Newsletter
Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Forum News

Belarusian National Platform Denounces Legislative Elections in Belarus Despite Minor Improvements

22 September 2016

The Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum released a statement in which expresses its concern about how the legislative elections were organized in Belarus on 11 September 2016.

full story

Eastern Partnership Youth Conference “Youth for Rights”

22 September 2016

The Eastern Partnership Youth Conference “Youth for Rights” is organised by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) and and will be held under the patronage of the Slovak Presidency in the Council of the European Union. It will bring together 145 genuine young activists from the EaP countries, Russia and EU who vigorously advocate human rights and the democratic development of their societies.

full story

On the Frontline: Conference on the Human Rights Situation in the EaP Countries

19 September 2016

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) and its Moldovan National Platform are holding a human rights conference “On the frontline: human rights situation in the EaP countries” on 19-20 September 2016. The event brings together around 50 human rights experts from the EU and EaP civil society community, major international NGOs, EU institutions and the Council of Europe.

full story

ALDA Publication on Public Administration Reform in EaP Countries

07 September 2016

The Secretary General of the European Association of Local Democracies (ALDA), Antonella Valmorbida, recently wrote a publication on the cooperation with civil society to promote Public Administration Reform (PAR) and Decentralization in EaP countries. The publication focuses on the case studies from ArmeniaBelarus and Ukraine and concludes with the author’s recommendations.

full story

EMDS’ Opinion on the 26 September Referendum and the Amendments to the Azerbaijan’s Constitution

06 September 2016

On 26 September 2016 Azerbaijan will hold a referendum which aims to amend its Constitution. The referendum was approved by the Constitutional Court on 26 July after the President officially proposed it on 18 July. 

full story

EaP CSF Expresses Condolences Over the Death of Mikael Danielyan

02 September 2016

We are deeply saddened by premature death of our dear friend and colleague, head of Armenian Helsinki Association Mikael Danielyan. Mikael was one of the most profound Armenian human rights professionals with his roots in Soviet decedent movement.

full story

EaP CSF Members Call on Polish and Ukrainian Politicians not to Open Old Wounds

01 September 2016

Polish-Ukrainian relations have deteriorated and threaten to get worse after the Polish parliament passed a resolution in July accusing Ukrainians of committing in 1943 genocide on tens of thousands of Poles living in Volhynia. 

full story

Steering Committee Demands Immediate Release of the Crimean Mejlis’ Deputy Head

29 August 2016

Ilmi Umerov, the deputy head of the Mejlis, the main representative organ of the Indigenous Crimean Tatar people was detained on 12 May 2016 following the interview he gave the ATR TV channel on 19 March 2016 in Kyiv. He is charged with “separatism” under Article 280.1 – a new article introduced a few months after Russia’s invasion and illegal annexation of Crimea. His main “crime” consists of stating that Russia must leave Crimea and that the peninsula must be returned to Ukraine – a view shared by all democratic states and international organizations.

full story

EU-Civil Society Fellowship Program – Apply by 13 September

24 August 2016

The EU Eastern Partnership Civil Society Fellowships 2016 (Public Policy Stream) aim at identifying and promoting talented public policy professionals who can advance the quality of public debate on crucial policy issues within the Eastern Partnership (EaP). The Fellowships are available to citizens of the six EaP countries.

full story

Preliminary Findings and Recommendations of the EaP CSF Monitoring Mission to Armenia

22 August 2016

The Monitoring Mission of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) on the civil society, media and human rights situation in Armenia visited Armenia during the period of 9-15 August 2016. The Mission's team was composed of leading experts in the field of human rights from Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Its work was supported by the EaP CSF Armenian National Platform.

full story

New Paper Explores Policy Options for Improving Democracy Support in the EaP Region

11 August 2016

The research paper “More Effective EU Democracy Support in the Eastern Partnership Ideas for the Slovak EU presidency and beyond” explores potential policy changes the EU might embark upon to address the current challenges in the Eastern Partnership countries with an emphasis on the changing political and geo-strategic dynamics in the region.  

full story

Steering Committee Demands Immediate Release of Steering Committee Member Hovsep Khurshudyan

01 August 2016

The Steering Committee deplores the arrest of Hovsep Khurshudyan, a member of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, amidst the protests on the night of 29-30 July 2016 in Yerevan. The authorities should drop charges of organizing mass disorder accompanied with violence under Article 225 of the Criminal Code against Mr Khurshudyan and other protesters. The Steering Committee demands the immediate release of their colleague, as well as that of all those who have been arrested by the police in recent days

full story

Steering Committee Condemns the Detention of Levon Barseghyan by Armenian Authorities

29 July 2016

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum condemns the detention of Levon Barseghyan, Chairman of the Board of the Gyumri Journalists Club „Asbarez”, by the Armenian authorities after making a public speech in Yerevan, in which he criticised the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan.

full story

EaP CSF Conference “Security Challenges of the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood” to be Held in Tbilisi, Georgia

26 July 2016

On 28-29 July the conference “Security Challenges of the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood” organized by the EaP CSF Georgian National Platform will bring together in Tbilisi, Georgia over 60 representatives of civil society from 6 EaP countries, Georgian government and EU institutions, as well as prominent security experts.

full story

EaP CSF Denounces Murder of Prominent Belarusian Journalist Pavel Sharamet

25 July 2016

The Steering Committee condemns the murder of the journalist Pavel Sharamet in Kyiv and extends condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. The EaP CSF also expresses deepest sympathies to the civil society and independent media community of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia who have suffered an irreparable loss. 

full story

Participants Selected for the 8th Annual Assembly (28-29 November, Brussels)

25 July 2016

This year there were 538 applicants for the Annual Assembly, out of which 200 organisations have been selected to take part in the Forum either in the capacity of a participant or observer in line with the eligibility guidelines (drawing on shortlists by the country coordinators in conjunction with the national platforms, the working group coordinators, and the European Union delegations in the six Eastern Partnership countries)

full story

EaP CSF Reacts to the Hostage Crisis and Detention of Protesters in Armenia

20 July 2016

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) Steering Committee appeals to the Armenian authorities to resolve the occupation of the Erebuni police department in Yerevan by a group of armed supporters of the Founding Parliament opposition group without any further loss of life.

full story

EaP CSF Expresses Condolences to Everyone Affected by Barbarous Attack in Nice

18 July 2016

In the light of the tragic events on 14 July in Nice, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) Steering Committee expresses its sincerest condolences to the families of the victims including to that of the murderer whose mind was clouded by hatred and false values, which led him to lose his own life while committing this monstrous crime.

full story

Security against the Backdrop of the NATO Summit and Brexit, SMEs and Trade Addressed at the Informal EaP Ministerial

12 July 2016

On 11 July, on behalf of the EaP CSF, Steering Committee member Iurii Vdovenko addressed security challenges following the Warsaw NATO summit, the Brexit vote, and the release of the EU Global Security Strategy, as well as development of SMEs and trade at the 7th Informal Ministerial Eastern Partnership Dialogue in Kyiv.

full story

Ukrainian National Platform and Working Group 5 Concerned about the Draft Labour Code of Ukraine

11 July 2016

The Ukrainian National Platform and Working Group 5 “Social & Labour Policies and Social Dialogue” of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) are concerned about the adoption procedure and a number of provisions of the Draft Labour Code of Ukraine (the Draft). The Draft is pending in the Parliament of Ukraine (bill №1658) and was adopted by the Parliament in the first reading on 5 November 2015. The closed and non-transparent character of the work on this document in the Verkhovna Rada’s Committee on Social Policy is a particular cause for the concern.

full story

Strengthening Social Dialogue in the EaP Countries: Working Group 5 Annual Meeting

08 July 2016

The EaP CSF Working Group 5 “Social and Labour Policies and Social Dialogue” (WG5) held its annual meeting on 4 July in Brussels.  The focus of the meeting was on establishing a fifth Eastern Partnership (EaP) multilateral platform, enhancing cooperation with EU institutions, social as well social dialogue reforms in the EaP countries, and the draft of the Labour Code of Ukraine. Furthermore, the WG5 participants debated possible topics for the upcoming EaP CSF Annual Assembly in Brussels.

full story

Strategies for Strengthening Security in the EaP Countries Analyzed in a New Policy Paper

22 June 2016

The policy paper produced within the framework of the re-granting project “Security Alert on the EU’s Doorstep” explores security challenges facing NATO, the EU, the EaP states as well as the need for balancing act between deterrence and engagement with Russia and, in particular, close cooperation between NATO and the EaP countries.

full story

EaP CSF Appeals to Pope Francis to Encourage Lasting Peace and Respect for Human Rights in the South Caucasus

20 June 2016

Ahead the upcoming visits of His Holiness Pope Francis to to Armenia (24-26 June), Azerbaijan and Georgia (30 September – 2 October), the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Steering Committee wrote an Open Letter appealing Pope Francis to to encourage lasting peace and respect for human rights in the South Caucasus.

full story

EaP CSF Condemns the Heinous Crime Committed in the City of Orlando

17 June 2016

An armed terrorist broke into the LGBT nightclub "Pulse" on 12 June 2016 in Orlando, Florida, killing 50 people and injuring 53 others. The Steering Committee expresses their condolences to the families and friends of the victims and to all the people of the United States. The SC condemns this barbaric attack perpetrated against LGBT persons and all kinds of attacks against persons or groups on the grounds of sexual orientation.

full story

Youth, Culture, Education, and Senior Policies at the Forefront of the Working Group 4 Meeting

17 June 2016

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Working Group 4 "Contacts between People"  held its annual meeting on 15-16 June in Brussels. The event covered topics pertaining to education and cultural policies as well as seniors and  pension reforms monitoring in the EaP countries

full story

Improving Conditions for Civil Society in a Shifting Environment: Working Group 1 Meeting Report

14 June 2016

On 1-2 June the meeting of the Working Group 1 “Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability” brought together over 60 working group members from the Eastern Partnership and EU countries, as well as officials from EU institutions (the European External Action Service, European Commission and European Parliament).

