Jable castle is bursting with curious energy as Centre for European Perspective is again happy to welcome International Study Visit within the U-LEAD programme. The event began on Monday, 14th of October and will continue throughout the week.

The topic of the visit is “Cooperation between Business and Local Communities”.

There are currently 15 local officials from Ukraine taking part in the study visit with the vast majority being heads of amalgamated hromadas.

The study visit began with a welcome speech by Ms Meliha Muherina, Project Manager at CEP, who warmly welcomed the participants and presented CEP team and the work of CEP. She continued with an overview of the agenda for the following days. She was followed by Mr Grega Kordež from the Directorate for Regional Development at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, who briefly presented the regional development of Slovenia and the work of local actions groups. Participants were also welcomed by Ms Berta Mrak, the Head of the Department for Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, Central Asia and the Arctic at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Slovenia, who welcomed the group from Ukraine and gave a brief insight into work the Ministry does with Ukraine. She was followed Mr Andrii Borodenkov, First Secretary from the Embassy of Ukraine in Ljubljana, who expressed his pleasure at being able to greet the 10th study group from Ukraine on a U-LEAD study visit to Slovenia. He shared a few examples of the work the Embassy does and examples of Slovenian and Ukrainian cooperation.

After a short warm-up session and introduction of participants, the theoretical part of the visit begun.

First lecture of the day was given by Ms Irena Meterc, from SPIRIT Slovenia – Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Fore­ign Investments and Technology, who spoke about SME support in Slovenia and establishing environmental conditions conducive for entrepreneurship.

The following lecture was given by Ms Larisa Vodeb, who focused on the work of Chamber of Craft & Small Business of Slovenia and Enterprise Europe Network.

With the theoretical part done, we will move to ‘the field’ in the following days.

On Tuesday, the participants will visit the Municipality of Sveta Ana, where they will hear more about the historical ties between Slovenia and Ukraine. They will also meet with the Mayor, Mr Slaček and visit LAS Ovtar and Development Agency Slovenske Gorice.

Wednesday is a day for visiting the municipality of Juršinci, where participants will hear more about the development of the municipality, local projects and LAS Bogastvo podeželja projects. On Thursday, participants will travel to the municipality of Odranci, where they will meet with the Mayor, Mr Markoja. Thursday activities will end with a meet and greet with local business representatives and representatives of local communities at Kodila.

The visit is taking place in the framework of the multi-donor action U-LEAD established by the European Union and its Member States Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Poland and Sweden. It aims at contributing to the establishment of multilevel governance that is transparent, accountable and responsive to the needs of the population of Ukraine. U-LEAD with Europe is supporting the Ukrainian Government, represented by the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine (MinRegion) as a key political partner in the coordination and implementation of the decentralization and regional policy reforms. The Program carries out demand-driven and targeted trainings for officials at the national, regional and local level.

U-LEAD 10th study visit