From 3 to 10 June 2018, Internews Ukraine, the member-organisation of the Office, brought 10 Ukrainian journalists representing different areas of Ukraine to Brussels, for a study visit. On this occasion, the Office organised a series of meeting with the Stratcom East Task Force, Members of the European Parliament and EU journalists.
Members of the Stratcom East Task Force provided Ukrainian journalists with an overview of the work and structure of Stratcom, presented its EU Disinfo Review as well as analyses available on the website EUVSDisinfo, and the “Moving forward together” campaign in Ukraine, the very first EU campaign aiming at providing positive communication about the EU.
During the meeting with MEP Michael Galher, the discussion focused on Ukraine’s reforms, the need to establish the High Anticorruption Court and to lift e-declarations for NGO, as well as on the perception of the reform process from the EU’s perspective (with an emphasis on the energy and judiciary sectors), and decentralisation. Mr Galher stressed that Ukrainians must remember that there is still a solid majority in the European Parliament that supports the transformation of Ukraine into a “boring”, normal democracy.
With MEP Rebecca Harms, Ukrainian journalists discussed the state of implementation of reforms (with an emphasis on environment), forthcoming elections, the Kyiv pride, the next Normandy format meeting and how to close the border between Russia and Ukraine. Mrs. Harms also presented an online petition and interactive map launched by the Greens in the European Parliament, to raise awareness on the situation in Russia – where prisons are filled with political prisoners and human rights defenders – , ensure that the World Cup doesn’t deflect attention from this issue, and to call on FIFA to engage with Russian authorities to ensure their fate is not ignored. The list of political prisoners was provided by the Memorial Human Rights Centre.
On 7 June 2018, a meeting between Ukrainian and EU journalists was organised in order to provide the latter with an overview of the regional media landscape in Ukraine, challenges faced by regional media, analyses of the pre-election year in Ukraine through a regional perspective, as well as to discuss recent developments in Ukraine in the media space.