EU Association Lab is the first incubation program for civil servants, which aims to give a new impetus to implementing the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union.
The EU Association Lab, launched as the first incubation program for civil servants, emerged from a collaboration between the Advisory Fund for EU Association of Ukraine (GIZ), the Government Office for Coordination on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, and the 1991 Open Data Incubator. The initiative was driven by the need to breathe new life into implementing the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. The prevailing rationale was to create a platform that empowers civil servants to translate their European integration ideas into tangible prototypes, fostering a culture of innovation within the public sector.
The EU Association Lab was designed as a comprehensive program offering participants a robust set of resources and support. The finalists underwent an intensive training program and coaching on cutting-edge management techniques. The program facilitated knowledge exchange with European counterparts, providing methodological and technical support. Additionally, participants had the opportunity to establish connections with leading specialists, benefit from project communication support, and work on transforming their ideas into viable prototypes. The core goal was to instill a flexible and human-oriented mindset in civil servants, transforming the public sector's image.
The EU Association Lab has achieved considerable success since its inception. Across two cycles, a total of 200+ ideas were submitted, indicating substantial interest from both the public and private sectors. Eleven teams from ministries and departments successfully developed prototypes addressing critical aspects of the Association Agreement, such as non-price procurement criteria, beneficial owner registers, cultural heritage, and more.
The success of the program's initial cycles has set the stage for continued innovation, demonstrating the transformative potential of this collaborative approach in public administration. The EU Association Lab remains a beacon for fostering European integration through inventive governance.