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The Odesa Debate on Ukraine’s progress towards European values and norms

State Secretary Dr Stanislav Raščan visited Ukraine between 27 and 29 October 2021. He participated in the international conference titled “The Odesa Debate” and held several bilateral meetings on the margins of the conference. In the debate on the vision of peace and prosperity in Ukraine, he commended the progress already made, bringing Ukraine closer to European values and norms, underlining the importance of further strengthening economic and social resilience.

At the opening panel of the second day of the conference on the socio-economic stability, security and prosperity of Ukraine in the coming decade, State Secretary Dr Raščan highlighted young people, advocating strengthening their participation in building democratic values in society. He assured Slovenia’s continuing support, emphasising Slovenia’s participation in the U-LEAD (Ukraine — Local Empowerment, Accountability and Development Programme) programme in the field of decentralisation. Ahead of the planned Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels scheduled for December, he called for a successful event to pave the way for an ambitious future policy of the partnership.

Now in its fourth year, the Odesa Debate International Conference, hosted by the German Marshall Fund, aims to promote dialogue between Ukraine and transatlantic partners with a view to finding solutions to the country's most pressing socio-economic and security challenges. The focus of this year’s conference was to discuss the perspectives on the future of peace-building and prosperity in Ukraine, with a particular focus on Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic perspectives. Slovenia, the state currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, supports Ukraine on its EU path.

On the margins of the Conference, State Secretary Dr Raščan held several bilateral meetings, including with Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna and First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Emina Japarova. The main topics of the bilateral talks were strengthening political and economic cooperation between Slovenia and Ukraine, EU-Ukraine relations and preparations for the Eastern Partnership Summit in December.