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Second Ukraine Breakfast Debate 2017: Olena Pavlenko discusses reforms in the Ukrainian energy sector

The second breakfast debate within the framework of the project “Platform for Analytics and Inter­cul­tural Commu­ni­cation” (PAIC) took place at the Institute for European Politics in Berlin on November 23. Olena Pavlenko from the renowned think tank DiXi Group spoke about reforms in the energy sector of Ukraine, their achieve­ments and diffi­culties as well as the integration process into the European energy market.

In her presen­tation, Olena Pavlenko expanded on the basic traits of the energy reform. The first aspect dealt with the basic mecha­nisms and challenges in the creation of an independent energy regulation commission. The adoption of the law “On the National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public Utilities” marked the first step in this process in 2016. As another topical focus Pavlenko elabo­rated on the imple­men­tation of the global Extractive Indus­tries Trans­parency Initiative (EITI) in Ukraine, which promotes financial trans­parency and account­ability in the raw materials sector. In this context, Pavlenko explained the impor­tance of online platform ProZorro, which contributed to reforms in the public procurement system. The avail­ability of infor­mation of public energy enter­prises was also positively assessed. The commu­ni­cation of energy reforms among citizens and the government, however, appear to be insuf­fi­cient, as opinion surveys suggest. The integration of Ukraine into the European energy market was the last subject Pavlenko focused on. On the basis of graphics the devel­opment of the Ukrainian gas transit system and new gas pipelines with Ukrainian EU-neighbors were illus­trated. In this respect, the construction of Nord Stream 2 was addressed along its risk factors for Ukraine and several European states.

The partic­i­pating experts of the Ukraine breakfast debate, mostly from the academic, diplo­matic and energy policy sectors, showed a signif­icant interest in the discussion of certain reform efforts in Ukraine. A great part of the discussion addressed the construction of Nord Stream 2 and its security and energy related ramifi­ca­tions for European states. The unclear infor­mation and evidence base concerning costs and benefits of the pipeline calls for more diversity in the debate. In reply to a question of potential for cooper­ation between Ukrainian and German think tanks was seen, partic­i­pants stated that Ukrainian would profit from increasing capac­ities in small regions as well as in the promotion of open data and safety for whistle blowers.

Olena Pavlenko is the president of the think tank DiXi Group which involves in research and analysis in the energy sphere. She is the founder of the online platform “Ukrayinska Enerhetika” and deputy chair­person of the Multi-Stake­holder Group (MSG) on the Extractive Indus­tries Trans­parency Initiative (EITI) imple­men­tation and repre­senting Eurasia as a member of the PWYP Steering Committee.

The Ukraine Breakfast Debates which take place within the scope of the project “Platform for Analytics and Inter­cul­tural Commu­ni­cation” (PAIC) at the Institute for European Politics (IEP) in Berlin are designed as a place for discussion. Experts from Ukrainian think tanks present current topics which are after­wards discussed with guests over crois­sants and coffee.

The third breakfast debate took place on 14 December 2017. Yegor Stadny from CEDOS discussed the topic „Which amend­ments does the education reform in Ukraine envisage, and will the country benefit from it?“. The interview with Yegor Stadny on the topic is acces­sible here.

The project “Platform for Analytics and Inter­cul­tural Commu­ni­cation” (PAIC) is conducted by the Institute for European Politics e.V. (IEP, Berlin), in cooper­ation with the Inter­na­tional Renais­sance Foundation (IRF, Kiev), the der Ilko Kucheriv Democ­ratic Initia­tives Foundation (DIF, Kiev) and the think tank initiative „think  twice UA“ (Kiev), supported by the Federal foreign office of Germany in 2017–2018.