Ukraine Reforms - Visit of Janez Jansa
On 21-23 April 2015, Mr. Janez Janša, former Prime Minister of Slovenia and Chairman of the Slovenian Democratic Party, visited Kyiv and Odessa within the #UkraineReforms project framework.
In Odessa, Mr. Janša gave a lecture on the Slovenian experience of European integration and economic reforms at the Odessa State Environmental University. He also engaged in a panel discussion with representatives of the local government and the Odessa expert community. At this discussion, Mr. Janša presented insights on the public administration reform and decentralisation in Slovenia.
During his stay in Kyiv, Mr. Janša met with Members of the Ukrainian Parliament (EuroOptimists group) and discussed the need for legislative reforms in the defence sector. A roundtable discussion on reforming the army in post-communist times followed and was attended by experts from the organisation Reanimation Package of Reforms.
Mr. Janša also had several media appearances during his visit, namely interviews for the 1st National Channel and Ukrainian newspaper “The Day” as well as a press briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre.
The Key points from the visit of Janez Janša were as follows:
- On visa liberalisation - the removal of obstacles to travel to the EU has the potential of prompting the reform process further
- On reform of the army - the key asset for the transformation of the Ukrainian army are the human resources. It is essential to have patriotic commanders and develop a new generation of military leadership
- On the attitudes in the EU towards Ukraine - European leaders should fully understand that the situation in Ukraine is decisive for a common European future
- Sanctions against Russia should not be lifted until the question of Crimea is resolved
“Judging from the Slovenian experience, it is much easier to build up institutions from scratch rather than trying to change people who are comfortable with keeping the existing system and status quo.”