full story

Implementation of Roadmap for Higher Education Reform in Belarus is Being Sabotaged, Say Experts

09 June 2016

The Ad Hoc Commission of EaP CSF Belarusian National Platform together with the Belarusian Independent Bologna Committee prepared the second Monitoring Report on the Implementation of Belarus Roadmap for Higher Education Reform for the period of January-May 2016.

full story

EaP CSF Has Launched #Visafree Campaign for Georgia and Ukraine

06 June 2016

On 4 June the EaP CSF Steering Committee held a demonstration in front of the Council of the European Union in support of the visa liberalisation for Georgia and Ukraine. The demonstration is accompanied by the social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

full story

Steering Committee Welcomes the Release of Khadija Ismayilova

26 May 2016

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum welcomes the long-awaited release of the investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova from prison. Ms Ismayilova was unjustly persecuted and imprisoned for her journalistic work and served 1.5 years of a 7.5-year prison sentence. Since her sentence has only been reduced to a suspended 3.5-year term, the Committee calls on the authorities to drop all charges against the journalist.

full story

EU Should Refrain from Unnecessary Delays in Visa Liberalization for Georgia and Ukraine

25 May 2016

The EaP CSF Steering Committee (SC) expresses concern over the intention of the EU Member States to couple the Council decision on visa liberalization for Georgia and Ukraine with revising the temporary suspension mechanism of the visa exemption in cases of rapid growth of illegal migration from third countries under Regulation No 539/2001.

full story

Protracted Conflicts at the Core of the CSF Address during the EaP Ministerial Meeting

23 May 2016

On 23 May, Steering Committee Member Ion Manole brought attention of the decision-makers present at the Ministerial Meeting in Brussels to protracted conflicts and other challenges in the Eastern Partnership region.

full story

EaP CSF to Hold a Conference on Improving Conditions for Civil Society in a Shifting Environment

23 May 2016

On 1-2 June the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum will hold the Working Group (WG) 1 “Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability” conference on “Improving Conditions for Civil Society in a Shifting Environment” aimed at discussing the reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and exploring possibilities for facilitating the work of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the EaP region.

full story

Appraisal of Reviewed ENP “ENP Review – Towards Effective EU Action in the Eastern Neighbourhood?” by Vera Rihackova

17 May 2016

Vera Rihackova, the Advocacy Manager at the EaP CSF Secretariat  drafted an appraisal of the reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) entitled “ENP Review – Towards Effective EU Action in the Eastern Neighbourhood?”

full story

Second EaP CSF Steering Committee Meeting Held in Berlin

02 May 2016

Members of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum convened on 18 and 19 April in Berlin for the second time this year. The main topics of discussion included project selection for regranting scheme in 2017, organization of the 8th Annual Assembly in Brussels and planning of two regional events.

full story

Lidia Gromadzka Joins EaP CSF Secretariat as Administrative Manager

29 April 2016

Before joining the EaP CSF Secretariat, Lidia Gromadzka worked as Project Manager at a Brussels-based NGO European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA) where she was responsible for managing project activities and logistics, as well as events planning and organization. She was involved in the supervision and administration of the day-to-day activities of the office helping to ensure efficient office operation and support of the team.

full story

Ukrainian National Platform Calls for More Attention to Collective Rights of Crimean Tatars

29 April 2016

The EaP CSF Unkrainian National Platform (UNP) express our full support for the demand to ensure unimpeded access to Crimea for international missions, independent experts, human rights activists and media and propose to pay more attention to breaches of  the collective rights of indigenous peoples of Crimea – first and foremost, those of the Crimean Tatars.

full story

Panel Discussion on Dialogue between Citizens and Institutions Held at the European Parliament

28 April 2016

The European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) in cooperation with MEP Bogdan Zdrojewski, CORLEAP; Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) and its Belarusian National Platform, EaP CSF members Centre for European Transformation and Lev Sapieha Foundation held a panel discussion entitled "Dialogue between Citizens and Institutions in Belarus - the Way Forward?" The event took place at the European Parliament (EP) on 26 April 2016.

full story

EaP CSF Belarusian National Platform Held a Conference on the Development of the National Platform through New Strategies

27 April 2016

Representatives of about 70 non-governmental organizations gathered in Minsk on 23 April at a special conference to analyze the current situation as well as external and internal challenges that the Belarusian National Platform (BNP) faces.

full story

Former Political Prisoners Call for Structural Reforms in Azerbaijan

26 April 2016

The recently freed human rights activists and civil society representatives Intigam Aliyev, Rasul Jafarov and Anar Mammadli released a joint statement sharing their concern over the state of democracy and human rights in Azerbaijan and called for political reforms.

full story

Steering Committee Co-chairs Express Condolences on the Anniversary of Armenian Genocide

24 April 2016

On the occasion of the 101st anniversary the Co-chairs of the EaP CSF Steering Committee condemn the massacres, known as the Armenian genocide committed by the Ottomans, and extend the condolences to the families of the victims who suffered death and displacement as a result.

full story

Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in EaP CSF Address at Platform 1 Meeting

22 April 2016

EaP CSF address at the Eastern Partnership Multilateral Platform I „Democracy, Good Governance and Stability” on human rights and conflict resolution

full story

Civil Society in Moldova Concerned about Campaign Against Diplomats

21 April 2016

Moldovan civil society organizations expressed their concerns over the statements made by the Judges' Association of Moldova who accused EU diplomats of “interfering with internal affairs”. The criticism of the diplomatic corps is a clear sign of support for the politicians interested in stalling the reform process.

full story

Why Armenians are Successful Everywhere Except Armenia, by Hovsep Khurshudyan

15 April 2016

Armenia's current emigration rate of 4-5% of the whole population annually is the highest in the world. Considering the dire political and economic situation in the country, should we really be surprised?

full story

Georgian National Platform Meets Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection

12 April 2016

On 8 April 2016 together with the Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, the Georgian National Platform organized a sectoral meeting between the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia and the Georgian National platform, pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Government of Georgia (GoG) and the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) Georgian National Platform.

full story

EaP CSF Reacts to Result of the Dutch Referendum on EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

12 April 2016

The Steering Committee highlights that the continuation of the reform process in Ukraine is a key element in strengthening Europe’s common security, and achieving mutual benefit for the Ukrainian people and the Member States of the EU. The referendum result show that much work must still be done if the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood Policy is to be protected from challenges by Eurosceptic minorities as has happened in the Netherlands

full story

Steering Committee and National Platforms React to Military Actions in Nagorno-Karabakh Region

11 April 2016

The recent outbreak of fighting in Nagorno-Karabach brings to the fore the urgent need to resolve the conflict between your two countries in a peaceful, just and equitable way which will enable your  countries to live in peace.

full story

EaP CSF Joins Global Partnership for Social Accountability

04 April 2016

The EaP CSF has recently become a Global Partner of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) established by the World BankBecoming a Global Partner of the GPSA entails an institutional endorsement of the objectives and strategies of the GPSA, as well as partnering in the implementation of its activities. The Global Partners provide invaluable contributions to the goals of the GPSA by sharing lessons from practical experience, networking, academic and technical knowledge.

full story

Results of the EaP CSF Re-granting 2016

25 March 2016

This year in the framework of the re-granting scheme the EaP CSF Secretariat received 59 proposals, out of which 49 passed the eligibility screening. The majority of the eligible proposals were submitted under the priorities of the Working Group 1 “Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance & Stability”, Working Group 2 “Economic Integration & Convergence with EU Policies and “Working Group 4 “Contacts between People”. The Selection Committee decided to provide funding for 17 projects conditionally on the implementation of specific recommendations communicated to the applicants. The selected projects cover at least three Eastern Partnership countries. Not all proposals are fully funded, the grant agreements are expected to be signed in the coming weeks. The selected applicants will be contacted by email after 28 March.

full story

EaP CSF and National Platforms React to Brussels Attacks

23 March 2016

In the light of the unspeakable tragedy that struck Brussels on 22 March 2016, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum expresses its deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the victims affected by the terrorist attacks. We firmly believe that our societies will stay stronger together through these troubling times with even more determination to build security, stability, and the rule of law in all regions of the world.

full story

Security Threats and Challenges to Reforms in the EaP CSF Position at the Euronest PA

22 March 2016

Krzysztof Bobiński, co-chair of the EaP CSF Steering Committee, shared with the Euronest PA the Forum’s view of the situation in the Eastern Partnership. He focused on the major challenges in the EaP countries in these turbulent times, which make the realisation of the CSF mission all the more urgent.

full story

EaP CSF Welcomes Release of Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan, Calls for Lifting Restrictions on CSOs Activities

18 March 2016

The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum welcomes the release of several political prisoners, including our colleague Anar Mammadli, in Azerbaijan on the occasion of the Novruz holiday. This gesture marks a first step towards the establishment of a relationship of trust between the government and civil society at large in Azerbaijan.

full story

Chairman of the Georgian National Platform Kakha Gogolashvili Spoke at EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee Meeting in Brussels

17 March 2016

A meeting of the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee with the participation of civil society, EEAS and DG NEAR representatives was held at the European Parliament on 17 March 2016.The Chairman of the Georgian National Platform (GNP) of the EaP CSF Kakha Gogolashvili commented on monitoring of the Association Agreement (AA) implementation by the GNP against the backdrop of the Memoranda of Cooperation signed between the GNP, the Georgian government and the Georgian Parliament. 

full story

Public Lecture on Minority Rights in Georgia was Held on 11 March 2016 in Brussels

14 March 2016

On 11 March EaP CSF members Minority Rights Group Europe and Eastern Partnership Minorities Network held a lecture on the situation of minorities in Georgia. The event took place at the premises of the EaP CSF Secretariat.

