Europe without Barriers is the founder, co-founder and member of a number of Ukrainian and international coalitions of think tanks, NGOs and research institutions.
The Europe without Barriers initiative
In 2009, Europe without Barriers initiated the creation of an independent association (consortium) of independent NGOs and think tanks from all over Ukraine focusing on visa and migration policies. Geographically, the participating organizations represented the cities (regions) where the EU consular institutions were located: Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, Donetsk, Uzhgorod, Lutsk, Kharkiv, Vinnytsia.
The existence of association allowed to consolidate efforts of civil society activists and experts on removing obstacles towards freedom of movement in Ukraine. The participants of the project conducted a unique study – monitoring a visa practice of EU member states – and were engaged in advocating changes to the visa practice of the EU.
Within 5 years of cooperation, members of Association achieved:
- Evaluation of visa and migration practice dynamics that the EU member states experience from Ukraine.
- Preparation of recommendations on unified requirements for Schengen visas, which were partially taken into consideration by the EU, particularly with the regards to the list of documents.
- Establishing a constructive dialogue with consulates in cities of partner organizations.
- Monitoring the border crossing practice, including the work of the “single window” during Euro-2012.
In 2014, Europe without Barriers together with 8 think tanks has co-founded the network of Ukrainian think tanks in Brussels which now brings together over 20 think tanks
In 2019, Europe without Barriers became one of more than 20 co-founders of the Reanimation Reform Package Public Association, which had previously functioned as an informal but influential association of more than 60 organizations promoting and defending pro-European reforms in Ukraine since 2014.
In 2017-2018, Europe without Barriers formed an informal coalition with partners in 12 regions of Ukraine, with whom we cooperate in promoting pro-European reforms and analysis of mobility issues.
In 2019, Europe without Barriers, the Freedom Institute (Poland), the Foundation for Active Mobility (Poland) announced the creation of the Border with a Human Face Initiative, aimed at reforming the Ukrainian-Polish border, infrastructure and governance models that have become obsolete and do not correspond to the current level of relations between Ukraine and Poland.
In 2010, Barrier-Free Europe, together with the Stefan Batory Foundation (Poland), initiated the creation of the International Coalition of Visa-Free Movement Organizations and Think Tanks in Europe. The Coalition was joined by more than 45 organizations from the Eastern Partnership, Eastern Europe and the European Union. Coalition members actively supported the visa liberalization process based on the well-defined technical criteri, complex but fair, and argued that visa liberalization is a win-win strategy not only for the European Union but also for its Eastern neighbors.
Since 2016, the EWB has become the leader of the coalition. After three members of the Eastern Partnership obtained visa-free regime with the EU in 2014-2017, the coalition’s activities are on hold.
EWB is a member of Working Group 1 “Democracy, Good Governance and Human Rights” of the Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (UNP EaP CSF). The UNP brings together more than 180 NGOs from all regions of Ukraine and is a member of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, which includes similar platforms from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Armenia, Moldova and Georgia, as well as participants from the European Union.
From 2013 to 2015, EBB representatives headed the “visa-migration” subgroup at WG1 of the UNP. In 2015, Europe without Barriers led the Organizing Committee to prepare for the 7th annual meeting of the EaP Civil Society Forum, held for the first time in Kyiv. In 2015-2016, EWB Executive Director Iryna Sushko was elected as a National UNP Coordinator.
EWB is a member of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform, whose activities are foreseen, in particular, by the Association Agreement with the EU.
Since 2019, Europe without Barriers has joined to Initiative for Fair and Transparent Customs, launched by the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting.