PPD: the opinion of an expert from Ukraine
Every post-Soviet state, which has today chosen the European path of development, completes an important and necessary stage of reforms – in political, social, economic and cultural area, shaping the new public conscience. Often, such changes appear to be quite painful, as social tension in the society increases. So, development of new instruments, capable of embracing a broad spectrum of stakeholders became extremely necessary.
Public and private dialogue (PPD) is capable of uniting the efforts of many actors – the government, the public sector, the scientific circles and other individuals, which have common interests. It is especially important that such dialogue may include various shapes and sizes of companies and organizations, giving the small and medium enterprises (SME) a chance to become the full-fledged participants in the reforms, with the aid of business associations. Cooperation of the authorities and business associations within the context of PPD appears to be the most effective, because it allows finding the actual variety of problems, developing solutions and controlling their implementation, which prevents crisis occurrences, improves the business environment and raises the level of trust of the business to the power. As a constant work platform, PPD is capable of showing immediate results via coordination, transparency and accountability. The Handicraft Chamber of Ukraine was established in 2009, in order to join the efforts of craftsmen, the micro-, small and medium businesses (MSMB), and to introduce the concept of handicraft to the social and economic turnover, as well as to shape the independent handicraft sector, which is capable of solving the problem of cooperation of education, employment and business sectors.
Over the years of cooperation with the government, our organization completed a long stage of establishing the dialogue with the power and the complete destruction of this dialogue, whenever the interests of big industrial groups were put before the priority of MSMB, and there was an illusion of competitiveness amid the prospering monopolies.
With this in the background, the situation became even more complicated by the social dialogue – which experiences a deep crisis in the post-Soviet countries, and by the political engagement and the ineffectiveness of business associations.
Since 2014, the MSMB sector in Ukraine completed both the stage of massive shutdown and the stage of shaping a brand new class of entrepreneurs, which made a conscious choice to develop their business in Ukraine. Today, such companies produce high-quality goods, changing the attitude to the Ukrainian product and shaping the new image of the country. The MSMB in Ukraine showed enough will to join efforts and to be heard, which gave the green light for the Handicraft Chamber of Ukraine.
Amid these processes and thanks to the East Invest II project, namely the PPD priority, the Handicraft Chamber of Ukraine got the opportunity to reboot the public and private dialogue. The said priority solved a super-task within the project, because, in a short period of time, it managed to define the common sore spots for six countries, create the working grounds in these countries, thus turning the challenges into opportunities and making the PPD an innovative working tool.
For our organization, the instrument of PPD became a new point of departure in working with the government, an opportunity for cooperation with the working business associations and bringing the multi-level and multi-sector cooperation into life. Besides, the PPD may start the new form of social dialogue in the Eastern Partnership countries, given the current positions of MSMB in it.
The key step taken on the path to qualitative changes was shaping a powerful engine, the PPD Consortium and the development of the common position, thanks to which, the voice of every participant in every participant country becomes louder – day by day.
Elizabeth Miroshnichenko Secretary-General NGO Handicraft Chamber of Ukraine