full story

EaP Civil Society Forum Calls for Immediate Measures to Release Nadiya Savchenko

09 March 2016

The Steering Committee and the Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, call for immediate measures to release Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian pilot, officer of the Ukrainian Army, delegate of the Parliamentary Delegation to the Council of Europe, deputy of the Parliament of Ukraine, captured and imprisoned by the Russian authorities.

full story

EaP CSF Participates in a Side Event on Civil Society Space in EaP at the 31st session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva

07 March 2016

The side event hosted by the Permanent Mission of Lithuania was held on 1 March 2016 and aimed at approaching the issue of widening civil society space in the Eastern Partnership region. The speakers, including Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevicius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Mikheil Janelidze and a member of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Ofelya Zalyan stressed that widening of civil society space in EaP region should be pursued by encouraging authorities to understand and acknowledge the value of engaging with a strong and independent civil society.

full story

Memorandum on Cooperation Signed between the EaP CSF National Platform and the Georgian Parliament

02 March 2016

On 26 February 2016, the EaP CSF Georgian National Platform signed Memorandum on Cooperation with the EU Integration Committee of the Georgian Parliament. 

full story

Public Lecture on the Situation of Minorities in Georgia to be Held at the Premises of the EaP CSF Secretariat

25 February 2016

The Eastern Partnership Minorities Network and Minority Rights Group Europe invite you to the public lecture on the situation of minorities in Georgia that will take place on 11 March 2016 at the Secretariat of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.

full story

EaP CSF Member Promo-LEX Wins the ‘Mozer v. Moldova and Russia’ Case in ECHR as Russia Judged Liable for Rights Violation in Transnistrian Region of Moldova

24 February 2016

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rules on 23 February 2016 that the Russian Federation and the Republic of Moldova are obliged to take prompt actions to guarantee a legal framework compatible with the European Convention for the Transnistrian Region, as reads the judgment on the case ‘Mozer v. Moldova and Russia’ represented before the ECHR by lawyers and legal experts of Promo-LEX Association.

full story

The Steering Committee Calls for Talks between the Belarusian Government and the EaP CSF National Platform

23 February 2016

The EaP CSF Steering Committee calls on the Belarusian authorities to initiate talks with representatives of the Belarusian National Platform (BNP) on the establishment of a Belarusian Council of National Dialogue which would bring the authorities  together with independent actors of Belarusian society, such as professional and business communities, religious organisations, the national cultural elite and a wide range of independent civil society organisations to discuss ways of accelerating the country’s development.

full story

Decentralized Cooperation in EaP Countries in the First Issue of the Local Democracy Library Launched by ALDA

23 February 2016

The European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) launched the Local Democracy Library series for publications in the field of good local governance. The first issue of this library presents the benefits of decentralized cooperation as an instrument for engaging local and regional authorities in the Eastern Partnership.

full story

Applications Now Open for the 8th EaP CSF Annual Assembly

22 February 2016

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 8th Annual Assembly of the Forum that will take place on 28-30 November 2016 in Brussels, Belgium.

full story

Azerbaijani Civil Society Calls for Start of Negotiations on DCFTA with EU and WTO Membership

22 February 2016

The Azerbaijani National Platform (NP) considers that the Association Agreement is a unique document on foreign and security policy, law, freedom, economy and culture that underpins a bilateral and deep partnership within the framework of the Eastern Partnership. Moreover, the Association Agreement confirms the possibility of starting negotiations on the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the government of Azerbaijan and the European Union.

full story

Vacancy of Administrative Manager at the EaP CSF Secretariat

21 February 2016

The Secretariat of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is looking to fill in the position of Administrative Manager (part-time 80 per cent – to be confirmed). The Manager will perform a wide variety of professional level administrative support duties involving procedures, organization, planning, contracts, facilities, systems, equipment, supplies, budgets, policies, personnel and special projects. Reporting directly to the Director of the Secretariat, he/she serves as principle point of administrative contact and liaison with internal and external constituencies on the administrative and procurement matters.

full story

EaP CSF Belarusian National Platform Reacts to the Lifting of EU Sanctions against Belarus

19 February 2016

The Belarusian National Platform (BNP) of the EaP CSF reacts to the Council Conclusions on Belarus. The cancellation of the European Union’s (EU) restrictive measures against Belarusian officials responsible for politically motivated reprisals and the use of violence against citizens who peacefully voiced their political views during the 2010 presidential election campaign sends a contradictory message to Belarusian society as Belarus has seen no real democratic change in the last five years. 

full story

Anti-Corruption and Energy Policy in Focus of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform Meeting in Brussels

18 February 2016

On 11 of February 2016, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted in Brussels the 2nd meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform (CSP) to discuss the current state in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, with special focus on anti-corruption and energy policy. 

full story

Threats of Russian Hard and Soft Power in Georgia Analysed in the New Study

15 February 2016

The research “Threats of Russian Hard and Soft Power in Georgia” conducted by the Liberal Academy Tbilisi and lead by the Steering Committee Member Lasha Tughshi seeks to analyse the dynamics of Russian influence in Georgia. Furthermore, it puts forward some recommendations to reduce Georgia’s vulnerability vis à vis Russia’s increasingly intrusive foreign policy.  

full story

EaP Civil Society Forum Welcomes the EP Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in Crimea

05 February 2016

The Steering Committee (SC) of the EaP Civil Society Forum welcomes the adoption of the European Parliament (EP) resolution of 4 February 2016 on the human rights situation in Crimea, in particular of the Crimean Tatars. The resolution is timely and of crucial importance since it puts the pressing issue of human rights abuses in Crimea on the EU’s agenda.

full story

PACE Adopts Resolutions for Effective Protection of Human Rights Defenders and NGOs; Case of EaP CSF member Promo-LEX Presented

04 February 2016

In recognition of the invaluable work of human rights defenders for the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental values, as well as of the activities of all the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) whose work has strengthened human rights, democracy and the rule of law in their countries, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted on 28 January 2016 two Resolutions calling on the member states to take a number of measures in order to effectively protect human rights defenders and NGOs on their territories.

full story

First EaP CSF Steering Committee Meeting of This Year Was Held in Brussels

03 February 2016

Steering Committee (SC) members of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) gathered on 28 and 29 January for their first meeting of this year to define the main priorities of the Forum and decide on its 2016 working programme. During the first meeting of the year, the Steering Committee elects its co-Chairs. This year, Krzysztof Bobiński of Unia & Polska Foundation was chosen to continue his work as EU co-Chair and Uladzislau Vialichka of International Consortium EUROBELARUS took the role of EaP co-Chair.

full story

EaP CSF Regranted Projects on DCFTA Implementation Presented at the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU

02 February 2016

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and the Eastern Europe Studies Centre from Lithuania held on 27 January the panel discussion: “DCFTA Implementation in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine: Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Opportunities”. The event took place at the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union and was opened by H.E. Jovita Neliupšiené, Lithuanian Permanent Representative to the EU.

full story

EaP CSF Concerned about the Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in Armenia

01 February 2016

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is concerned about the increasing number of human rights violations of civil and political activists by Armenian authorities. Since the beginning of 2016, Armenian authorities have tightened repression against political opponents and by arresting one more activist increased the number of political prisoners to 13.

full story

EaP CSF Addresses Open Letter on the Situation in Moldova to High Representative Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn

29 January 2016

At its first meeting this year, the new Steering Committee (SC) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) addressed an open letter on current developments in Moldova to High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn.

full story

Civil Society Representatives in Moldova Condemn the Undemocratic Manner of Forming the New Government

22 January 2016

Moldovan Civil Society Organizations, including the Moldovan National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), signed today on 22 January 2016, the Declaration condemning the methods used for voting the new Government contrary to democratic norms and the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova.

full story

Ad Hoc Commission of the Belarusian National Platform Highlights Little Progress in the Implementation of EHEA Fundamental Academic Values

20 January 2016

The Ad Hoc Commission of EaP CSF Belarusian National Platform prepared the Monitoring Report on the Implementation of Belarus Roadmap for Higher Education Reform for the period of June-December 2015.

The Commission analysed the progress of the implementation in the areas of the Ministry of Education’s planning, transparency, social dimension of higher education, and fundamental values. It concluded that although the Ministry of Education undertook steps to begin the Roadmap implementation on paper, in reality, a climate of intimidation persists in Belarusian universities and there is little progress in the implementation of EHEA fundamental academic values.

full story

Panel Discussion and Presentation of EaP CSF Regranted Projects on DCFTA Implementation

18 January 2016

On 27 January 2016 (16h00-17h30), the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) together with the Eastern Europe Studies Centre from Lithuania will co-organize at the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union the event “DCFTA Implementation in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine: Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Opportunities”.

full story

2nd Call for Project Proposals under EaP CSF Re-granting Scheme

15 January 2016

Following the success of the previous year, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) Secretariat is launching the 2nd Call for Proposals in order to support projects of the EaP CSF members with a regional dimension that can contribute to achieving the mission and objectives of the EaP CSF.

full story

Civil Society Involvement in EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Discussed at the National Platform Meeting in Baku

08 January 2016

On 23 December, a regular meeting of the Azerbaijani National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) took place at the NGO resource and training center in Baku. The main issues discussed at the meeting were the increasing role of civil society in the country, the expansion of cooperation with European institutions and the identification of areas of cooperation between civil society and the government in the framework of the Eastern Partnership.

full story

EaP CSF Study on AAs/DCFTAs Implementation in Moldova and Ukraine Presented in Vilnius

22 December 2015

In the framework of a project under the new re-granting scheme of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) the Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC), Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Studies (PFIRS) and Foreign Policy Association of Moldova (APE) prepared an analytical study “Economic Challenges of Ukraine and Moldova on the Way to the European Union”.

full story

Steering Committee Supports the ANP Statement and Demands the Annulment of the Constitutional Referendum in Armenia

21 December 2015

In support of the Armenian National Platform statement on the conduct of the Constitutional referendum held on 6 December 2015 and taking into account the reports from independent observers, the Steering Committee of the EaP CSF  states that the whole process of the vote failed to legitimise the proposed amendments and thus undermines the  right of the authorities to enact laws, govern and enter into international agreements on the basis of the new constitution.

