The discussion was held at Chatham House in London and gathered an online and offline audience of experts, representatives of civil society organizations, businesses, and parliamentarians who want to join or participate in Ukraine’s recovery.
The participants discussed ways in which civil society can be involved in the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine, the need for transparency and public control in these processes, as well as engaging residents, civic activists, and community representatives on different stages – from vision and strategy to implementation.
The topic of Ukraine’s recovery brings together specialists in urbanism and architecture, civic activists, and volunteers not only from Ukraine but from all over the world. Not all local communities have the opportunity to use this potential and do not know how to become a part of these processes.
The important questions that need to be answered are how to preserve decentralization and how to involve local communities in the process of recovery and reconstruction.
“We need to make sure that the voice of the local authorities and local self-government is being presented and is not disregarded and that disregards all of the mayors and not those who have favourable relationships with the current authorities, with the central government”,— noticed ICUV co-founder Olena Halushka.
Among the significant issues discussed were sources of funding for Ukraine’s reconstruction. In particular, the use of Russian banking assets for this purpose.
“Let’s think first where the money for the reconstruction will be coming from. I hope that it will be coming from the confiscation of the russian assets. Because of those that are destroying Ukraine, russia has to pay the biggest part of the bill, despite the fact that these things are stuck on legal disputes and debates. This is the thing which has to be moved and which has to be pushed forward”,— said Olena Halushka.
According to Olena also, money is expected to a bigger extent from grants to a lesser extent – from loans from foreign partners. The important part is funding from private investments.
“What is instrumental for the private investments to come to Ukraine, and what is the key priority for all the foreign donors? That’s rule of law and effective systems of fighting against corruption. And here civil society has been playing an incredibly important role since 2014, right now during the full-scale war, and will obviously continue after the victory. What we are doing? We are watchdogging, but not only watchdogging. Civil society has been a very active part of those who are thinking about the architecture of those reforms, advocate for their adoption and take an active part in the implementation of reforms”,— she added.
To successfully rebuild Ukraine, we need to talk about zero corruption, transparency in all processes, and maintaining a balance between the government, civil society, and international donors.
“Having all those things and elements in place, civil society on the level of the crafting, advocating, implementation and watchdogging, both on the national and local levels, I’m sure will help to close down a number of vulnerabilities and loopholes and make sure that we do have trust both from the society and international community towards our reconstruction”,— Olena Halushka summarized.