Progress by networking: Ukraine's postwar reconstruction and the place of social democracy in it

In July 2022, in Lugano, the world community, together with Ukrainian leaders and civil society representatives began their work on Ukraine Recovery Plan. Based on the results of the conference, the principles of recovery, its mechanics, and a list of necessary reforms were worked out. But will this restoration be about the people and for the people?
Yuliia Diadiuk
Activist of SD Platform
SD Platform could not stay away from this issue. That is why a new track was established within the organization – Progress by Networking.

The founder of the SD Platform, Bohdan Ferens, notes that socially-oriented recovery is impossible without the involvement of the widest possible range of stakeholders: from state authorities to international experts and direct beneficiaries of reconstruction. In addition, those social groups that suffered the most damage from the war and are the most vulnerable should be at the center of reconstruction: veterans, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Education, formal and informal, should become the basis of the institutional reconstruction of Ukraine.

Bohdan Ferens founder of SD Platform
Networking for recovery began during SD Campus in November 2022, which brought together SD Platform activists from all over Ukraine, as well as experts in anti-corruption, economics, business development, regional development, and education.

During a series of panel discussions and informal communication, the participants developed a vision of social democracy in the context of the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. In particular, experts and activists of the SD Platform came to the conclusion that the war increased the demand for the welfare policy, because the number of vulnerable groups of the population increased, while the level of social protection and provision of basic needs decreased.

Dmytro Lyvch – Advisor to the Prime-Minister of Ukraine (2020-2022), Executive Director at EasyBusiness
In addition, during the SD Campus, possible options for transforming the political landscape in Ukraine were outlined. Currently, nation is being formed in Ukraine, which means that there is a probability that in post-war Ukraine we will observe significant changes in the demand of citizens for high-quality politics. Society's task will be to form a new political circle that will represent the interests of all Ukrainians, in particular veterans, who will make up a large part of the population and need protection.

Ivan Nagornyak – Сoordinator of SD Platform, Deputy Head of Governmental Office for EU Integration
Discussing the reconstruction mechanism, the event participants agreed that it should be decentralized. Regionally, a comprehensive audit of community needs should be conducted, according to which a well-coordinated and thought-out reconstruction will take place. It is important to keep track of the corruption risks – the creation of control bodies both at the central level and at the local level is important.

Katerine Lototska – Activist of SD Platform, SMM-Team
Martina Boguslavets – Executive director of think-tank IZI, Institute for Legislative Changes
Dmytro Lyvch – Advisor to the Prime-Minister of Ukraine (2020-2022), Executive Director at EasyBusiness

As for the reconstruction in the context of the European integration of Ukraine, working in accordance with the criteria established by the European Union it is important for us to remember the impact of external circumstances on the process of acquiring the status of an EU member state. Thus, changes and perturbations within the Union may affect the timing of the negotiation process. At the same time, historical experience shows that war can speed up the process of democratization of societies, therefore the process of Ukraine's accession to the EU as well. In addition. participants singled out cultural, personnel, and educational policies as the key to membership in the European Union.

Bohdan Ferens founder of SD Platform
Based on the achievements of SD Campus, SD Platform will continue to work in the direction of Progress by Networking. A long process of reconstruction awaits us ahead, which will require the unity of the Ukrainian and European communities. That is why during the next year SD Platform will organize a number of panel discussions and workshops on reforms of labor legislation and education, protection of vulnerable population groups, and European integration changes.
Let's unite for the sake of recovery!
We would like to thank our partners, the representative office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Ukraine, for the opportunity to hold such events in wartime.
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