full story

Steering Committee Welcomes the Release of Leyla Yunus and Calls for Renewal of Cooperation between Government and Civil Society in Azerbaijan

21 December 2015

The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum welcomes the decision of the government of Azerbaijan to transfer the human rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband Arif Yunus from prison to home on health grounds in hope that this step will be followed in the cases of other imprisoned human rights defenders and representatives of civil society in such a way that they will be able to return home and normally continue their activities. 

full story

Letter from Chişinău by EaP CSF member Igor Boțan

17 December 2015

Igor Boțan, the Executive Director of the EaP CSF member – the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT from Moldova, provided his assessment of the EU policies for the Republic of Moldova in the Capitals Series of Carnegie Europe's Strategic Europe run by Judy Dempsey.

full story

EaP Platform 3 on Energy Security Held its 14th Meeting in Brussels

15 December 2015

The 14th Meeting of the EaP Platform 3 on Energy Security was held on 11 December 2015 in Brussels to discuss regional‪ energy cooperation, the impact of the ‪ENP Review on the EaP and the state of the ‪Energy Union along with other topical subjects. 

full story

EaP CSF members ALDA and Lev Sapieha Foundation Publish the Results of their Joint Project - Tandem II

11 December 2015

The European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) and the public NGO Foundation for Democratic Reforms Support ‘Lev Sapieha’, which are EaP CSF members from the Public Administration subgroup of the Working Group 2, co-implemented the project TANDEM II “Cooperation for Citizen Participation and Community Development in Belarus”. 

full story

Armenian National Platform Demands that the Referendum Results are Nullified

10 December 2015

The Armenian National Platform (ANP) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum adopted a statement on numerous violations recorded during the 6 December 2015 referendum on amendments to the Armenian Constitution. The ANP members expressed their deep concern regarding numerous violations recorded during the preparation, conduct and vote counting of the 6 December referendum on amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (RA).

full story

Moldovan National Platform is Deeply Concerned about the Conduct of the Judiciary Reform and Fight against Corruption

09 December 2015

Moldovan National Platform (MNP) of the EaP CSF Issued a Declaration expressing its deep concern about the inconsistency of Moldovan authorities in conducting the judiciary reform and fight against corruption in the country.

full story

Members of the European Parliament Signed a Letter of Support for Visa Liberalisation to Ukraine and Georgia

04 December 2015

As a result of close cooperation between the EaP CSF and the European Parliament, MEPs Michaela Šojdrová, Sandra Kalniete, Jaromír Štětina and Petras Auštrevičius initiated a letter of support for visa-free regime to Ukraine and Georgia to draw the attention of the European Council and the European Commission to the substantial progress achieved by these countries in fulfilling the requirements of the visa-liberalisation package, especially in anti-corruption and anti-discrimination areas.

full story

EaP CSF Co-organized the Panel Discussion: Visa Liberalisation for Ukraine - Is the EU Ready to Support It?

04 December 2015

On 1 December 2015, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum together with the Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels, International Renaissance Foundation and the EPP Group of the European Parliament co-organized a panel discussion on challenges and prospects of visa liberalisation for Ukraine. The event was hosted at the European Parliament by MEPs Michaela Šojdrová, Sandra Kalniete and Jaromír Štětina, who addressed the audience with welcoming remarks. 

full story

EaP CSF Addressed Open Letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron

02 December 2015

Participants of the 7th Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) in Kyiv addressed an open letter to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron and the Secretary of State for Justice of the United Kingdom Michael Gove expressing a deep concern about the current debate within the ruling Conservative Party in the United Kingdom which appears to be moving to change the country’s relationship with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and to replace the existing British Human Rights Act that incorporates the European Convention with a new Bill of Rights which could curtail previously granted rights.

 

full story

Conference of the EaP CSF Belarusian National Platform Took Place in Minsk

02 December 2015

The Belarusian National Platform (BNP) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum held a two-day conference under the title "Development of the National Platform: new challenges, new strategies".

full story

EaP CSF Represented at the 6th Eastern Partnership Informal Ministerial Dialogue in Tbilisi by Kakha Gogolashvili

27 November 2015

The 6th Eastern Partnership Informal Ministerial Dialogue was held in Tbilisi on 26-27 November in Tbilisi.

Kakha Gogolashvili, Deputy Chairman of EaP SCF Georgian National Platform, addressed the EaP Informal Ministerial Meeting on behalf of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.

full story

Letter from Minsk by EaP CSF Co-Chair Andrei Yahorau

25 November 2015

EaP CSF Co-Chair Andrei Yahorau provided an evaluation of the EU foreign policy towards Belarus in the Capitals Series of Judy Dempsey's Strategic Europe. The series explores how EU foreign policy is viewed by six countries in the EU’s Eastern neighborhood. 

full story

New ENP and Civil Society’s Place in Focus of the 7th EaP CSF Annual Assembly

24 November 2015

The 7th EaP CSF Annual Assembly was held in Kyiv on 19-21 November attracting around 300 participants, observers and guests who attended more than 20 sessions and a Networking Fair in the framework of the Assembly. The event was opened by the Commissioner Hahn and Prime Minister Yatseniuk.

full story

EaP CSF Presented Special Award to Chancellor Angela Merkel at the 7th Annual Assembly in Kyiv

23 November 2015

At the official opening of the 7th Annual Assembly of the EaP CSF in Kyiv, Ukraine, the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum presented a special award to Chancellor Merkel in recognition of her contribution to the European Union’s Eastern Partnership policy. The award was handed by EaP CSF Steering Committee Co-Chair Krzysztof Bobiński to German Ambassador to Ukraine Dr Christof Weil.

full story

New Steering Committee of the EaP CSF Elected at the 7th Annual Assembly

23 November 2015

At the 7th Annual Assembly in Kyiv, the members of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum elected the new Steering Committee for 2015-2016.

full story

EaP CSF Adopted Nine Resolutions at the 7th Annual Assembly in Kyiv, Ukraine

23 November 2015

Every year, a number of resolutions are adopted by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum during its Annual Assembly - the highest decision-making body of the Forum. This year, there were adopted nine resolutions on the topics of major concern for the EaP CSF.

full story

EaP CSF Working Group 4 Awarded Winners of Photo Contest “Youth Creates Contacts between People” at the 7th Annual Assembly

23 November 2015

At the 7th Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) in Kiev, were announced the winners of the Photo Contest “Youth Creates Contacts between People!", which was conducted in October-November 2015 by the EaP CSF Working Group 4 in partnership with SALTO Eastern Europe and Caucasus Resource Centre.

full story

Three Prominent Activists of Euromaidan Receive EaP CSF Awards at the Annual Assembly

20 November 2015

Since this year's EaP CSF Annual Assembly coincided with the second anniversary of Euromaidan the Ukrainian National Platform held a vote to select three prominent activists of the movement in the three categories: advocate, volunteer, and journalist.

full story

Follow Live Webstream: Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

20 November 2015

Watch the Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum live on 20 November.

full story

EaP CSF to Co-organize a Discussion Panel on EU Visa Liberalisation for Ukraine

18 November 2015

On 1 December 2015, the EaP CSF will co-organize the panel discussion "Visa Liberalisation for Ukraine - Is the EU Ready To Support It?" hosted at the European Parliament by MEPs Michaela Šojdrová, Sandra Kalniete and Jaromír Štětina. Opening remarks will be delivered by Michaela Šojdrová, MEP (EPP), Sandra Kalniete, MEP (EPP Vice-Chair), Jaromír Štětina, MEP (EPP), Iryna Sushko, Executive Director, Europe without Barriers, Natalia Yerashevich, Director, Secretariat of the EaP CSF, Dmytro Shulga, the European Programme Director, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF)

full story

Civil Society and Government Set to Work Together on pro-EU Reforms in Georgia

17 November 2015

Georgian Civil Society Organisations grouped in the EaP CSF National Platform will be working closely with the Georgian government on implementing the country’s Association Agreement (AA) with the EU, under a groundbreaking deal signed in Tbilisi on 13 November 2015.

full story

What Threat for Russia in EU-Ukraine DCFTA?

09 November 2015

Russia has little to fear from the introduction of the DCFTA, a free trade deal between Ukraine and the European Union next 1 January, a report prepared in 2014 by a research institute working under the aegis of the Russian Academy of Sciences has concluded.

full story

EaP CSF Working Group 4 Announces the Photo Contest “Youth Creates Contacts between People”

26 October 2015

At the initiative of the Ukrainian National Platform, the Working Group 4 of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum announces the Photo Contest “Youth Creates Contacts between People!” organized in partnership with SALTO Eastern Europe and Caucasus Resource Centre.

full story

EaP CSF Workshop on Energy Union and Energy Security in EaP Countries

21 October 2015

On 20 October 2015, the Workshop on Energy Union and Energy Security in EaP Countries was carried out as part of the EaP CSF re-granting scheme. During the workshop led by EaP CSF member World Experience for Georgia (WEG), energy experts from EaP countries presented their policy papers and discussed the main findings of the joint project with the EU representatives: Marion Schiller-Probst (DG ENER, European Commission), Natalja Miolato (DG NEAR, European Commission) and Camelia Suică (EEAS). The main goal of the joint project was to increase the capacity of EaP CSOs in promoting an enhanced cooperation between the EU and EaP countries in energy security under the new EU initiative – Energy Union.

full story

EaP CSF Held a Debate on EU-Belarus Relations in the European Parliament

19 October 2015

On 14 October, in the wake of the Belarusian presidential ‪election, ‪the panel discussion on the state of ‪EU-‪Belarus relations was organised by the EaP CSF and hosted by MEP Bogdan Zdrojewski at the European Parliament. The panellists, Dirk Schübel (European External Action Service), EaP CSF Co-Chair Andrei Yahorau, Anna Gerasimova (Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House) and Vladimir Dunaev (Belarusian Independent Bologna Committee) deliberated on the future of the EU-Belarus relations. The fruitful discussion covered a number of topical issues affecting EU engagement with Belarus, and the role of the civil society in pushing forward reforms in the country.

