The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) invites all interested parties to submit expressions of interest to participate in the 9th Annual Assembly of the Forum that will take place in the week of 23 October 2017. The place of the Annual Assembly is to be determined. The submission of expressions of interest is a necessary step in the selection process to participate in the EaP CSF Annual Assembly.
The Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is the key event conducted on an annual basis since 2009. It is the highest decision making body in the EaP CSF and serves as a platform for debate on the achievements of the Forum and the EaP in general, as well as on civil society contribution to the reform process in the region. Every year the event brings together over 200 civil society representatives from the EaP region and the EU, as well as other stakeholders.
WHO CAN APPLY?
The Civil Society Forum is open to a wide range of civil society organisations (CSOs): NGOs, think tanks, non-profit foundations, trade unions, employers’ organisations, professional associations, chambers of commerce, business associations, national and international CSOs/networks and other relevant civil society actors from the EaP region, but also from the EU Member States and international organisations.
One applicant organisation can be represented by only one person at the Annual Assembly. One person can represent only one CSO respectively.
CSOs dealing with women’s issues/rights are encouraged to apply. The organisations are encouraged to delegate women as their representatives to the Annual Assembly of the Forum.
Participants will be selected based on the following criteria:
- Eligibility– applicants must be non-governmental, non-partisan (not affiliated institutionally with a political party) organisations that respect democratic values. They should also be bona fide, independent organisations in their own right.
- Diversity of spheres of activity– to ensure the involvement of all the major components of civil society and adequate representation for each of the thematic Working Groups and Subgroups.
- Involvement in the EaP– applicants should be involved in activities relevant to the Eastern Partnership priorities.
- Involvement in the EaP CSF –we invite applicants who were actively involved in the activities of the previous EaP CSF Annual Assemblies, its National Platforms and Working Groups, as well as those who are ready to be actively contributing to the work of the CSF in 2017/2018.
- Rotation– whereby eligible, independent CSOs that have not participated in previous Annual Assemblies are given priority over those that have already participated.
The EaP CSF Steering Committee in consultation with the European External Action Service (EEAS)/European Commission will carry out the selection of the participants for the 9th EaP CSF Annual Assembly.
Working Groups: WG1 — Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance & Stability, WG2 — Economic Integration and Convergence with EU legislation, WG3 — Environment, Climate Change & Energy Security, WG4 — Contacts between People, WG5 — Social & Labour Policies and Social Dialogue
 WG1 subgroups: 1. Human rights; 2. Civil society participation in decision-making process; 3. Elections; 4. Media Freedom; 5. Security; 6. Anti-corruption; 7. Judicial reform; 8. Democracy and cooperation; 9. Gender; 10. Regional development and confidence building; 11. Local government and public administration reform.
WG2 subgroups: 1. Agriculture & rural development; 2. Regional Policy, Territorial & Crossborder Cooperation; 3. Small & Medium-sized Enterprises; 4. Trade & related regulatory cooperation; 5. Harmonisation of Digital Markets; 6. Transport; 7. Statistics
WG3 subgroups: 1. Environment; 2. Climate change; 3. Energy security.
WG4 subgroups: 1. Youth; 2. Culture; 3. Education; 4. Contacts between seniors; 5. Conflict Resolution.
WG5 subgroups: 1. Social dialogue; 2. Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities; 3. Social policy.
PARTICIPANTS AND OBSERVERS
The organisations taking part in the Annual Assembly of the Forum in the status of a participant will be part of the national delegation of the respective EaP country (limited to 20 slots per country) or a group of CSOs from EU Member States (limited to 40 slots).
Only participants can vote during the Annual Assembly to elect the Steering Committee of the Forum and on any other matter raised at the Annual Assembly. Only participants can be elected to the Steering Committee.
Observers do not participate in any decision-making processes.
Both participants and observers can take part in activities of the EaP CSF Working Groups, however observers’ participation in the annual Working Group meeting cannot be funded. Both participants and observers will be added to the list of Forum members and will be receiving regular communications from the EaP CSF.
At the end of the selection process, all applicants will be informed if they were selected to take part in the Annual Assembly and if so in which status.
Participation rights are not transferable from a selected participant organisation to an affiliated organisation or its representative office in another country. Each organization is eligible to apply as an EU or EaP participant/observer, depending on its geographical location.
The European Union (EU) is the main donor of the event and it will be able to fund the travel and hotel accommodation during the Annual Assembly for the selected CSOs only. It will be possible for the EU to cover the travel and accommodation of up to 160 CSO representatives – around 120 from the EaP countries and a maximum of 40 from EU member states.