Finland promoted open governance in the EU's Eastern Partnership countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine by funding a training project for public servants 2015–2016. The development programme has now been brought to a successful end and it serves as a good example of how different EU countries, in collaboration with each other, can implement a project tailored to the partnership countries' needs.
The PADOS project (Participatory Democracy, Open Governance & Efficient eGovernment Services) was carried out within the framework of multilateral cooperation under the EU Eastern Partnership.
The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs financed the project with EUR 470,000. The EU covered the travel expenses of the partner countries' participants.
The aim of the project was to increase the openness of governance and decision-making and enable the exchange of best practices. The participants learned from each other and from various experts in the field.
The training focused on three themes: 1) Participation, eDemocracy and Open Governance; 2) eGovernance, Cyber Security and Data Protection; 3) Public Management Reform and New Leadership in a Complex Environment.
The project was considered successful. All partnership countries were actively engaged in the implementation of the project. New networks were created across country boundaries.
The participants hoped that the cooperation will be continued and that similar kinds of projects will be set up in the future, too. According to the European External Action Service, PADOS is a prime example of how to implement multilateral EU Eastern Partnership cooperation projects/multilateral cooperation under the Eastern Partnership: with careful planning, tailored to the partnership countries' needs, and in collaboration between different EU countries.
Cooperation between Finland and Estonia was seamless. The training project also served as a good example of the long cooperation between the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Finnish Institute of Public Management HAUS. A publication consisting of articles written by Finnish and Estonian experts was published at the end of the project.
The training project was carried out by HAUS, its Estonian cooperation partners (Center for Development and Training of Public Service and the e-Governance Academy) and the Estonian School of Diplomacy. Training sessions were organised in all six partnership countries and in Helsinki and Tallinn.