full story

Ukraine Does Not Pose a “Migration Threat” to the European Union

16 October 2015

In an article published on the news portal EurActiv, Iryna Sushko and Kateryna Kulchytska from ‪EaP CSF member organization, the Ukrainian think tank “Europe without Barriers”, show that despite political unrest and internal conflict, ‪‎Ukraine does not pose any “‪‎migration threat” to the EU.

full story

EaP CSF Members React to Belarus Elections and Suspension of EU Sanctions

15 October 2015

European Union sanctions against Belarus have been suspended by the European Council pending the publication of the final report early next year on the recent presidential election by OSCE/ODIHR and the Council of Europe and OSCE Parliamentary Assemblies. The peaceful nature of the election is an important element of the thaw in relations between Brussels and Minsk, which includes recognition by the EU of the efforts to mediate between Russia and Ukraine and the freeing on August 22 of the last six politicial prisoners in Belarus. Civic society organisations have reacted positively to these changes while remaining determined to pursue their aim of establishing a  democratic society by working for change whenever and wherever possible. However, the conduct of the election shows that President Aleksander Lukashenko has no intention of relinquishing his grip on the main levers of power.

full story

Vera Rihackova Joins EaP CSF Secretariat as Advocacy and Membership Manager

12 October 2015

Before joining the EaP CSF Secretariat, Vera Rihackova worked as a Senior Research Fellow at EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, a Prague-based think-tank, and as a Project development officer at DiploFoundation. In 2010-2011 and 2012-2013, she served as Member of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Steering Committee. 

full story

EaP CSF Panel Discussion on EU-Belarus relations: a new round of engagement in the new geopolitical situation?

07 October 2015

On 14 October 2015 at 12h30, Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum will hold in the premises of the European Parliament in Brussels the panel discussion on the future of EU-Belarus relations. MEP Bogdan Zdrojewski, Chair of the Delegation for relations with Belarus will open the discussion, which will take place after the presidential elections of 11 October 2015. The panellists will deliberate on the fate of the EU sanctions on Belarus while seeking to answer the major question of whether new geopolitical realities dictate an improvement in relations despite the flawed electoral processes and continued violations of human rights.

full story

Association Agreements and DCFTA: Lessons Learnt and Ways Ahead

02 October 2015

On 23-25 September the EaP CSF held a capacity building seminar on the National Platforms’ (NPs) participation in Association Agreements (AAs)/Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) implementation. During the 3 days of the event more than 60 participants took part in 5 panel discussions and 7 parallel sessions with the aim to produce recommendations on increasing the effectiveness of civil society’s involvement in the implementation process. The final report based on the developed recommendations will be published in the coming weeks.

full story

Moldovan Anti-corruption Demonstrators to Set up a New Political Party

28 September 2015

“Anti-corruption activists are planning a political challenge to Moldova’s main parties after massive demonstrations in Chisinau since the spring,” Igor Botan, one of the members of the group “Dignity and Truth” that organised the demonstrations, has said. The latest demonstration on 13 September gathered tens of thousands who demanded early parliamentary elections and the punishment of those responsible for defrauding the country’s banks of 1 billion USD.

full story

Armenian National Platform Issues Statement in Reaction to Government's Initiative for Constitutional Reforms

23 September 2015

In reaction to the official announcement of the incumbent government of Armenia to put on referendum the revision of the Armenian constitution in December this year, Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum issued a statement expressing its position on this matter. 

full story

EaP CSF to be Represented in the Steering Committee of the EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme

21 September 2015

Six EaP CSF members will represent the Forum in the Steering Committee of the EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme. The Programme supports the cultural and creative sectors’ contribution to sustainable humanitarian, social and economic development in the EaP countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and it is funded by the European Union, and implemented by a consortium led by the British Council, in partnership with the Soros Foundation Moldova, the National Centre for Culture of Poland and the Goethe-Institut.

full story

Open Letter of Co-chair Bobinski to European Parliamentarians Observing Forthcoming Presidential Election in Belarus

18 September 2015

Mr Krzysztof Bobinski, Co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) addressed today an open letter to the attention of parliamentarians observing the forthcoming presidential election in Belarus. The letter highlights the significance of election observation missions for the proper conduct of free and fair elections in Belarus. Election observation missions by European institutions such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), and the European Parliament continue to be a beacon for those in the EaP countries who believe that, one day, free and fair elections will become a reality throughout the region. For this reason, Mr Bobinski calls on election observers to perform their duties conscientiously and report their conclusions about the conduct of elections without any bias or regard for the feelings of their country’s rulers.

full story

Belarusian National Platform Expresses Position on the Future EU-Belarus Cooperation

15 September 2015

In the light of recent revival of EU-Belarus relations, the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum took the opportunity to express its own position on these developments and further EU-Belarus cooperation. Acknowledging the importance of the EU-Belarus negotiations on the Interim Phase of Modernization Dialogue, the ongoing progress towards the signing of agreement on visa facilitation, as well as the first round of the EU-Belarus Human Rights Dialogue, the Belarusian National Platform welcomed the overall progress in the relations between Belarus and the EU. 

full story

Civil Society to Discuss Implementation Progress One Year after Association Agreements Signed

07 September 2015

On 23-25 September EaP CSF will gather in Tbilisi, Georgia over 60 representatives of civil society, EaP governments and EU institutions to discuss the progress and share experience on implementing Association Agreements and creating Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). The bilateral agreements between EU and 3 Eastern Partners (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) were signed in June 2014 with a long-term perspective of closer political association and economic integration. Up to 60 representatives of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum from 6 EaP countries, EaP Government representatives, and EU institutions

full story

Mikalai Statkevich: Hero, Politician, Person - Opinion by the EaP CSF Co-Chair

27 August 2015

The release of political prisoners will result in the improvement of Belarus’ relations with the European Union and the United States, but not in the recognition of the presidential election and its winner. Today, Statkevich’s authority is sufficient for the launch of a real protest movement, but for this to happen he has to act contrary to the plans of the Belarusian authorities, as well as contrary to the opposition leaders’ habitual petty intrigues.

full story

Steering Committee Welcomes Political Prisoners' Release in Belarus, Urges Authorities to Improve Human Rights Record

26 August 2015

The EaP CSF Steering Committee (SC) welcomes the decision of the Belarusian authorities to release six political prisoners – Mikalai Statkevich, Ihar Alinevich, Mikalai Dziadok, Euheny Vaskovich, Arytsom Prakapenka and Yury Rubtsou. The Steering Committee calls on the Belarusian government to rehabilitate these and other former political prisoners and to fully restore their civil and political rights. The SC also thanks those European Union and Member State officials who have in the past months worked hard for the release of these prisoners and call on the EU to maintain a principled approach in its policy vis-à-vis Belarus.

full story

Steering Committee Appalled by the Court Decision in the Cases of Leyla and Arif Yunus

20 August 2015

The Steering Committee (SC) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, as much as the international community, is appalled by the news from Azerbaijan on the sentencing of Dr Leyla Yunus, Director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, historian and renowned human rights activist, and her husband, famous historian Dr Arif Yunus.

full story

Participants Selected for the 7th Annual Assembly (20-21 November, Kyiv)

04 August 2015

This year there were 425 applicants for the Annual Assembly, out of which 236 organisations have been selected to take part in the Forum either in the capacity of a participant or observer in line with the eligibility guidelines (drawing on shortlists by the country coordinators in conjunction with the national platforms, the working group coordinators, and the European Union delegations in the six Eastern Partnership countries). 54% of the selected delegates coming to Kyiv have not attended the Annual Assembly of the Forum in Batumi in 2014. 28% of the attendees are new participants who never attended the Forum.

full story

Working Group 2 Annual Meeting Report

31 July 2015

More than 25 participants and external guests gathered for the two-day Working Group 2 Conference in Brussels, Belgium. The objectives of this event were:
1. To provide an update on policies and projects/actions happening in EaP on Platform 2 areas
2. To encourage the development of regional perspectives and joint support initiatives
3. To explore the situation with SME policy in the 6 countries – identify good practices
4. To share project initiatives and identify common actions until the Annual Assembly.

full story

Advocacy and Membership Manager Position at the EaP CSF Secretariat

29 July 2015

The Secretariat of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) is looking for an Advocacy and Membership Manager who will have a strategic role within the Secretariat focusing on advocacy, membership and internal communications. The Advocacy and Membership Manager will be responsible for providing strategic political analysis to support the development and implementation of effective advocacy strategies with institutional, governmental or other relevant actors. Along with advancing core campaigns, the Manager will identify and coordinate research on topical issues for the Forum. The Advocacy and Membership Manager will work with the Steering Committee, Working Groups and National Platforms of the EaP CSF on achieving the advocacy goals of the Forum as specified in the Forum’s strategy. Reporting to the Director of the Secretariat, the person will be responsible for the internal communications of the Forum and will be successfully communicating the activities of the Forum to its internal and external audiences focusing on the results and impact achieved. 

full story

Call for Grant Applications: Civil Society Monitoring of Public Service Delivery and Public Accountability

24 July 2015

Grants supporting civil society actions to monitor the effectiveness of government resource allocation and public service delivery are being made available under Partners in Empowerment, an EU-funded project led by PASOS (Policy Association for an Open Society), working closely with country partners and the Partnership for Transparency Fund e.V.

full story

New Cultural Policy of Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Georgia - Call for Experts

16 July 2015

The Centre for Cultural Management (Ukraine), together with partner institutions announces a call for experts to participate in the project "Cultural Code Eastern Partnership", which aims to develop the concept and roadmap of the new National Cultural Policy of Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia.

full story

Working Group 4 Annual Meeting Report

14 July 2015

Taking place in Brussels on 16-17 June 2015, the meeting brought together 40 working group participants and EU officials from the European Commission and EU organisations (European Seniors Union, Age Platform Europe, European Association for the Education of Adults).

