IDM signs Memorandum of Understanding with Verkhovna Rada

The IDM has recently deepened its relations with Ukrainian civil society by commencing a cooperation with the Ukrainian parliament. 

On 4 July 2024, IDM Director Sebastian Schäffer welcomed representatives from the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada and the USAID RADA Next Generation Program (RANG) to the Institute’s offices in Vienna. The delegation was led by Viacheslav Shtuchnyi, Secretary General of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.  

During the meeting, Schäffer presented the activities of the IDM, focusing on the Institute’s role in facilitating working and cultural relations between the Ukrainian government, NGOs and universities. The delegation then engaged in a roundtable discussion to explore possibilities of further collaboration with the IDM, including the possibility of continuing the successful cooperation with the Austrian Parliament in implementing Democracy Workshops in the region. Secretary General Shtuchnyi kindly presented Schäffer with a set of three commemorative coins. 

Later in the day, a Letter of Intent between the Austrian Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine regarding the aforementioned Democracy Workshops was signed by Wolfgang Sobotka, Speaker of the National Council of the Austrian Parliament, Harald Dossi, Secretary General of the Austrian Parliament, and Viacheslav Shtuchnyi. The IDM is mentioned as an implementing partner in the agreement.  

© Parlamentsdirektion/Johannes Zinner

Finally, the delegation visited the Europa Experience Vienna of the European Parliament, where Secretary General Shtuchnyi and Schäffer signed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Verkhovna Rada and the IDM. During the next five years, the memorandum foresees that both Parties organise conferences, assist each other in establishing cooperation in areas of mutual interest and coordinate the implementation of joint projects based on grants, competitions and other forms of involvement of international technical assistance. Furthermore, the memorandum mentions the possibility of creating joint educational and scientific programmes, of organising and conducting internships, consultations and professional development (on a contractual basis) as well as assisting in the establishment and development of relations with international organisations and foundations. 

“I am honoured and it is certainly one of the highlights of my career to have been able to sign this memorandum. It is our task now to fill this with concrete actions and continue our efforts to deepen the mutual cooperation with Ukraine,”

said Schäffer. The IDM highly values its collaborations with the Verkhovna Rada as well as the Austrian Parliament, where we are especially thankful to Katharina Stourzh and her team for the long-standing good cooperation. We are looking forward to engaging in continued work together!