. Provide immediate and continual relief measures in support of the Ukrainian government, its organisations and people struggling with the survival in a country undergoing an active phase external aggression. They are particularly important considering the additional hardships people of Ukraine will experience, on the one hand, due to the coming winter and, on the other hand, the shortage of the basic resources, e.g. electricity, coal, medicine, groceries or drinking water etc.



(C) Tim Bohse