full story

Working Group 5 Annual Meeting Report

08 July 2015

The EaP CSF Working Group 5 on social and labour policies and social dialogue convened for its meeting in Vilnius on 18 June. Some 12 participants from trade unions, think tanks, NGOs from the EaP countries and EU and, as well as the officials from the Lithuanian ministry of Social Affairs and Labour took part in the meeting. The meeting was chaired by Daiva Kvedaraite (Lithuanian Trade Union Solidarumas). In her opening speech, Kristina Krupavičienė (President of Lithuanian Trade Union Solidarumas) presented Lithuanian experience in developing the new social model.

full story

Georgian National Platform Discusses Visa Liberalisation with Government and Parliament

06 July 2015

On 4 July the Georgian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum organized the meeting “Visa Liberalisation – Current Situation and Future Perspectives” in the Parliament of Georgia. The meeting gathered Georgian parliamentarians, representatives of the government and experts from the Georgian National Platform (NP). Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Gigi Gigiadze who is the leading negotiator with the EU in the visa liberalisation process delivered a keynote address.

full story

Internship with the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Secretariat

03 July 2015

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum(EaP CSF)  is accepting applications for an internship. The Intern will assist the Director of the Secretariat and the Communications Manager in administrative, policy and communication related tasks.

full story

EU Decision-Makers Discuss Situation in Armenia with National Platform Coordinator

03 July 2015

Following the recent developments in Armenia as a reaction to the electricity price hike, Mikayel Hovhannisyan, Coordinator of the Armenian National Platform, met with several decision-makers in Brussels to inform them about the situation on the ground.

full story

Stability Is Impossible without Democracy and Good Governance, Reminds Bobinski at EaP Platform 1 Meeting

02 July 2015

On 1 July the co-coordinators of the EaP CSF Working Group 1 Volodymyr Kuprii and Krzysztof Bobinski attended the meeting of the Eastern Partnership Platform 1 “Democracy, Good Governance and Stability” in Brussels.

full story

Working Group 3 Annual Meeting Report

01 July 2015

On 5 June 2015 the Working Group 3 meeting took place in Brussels, gathering 16 working group members and EU officials from EU institutions (DG Energy, DG Environment, DG NEAR). The one-day meeting focused on learning and exchange in the three main policy areas of the WG: environment, climate change, and energy security. 

full story

Co-Chair of EaP CSF Steering Committee Delivers Speech at EaP Informal Ministerial in Minsk

30 June 2015

On 29 June, Andrei Yahorau participated in the 5th EaP Informal Ministerial Meeting in Minsk. The meeting which gathered foreign ministers of the EaP countries, EU Institutions representatives as well as the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn aimed at reflecting on the results of the Riga summit and discussing on how to take the Partnership forward across the agreed areas of cooperation.

full story

Engaging Civil Society in Monitoring Conflict of Interests

30 June 2015

The idea of engaging civil society organisations in monitoring the conflict of interest (CoI) was born during an Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. At the Assembly Transparency International Moldova presented their monitoring results to the members of the Anti-corruption subgroup of Working Group 1 and the EaP CSF members expressed their interest to apply the Moldovan methodology in their own countries. In this project, six partner NGOs from Armenia, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine (TI-Moldova, Stefan Batory Foundation, TI-Armenia, Eurasia Partnership Foundation – Armenia, TI-Ukraine and the Ukrainian Institute for Public Policies) have worked jointly over the past two years to consolidate the capacity of civil society organisations in monitoring conflict of interest policies.

full story

Belarusian National Platform Elects New Coordination Committee

28 June 2015

During the conference of the Belarusian National Platform organised on 25 June in Minsk the members elected the new Coordinating Committee and Sviatlana Karaliova (Belarusian Organization of Working Women) as its new chair. The meeting was held under the title “Civil Society in Belarus: Challenges of Stagnation and Governmentalization of the Third Sector”. The aim of the event was to discuss how to prevent the governmentalization of the Belarusian National Platform.

full story

EaP CSF Secretariat Meets Junior Diplomats from Eastern Partnership countries

26 June 2015

On 26 June, a group of Eastern Partnership (EaP) young diplomats who are the participants of the Clingendael programme visited EaP CSF Secretariat premises to learn about the organisation activities and its involvement in fostering the bilateral and multilateral EU relations with the countries from the region.  

full story

Steering Committee Condemns Illegal Actions against Protesters in Yerevan

24 June 2015

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum strongly condemns the illegal actions of the Armenian authorities and demands the immediate cessation of all persecution of citizens of Armenia who are acting within the requirements of the Armenian Constitution and legislation.

full story

Provisional Results of the Selection for EaP CSF Sub-Grants

19 June 2015

In the framework of the re-granting scheme the EaP CSF Secretariat received 41 proposals, out of which 32 passed the eligibility screening. The majority of the proposals were submitted under the priorities of the Working Group 1 “Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance & Stability” and Working Group 4 “Contacts between People”. The Selection Panel decided to provide funding for 16 projects conditionally on the implementation of specific recommendations communicated to the applicants. Most of the selected projects cover more than three Eastern Partnership countries. The grant agreements are expected to be signed in the coming weeks.

full story

EaP Countries Should Not Expect Miracles from EU but Do Their Homework: Working Group 1 Meeting Report

16 June 2015

Taking place in Brussels on 8 - 9 June 2015, the meeting brought together 50 working group members from the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU and EU officials from the EU institutions (European External Action Service and the European Commission). The focus of the first day of the meeting was on challenges and solutions with regard to the human rights situation in the Eastern Partnership countries and promotion of women’s leadership in the region. The results of the Riga summit and the progress of reforms implementation were evaluated. The second day discussions focused on finding ways to ensure that the EaP region becomes conflict-free and secure and discussion of the situation with media freedom and the impact of Russian propaganda in the EaP countries. The meeting then concluded with the subgroups developing their action plans, discussing future projects and contributions to the ENP review.

full story

How Should the Eastern Partnership Benefits Be Communicated? - Working Group 4 Discussion with Policy Makers

16 June 2015

On 16-17 June Working Group 4 “Contacts between People” organizes the conference “Communicating the Benefits of the Eastern Partnership: Opportunities for Policies and Instruments of the People-to-People Dimension”. The event aims at exploring the communication aspects of the Eastern Partnership and includes the exchange with policy makers, capacity building and advocacy parts.

full story

Integrated Social Services System in Armenia and Ukraine

10 June 2015

International Conference “Integrated Social Services System in Armenia and Ukraine was held on 9 June in Armavir (Armenia). The conference was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within the framework of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Armavir Development Center (Armenia) and Bureau of Social and Political Developments (Ukraine), members of the EaP CSF Working Group 5 “Social & Labour Policies and Social Dialogue”, are working on the programme that promotes the social services reform in the participating states and provides for the possibility of the best practices exchange among CSOs.

full story

Judy Dempsey Discusses Results of EaP CSF Security Conference in Her Strategic Europe Blog

08 June 2015

Judy Dempsey’s Strategic Europe offers insightful analysis, fresh commentary, and concrete policy recommendations from some of Europe’s keenest international affairs observers.

full story

Civil Society Contributions to Human Rights and Reform Agenda

05 June 2015

On 8-9 June the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) is organising the advocacy conference “Civil Society Contributions to Human Rights and Reform Agenda” aiming at engaging in dialogue with EU decision-makers and human rights organisations. The conference is aimed to explore areas of vital interest to strengthening democracy, human rights and stability in the region, looking at the civil society contribution to the reform agenda in the areas of human rights, security, media freedom, visa facilitation and women’s leadership. A high level closing panel will engage with the participants on the road after Riga Summit and focus of the future reviewed Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

full story

Working Group 3 Annual Meeting: Capacity Building and Exchange with Policy Makers

04 June 2015

Working Group 3 “Environment, Climate Change and Energy Security” of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) is holding its annual meeting on 5 June in Brussels during the European Green Week. The meeting is divided into two parts - the exchange with policy makers and capacity building.

full story

Kyiv Security Perspectives - Towards a Security Agenda for the Eastern Partnership

03 June 2015

On 3-5 June 2015 the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) and its Ukrainian Platform is organising in Kyiv the International Security Experts Conference ‘Kyiv Security Perspectives - Towards a Security Agenda for the Eastern Partnership’.

full story

Riga Highlights: EaP CSF Leading Change

26 May 2015

On 19-21 May the members of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) took part in 2nd Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference (EaP CSC) and the 1st Eastern Partnership Media Conference held in Riga. Apart from being active participants, moderators and speakers, EaP CSF members organised a number of advocacy actions to draw attention of the decision makers to the issues on the ground and urge EU to take necessary steps.

full story

Reaction of the EaP CSF Steering Committee to the Riga Summit Joint Declaration

22 May 2015

The Steering Committee (SC) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), welcomed that the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga has reaffirmed the importance of democracy, rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms as the core of the Eastern Partnership. However, the SC is concerned that the Summit did not reflect on the growing unfavourable environment for civil society activities in EaP countries and insufficient opportunities for the civil society to contribute to reforms. We call on the EU an EaP governments to improve this situation.

full story

Highlights of the 1st Eastern Partnership Media Conference, 19-20 May in Riga

21 May 2015

On 19-20 May, the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council in cooperation with the European Commission, the European External Action Service and the Media Sub-Group of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum organised a 1st Eastern Partnership Media Conference. Over 400 participants including journalists, media professionals, experts, managers, policymakers, media advocacy groups, NGOs dealing with media issues, representatives from think tanks and agencies that regulate the media, as well as academics and politicians from the Eastern Partnership countries – and the Member States were in attendance at this lead-up to the 4th Eastern Partnership Summit event.

full story

Civil Society Conference Recommendations to Riga Summit Focus on Information Propaganda and Visa-free Regime

21 May 2015

Creation of mechanism reducing the negative effects of propaganda, increase of NATO and EaP state cooperation in deterring new hybrid wars, and granting a visa-free regime for Georgia and Ukraine. These and other recommendations were presented, and incorporated, in the recommendation paper of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference where the EaP CSF members had a leadership role. These recommendations will be presented to the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit.

full story

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference Adopts Special Resolution on Political Prisoners

21 May 2015

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference in Riga unanimously adopted a special resolution on political prisoners proposed by the human rights defender and former political prisoner Ales Bialiatski. The resolution calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Belarus and Armenia.

full story

Belarusian National Platform's Statement on the Eve of the Riga Summit

19 May 2015

The Belarusian National Platform of the EaP CSF comprising 69 organizations adopted a statement on the eve of the Riga Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit expressing the concern about the situation in the EaP region, as well as the current condition and development of the EaP initiative as a whole.

full story

Russian TV Messages: West Is Plotting against Russia?

