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On behalf of the German Government, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been supporting Ukraine’s transition to democracy and the rule of law since 1993. GIZ currently implements projects and programmes on behalf of five German ministries, the European Union (EU), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) at around 20 locations in Ukraine, with more than 300 local and international staff. Around 30 integrated and returning experts are deployed with the public administration at national and municipal level, local enterprises, universities, associations, chambers of commerce and civil society. The GIZ office in Kyiv opened in 2009.  

For many years, the EU’s and Ukraine’s shared goal was to achieve incremental economic integration and deeper cooperation. However, negotiations on an Association Agreement were unexpectedly terminated by President Viktor Yanukovych in November 2013, sparking popular protests and violent clashes which led to the President’s removal from office and a change of government. In an increasingly complex political situation, separatist movements emerged in the south and east of the country. In March 2014, the Crimean peninsula was illegally annexed by the Russian Federation. A referendum on the status of Crimea was held under Russian control; however, its outcome is not recognised by Ukraine or by the EU, the US or other Western countries. In the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, there is continued fighting and more than a million people have fled their homes.

Following the collapse of the original five-party coalition government headed by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the two largest parliamentary groups reached agreement on the formation of a new coalition in February 2016. The Government led by Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman, in office since April 2016, is continuing the reform programme initiated by its predecessor, with a particular focus on decentralisation. It is also committed to a comprehensive package of reforms to boost the competitiveness of the Ukrainian economy, including the adoption of European standards and further liberalisation of trade with the EU.

The current priority areas of German development cooperation activities with Ukraine are:

  • democracy, civil society and public administration, decentralisation
  • energy
  • sustainable economic development

In addition, GIZ is assisting the Government of Ukraine to manage the crisis in the east of the country. In particular, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ is providing support to municipalities which are hosting displaced persons. GIZ is also working with the Ukrainian Ministry of Health on HIV/AIDS prevention, for example by supporting the country-wide ‘Don’t give AIDS a chance!’ campaign.

Projects and Programmes

Sustainable infrastructure

Security, reconstruction and peace

Social development

Governance and democracy

Environment and climate change

Economic development and employment

Project evaluations