18 May 2015

Brussels, 18 May 2015 - Russian viewers of television news and current affairs are being told that their country has been targeted by the United States in a ‘western plot’ to bring their country to its knees, according to a monitoring report.

full story

Judicial Harassment of Civil Society Organisations in Transnistria Must Stop

13 May 2015

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum strongly condemns the initiation of a so-called criminal investigation by the de facto Transnistrian authorities against the human rights organisation Promo-LEX.

full story

Steering Committee Urges EU to Offer Visa-Free Regime to Georgia and Ukraine from 1 January 2016

08 May 2015

In light of the EU Commission assessment of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plans implementation of by Georgia and Ukraine, the Steering Committee (SC) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) calls for an accelerated conclusion of the visa liberalisation process by the EU in respect of these countries. The SC urges the Riga Eastern Partnership summit to offer visa-free travel to citizens of Georgia and Ukraine from 1 January 2016.

full story

Civil Society Forum Calls for More Visionary and Participatory Eastern Partnership

06 May 2015

Brussels, 6 May 2015 – Ahead of the Riga Summit taking place in a complex geopolitical situation, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) calls on the EU to stay true to its values in the Eastern Partnership policies, work towards deliverables and communicate benefits of EU integration in a more efficient manner. In light of the European Neighbourhood Policy Review, EU membership perspective, visa-free regime and empowering civil society in the Eastern Partnership countries are among the key messages.

full story

Banking System Investigation in Moldova Should be Transparent, Hold Accountable the Responsible and Involve Concrete Actions

04 May 2015

Following the uncertain situation in Moldova concerning the banking system investigation, in particular Banca de Economii, Banca Sociala and Unibank, the EaP CSF Moldovan National Platform issued a statement calling for transparency and accountability. The National Platform considers the statements by the U.S. investigative consultancy Kroll that performed audit of suspicions transactions to be unacceptable, unreasonable and contradictory to the national interests. The absence of official information about the actions of the responsible institutions and the fact that Kroll’s report was not made public continue to discredit state institutions.

full story

Transparency and Strategy Needed in EU Budget Support to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine

28 April 2015

The report “EU Budget Support to Eastern Partnership Countries” evaluates the EU funding instruments in the cases of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine. The report encourages the EU to strengthen cooperation through joint monitoring, evaluation processes and risk assessments, as well as to elaborate on a more reasonable, precise and easily measurable conditionality framework that can go beyond political approximation.

full story

Steering Committee Demands Immediate and Unconditional Release of Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan

24 April 2015

In light of the recent conviction of prominent Azerbaijani human rights defenders Intigam Aliyev and Rasul Jafarov to disproportionate prison sentences on questionable legal charges, the EaP CSF Steering Committee adopted a statement condemning these actions by the government and urging the European Union to act immediately.

full story

EU Should Improve Monitoring Procedures for Financial Support to Moldova

23 April 2015

The Civil Society Platform ‘For Europe’ is denouncing the practices lacking transparency and the level of corruption in the governance of allegedly pro-European parties in Moldova. In its statement, the platform suggests that these parties associated themselves with the European integration process and in the end only “took advantage of EU generosity and committed numerous legal and financial abuses”. 

full story

National Platforms: Eastern Partnership Countries Need EU Membership Perspective

23 April 2015

Armenian, Belarusian, Georgian, Moldovan and Ukrainian National Platforms of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum adopted a joint statement calling on the European Union to recognize the European perspective for the Eastern Partnership States at the EaP Summit in Riga.

full story

Co-Chair of EaP CSF Steering Committee Delivers Speech at EaP Ministerial in Luxembourg

20 April 2015

On 20 April, Krzysztof Bobiński, co-chair of the EaP CSF Steering Committee, addressed EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Johannes Hahn, and foreign ministers of the EU and Eastern Partnership states during the Ministerial Meeting in Luxembourg.

full story

Armenian National Platform Demands Immediate Release of “Founding Parliament” Members

15 April 2015

The Armenian National Platform (NP) of the EaP CSF condemns the new wave of lawless political persecution by the government targeting the “Founding Parliament” civic movement. The NP assesses the actions of the Armenian Investigation Committee and National Security Service as a flagrant violation of human rights and calls on Armenian authorities to immediately release all the arrested members of the Founding Parliament, bringing to justice those responsible for illegitimate arrests.

full story

Riga Summit Should Become a Turning Point Bringing Membership Perspective for the EaP States, Says Krzysztof Bobinski

13 April 2015

The co-chair of the Steering Committee Krzysztof Bobinski calls on the EU to declare at the Riga Summit the right of the Eastern Partnership countries to apply for the EU membership under Article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty.

full story

Selection Process for EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform Should be Open, Transparent and Democratic, reads Statement of EaP CSF Steering Committee

13 April 2015

The EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform (EU-CSP) has a special role in monitoring the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The Steering Committee (SC) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum supports the Ukrainian side in their claim that the composition of the Ukrainian delegation in the EU-CSP should be decided independently by civil society in Ukraine.

full story

Call for Project Proposals under New EaP CSF Regranting Scheme

09 April 2015

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) Secretariat is launching a Call for Proposals to sub-grant projects with an Eastern Partnership regional dimension that will contribute to achieving the mission and objectives of the EaP CSF. This call aims to support the work of the five thematic Working Groups of the EaP CSF. The Call for Re-granting Proposals 2015 – Guide for Applicants describes the priorities for each Working Group and the application process.

full story

EaP CSF Secretariat Appoints Darya Mustafayeva as Communications Manager

09 April 2015

Darya Mustafayeva has joined the Forum’s Secretariat in the capacity of Communications Manager. Her main responsibilities include developing and implementing the Forum’s communication strategy and increasing visibility of the Forum’s activities.

full story

Moldovan National Platform: Clear Message on European Perspective for the Eastern Partnership States Should Be Sent at the Riga Summit

07 April 2015

The Riga Summit taking place in the complex geopolitical situation has to bring answers on the European Union’s vision of the future for the Eastern Partnership countries

full story

Invitation to submit expressions of interest to participate in the 7th annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (Kyiv, Ukraine, 20-21 November 2015)

31 March 2015

The Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum is now inviting all interested parties to submit expressions of interest to participate in the 7th annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. The submission of expressions of interest is a necessary step in the selection process to participate in the EaP CSF annual meeting to take place on 20-21 November in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

full story

EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly in Yerevan: Highlights and Key Moments from EaP CSF Perspective

31 March 2015

The Eastern Partnership remains a priority for the EU, and EaP countries need a clearer vision of where this partnership leads. The EU should help in shaping that vision. Commissioner Hahn highlighted in his address the four dimensions of the ENP review process: differentiation, ownership, focus, and flexibility.

full story

Highlights of the panel event “The Eastern Partnership in 2014: turning point for some, insecurity for all” in Brussels

30 March 2015

On 25th of March 2015, an EaP CSF panel event The Eastern Partnership in 2014: turning point for some, insecurity for all took place in the premises of the Open Society Foundation in Brussels. The focal point of the event was the presentation of the new edition of The European Integration Index for Eastern Partnership Countries 2014 (EaP Index 2014). The 2014 Index generates recommendations to guide countries along the reform process and serves as a monitoring tool for both civil society and policymakers in the partner countries and the EU.

full story

Call for reforms, fair elections and stronger engagement with civil society at event in margins of EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly with representatives of EaP CSF

23 March 2015

During a session co-organised by the EaP CSF, held on 16 March 2015 in the margins of the Fourth Ordinary Assembly of EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly, Civil Society Representatives highlighted the role of Civil Society Organisations as drivers for reforms, the importance of organizing fair elections, and security concerns in the region.

full story

Civil societies of the EaP need clearer vision of where the Eastern Partnership leads their countries, EaP CSF at EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly

18 March 2015

There is a need for the Eastern Partnership countries to have clearer perspectives regarding their further integration with the EU. The civil societies of the EaP need clearer vision of where the Eastern Partnership leads their countries and expect the European Union to help in shaping that vision. The EU should fully recognize the European perspective for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and explicitly state this at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga.

full story

The new publication of EaP Index 2014 issued

13 March 2015

When the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative was launched in May 2009, the governments of the six Eastern European partner countries declared their intention to respect the values of democracy and human rights, and to align with EU standards of good governance and the rule of law. With a common Soviet past, they embarked together on the path of closer integration with the EU, but already in 2009 they were setting out from different starting-points with varying expectations of their trajectory.  Some of them declared an ambition to become EU members. For others, their engagement was more a question of balancing geopolitical relations, not least with the EU to the west and Russia to the east.

full story

Steering Committee position on Imposing Sanctions against Russian Media

06 March 2015

Following Boris Nemtsov’s assassination, the Steering Committee of the EaP CSF adopted a position on imposing sanctions against Russian media. Nemtsov repeatedly argued that the west should sanction Russian media owners and managers who broadcast propaganda at home or abroad. This propaganda supports President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, seeks to destabilise other Eastern Partnership countries, and promotes fear, insecurity and aggression in the region.

full story

Nemtsov “I cannot understand why the West is sanctioning Russian business people and politicians but not media managers who lie all week and then travel to their expensive houses in Europe”

04 March 2015

It is time that the European Commission and the EEAS return to the EaP-CSF assembly resolution and consider the imposition of sanctions on Russian propagandists. It would be a fitting tribute to the memory of a brave and honest Russian politician who died because he was ready to speak out to defend democracy, freedom and justice in his country.

full story

EU-Armenia Cooperation: Perspectives in the Current Political Environment

04 March 2015

Armenia and the EU are looking to sign a new bilateral agreement, as there is an ongoing scoping exercise on the compatibility of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement (DCFTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). If this exercice is successful and if EU Member States give the European Commission a mandate, negotiations on a new AA could already start around the Eastern Partnership Riga Summit.

full story

Report of the Steering Committee Meeting 4-5 February 2015 Brussels, Belgium

17 February 2015

The minutes of the most recent Steering Committee Meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (Brussels, 4-5 February 2015) are now available online. 

full story

Statement of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on the formation of civil society platforms in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine

17 February 2015

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum made a statement on the formation of Civil Society Platforms (CSPs) in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. They welcome the efforts of the Ukrainian Side of the EU-Ukraine CSP to facilitate the full establishment of the bilateral EU-Ukraine CSP, and approve the consistent efforts of the European Economic and Social Committee in making to establish the bilateral EU-Ukraine CSP in the nearest future.

full story

Statement of the Steering Committee on escalation of violence in EaP countries

12 February 2015

The Steering Committee of the EaP CSF is deeply concerned about the escalation of violence and hostilities in the territory of the EaP countries and therefore adopted on 5 February a statement on this topic. Military actions impede the implementation of democratic and economic reforms and lead to a tragic number of victims.

full story

Steering Committee meets in Brussels

09 February 2015

On 4-5 February, the Steering Committee of the EaP CSF met in Brussels for its first meeting since b...

full story

Georgian EaP CSF National Platform meets with Commissioner Hahn on his first visit to Georgia

19 January 2015

EaP CSF Country Facilitator for Georgia, Lasha Tugushi, was among the civil society representatives who met with European Neighbourhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn during his first official visit to Georgia on 16 January 2015. 

full story

Job Opportunity at EaP CSF Secretariat: Communications Manager

17 January 2015

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Civil Society Forum is looking to appoint a full-time Communications Manager. If you are interested in the position, please send your CV and Motivation Letter to applications@eap-csf.eu by 17 of February 2015 with the reference: “Communications Manager”. Only candidates selected for interview will be contacted. The interviews will be conducted in Brussels or via Skype on a rolling basis.
The candidates who have already submitted the applications do not need to reapply.

full story

EaP CSF Secretariat appoints Advocacy and Membership Manager: Tanya Basarab

16 January 2015

Tanya Basarab is joining the Forum’s secretariat in the role of Advocacy and Membership Manager. The Advocacy and Membership Manager is a new position at the Secretariat, tasked with providing strategic political analysis to support the development and implementation of effective advocacy strategies with institutional, governmental or other relevant actors.

full story

SC Member Krzysztof Bobinski meets with Commissioner Hahn in Warsaw

14 January 2015

EaP CSF Steering Committee member Krzysztof Bobinski met with new Neighbourhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn in a joint meeting with representatives of Polish NGOs and Think Tanks in Warsaw this week. The meeting took place in the frames of Mr. Hahn’s official visit to Poland, the main purpose of which was the consolidation of the Eastern Partnership initiative. 

full story

New policy brief: How can the EaP CSF strengthen its advocacy function?

09 January 2015

An EaP CSF commissioned report analysing the Forum’s advocacy efforts has recently been published by FRIDE researcher Natalia Shapovalova. Entitled “How to Strengthen the EaP CSF’s Advocacy Function?”, the report assesses the Forum’s advocacy function to date and suggests policy recommendations for improvement.

full story

Statement of the EaP CSF Armenian National Platform On recent assaults on opposition politicians and public figures

22 December 2014

EaP Civil Society Forum Armenian National Platform expresses its deep concern with the recent assaul...

full story

EaP CSF members help shape an appropriate response to the negative impact of Russian propaganda in the Eastern Partnership region

15 December 2014

Up to 10 EaP CSF members contributed to the shaping of an appropriate response to Russian propaganda in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood, following their participation at a conference on the media environment in the region on 10-11 December in Brussels.

full story

The Secretariat is accepting applications for an internship

02 December 2014

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) is accepting applications for an internship. The Intern will assist the Director of the Secretariat and the Communications Manager in administrative, policy and communication related tasks. 

full story

Forum adopts Steering Committee reform

28 November 2014

The 6th annual meeting of the Forum has approved a streamlined, 13-member Steering Committee which g...

full story

Batumi Forum participants are invited to fill out evaluation questionnaire

28 November 2014

Participants of the 6th annual assembly of the EaP CSF are invited to fill out an evaluation questionnaire on the event. The questionnaire intends to seek feedback on the organisation of the event, working group sessions, elections and collective priorities for the Forum. The feedback will help coordinate the work of the Forum in the upcoming year and the organisation of future meetings.

full story

Highlights: Sixth EaP CSF Annual Assembly 2014

25 November 2014

Over 250 participants from the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU took part in the 6th Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Batumi, Georgia on November 20-21. Civil society representatives, officials and experts congregated to discuss “EU Integration and Common Security: Making it Happen”. Funded by the European Commission and supported by the Georgian government, the two conference days featured three expert panels, thematic workshops and a number of side-events on topical issues for the Eastern Partnership. The outcome of the Forum included the adoption of important resolutions, enhanced dialogue between and within civil society in the Eastern Partnership and the EU and important structural and strategic changes to the Forum, which are set to guide the work of the organisation in the coming years.

full story

Resolutions and statements adopted at the sixth Annual Assembly of EaP CSF, Batumi, Georgia

24 November 2014

Seven resolutions and two statements from working groups were adopted during the second day of the 6th EaP Civil Society Forum in Batumi, Georgia, 20-21st of November. A brief outline of the resolutions and full texts are presented below:

full story

EaP CSF Statement on the Joint Principles for establishment of the civil society platforms between EU and Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia

24 November 2014

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum welcomes the launch of the process of the establishment of bilateral civil society platforms (CSPs) under the Association Agreements (AAs) between the EU on the one side and Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia on the other side. EaP CSF notes that the provisions of the three Association Agreements with regards to the CSPs lack clarity concerning the basis of establishment of the CSPs, and that this omission needs to be resolved to ensure their effective and accountable implementation.

Full statement

full story

Statement of the Steering Committee on incident at sixth EaP CSF annual assembly side-exhibition

21 November 2014

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum condemns the behaviour of seve...

full story

EaP CSF presents at conference in Brussels focusing on future of Eastern Partnership

06 November 2014

The Eastern Partnership initiative of the European Union has been a significant achievement, former CSF steering committee co-chair Krzysztof Bobinski said at a meeting on 5 November in the European Parliament organised by the East Poland House, a lobby-group bringing together Poland’s eastern regions.

full story

EaP CSF statement of solidarity with Belarusian human rights defender Elena Tonkacheva

05 November 2014

The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership, expresses deep concern because of the decision of Belarusian authorities to cancel residence permit and deport for three years the Belarusian human rights defender, chairperson of the Board of the Legal Transformation Center (Lawtrend) Elena Tonkacheva.

We believe that the decision to cancel the residence permit and to expel her from the territory of the country is a politically motivated and disproportionate sanction in comparison with the danger of the committed misdoing. The real basis for this decision is Elena Tonkacheva’s political position and active human rights defending activity.

Full Statement

full story

Statement of the Belarusian National Platform on cancellation of the residence permit in Belarus of Elena Tonkacheva

03 November 2014

The EaP CSF Steering Committee has endorsed the statement of the Belarussian National Platform of th...

full story

EU condemns parliamentary and presidential elections in eastern Ukraine

02 November 2014

The European Union has said it will not recognise the November 2 parliamentary and presidential elections in Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, calling the vote illegal and illegitimate. 

full story

Georgia makes progress towards EU Visa Liberalisation

29 October 2014

Georgia makes further progress towards EU visa liberalization after successfully completing first-phase requirements of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan, details the second progress report adopted by the European Commission on 29 October.

full story

Report of the Steering Committee Meeting 2-3 October 2014 Warsaw, Poland

20 October 2014

The report of the 5th Steering Committee Meeting (Warsaw, 2-3 October) is available online

full story

Georgian National Platform provides humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees affected by the armed conflict

20 October 2014

On October 10, 2014 Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Georgian National Platform signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Medical Centre “CITO” in support of Ukrainian refugees affected by the armed conflict.

full story

From Brussels to Batumi: Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum celebrates its 5th anniversary

16 October 2014

This year, on the 20-21 of November, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) is holding its 6th annual meeting in Batumi, Georgia. In the five years since its establishment,  the platform has been able to transform itself from a meeting of civil society representatives into an institutionalised policy forum, where an exchange of ideas and best practices brings together partners from six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the EU with the common goal of expanding the European integration processes towards the Eastern Neighbourhood.

full story

Armenian National Platform position on the decision of RA authorities to join Eurasian Economic Union

10 October 2014

It has been a year since the RA President Serzh Sargsyan announced about Armenia’s intention to join the Customs Union and participate in the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU), which in practice meant failure of the initialed Association Agreement with the EU- a plan that was developed in four-year-long intensive and productive negotiations between the RA and EU. Since then, the Armenian National Platform (ANP) of the EU Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) has several times came up with statements expressing disagreement with the foreign policy course of the official Yerevan, emphasizing the threats posed to the sovereignty and national security of the country and voiced concerns over the disrupted reform process in the RA.

full story

Political prisoners in Azerbaijan to receive Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award

09 October 2014

Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan, among them EaP CSF members Anar Mammadli and Rasul Jafarov, are being awarded the Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award by the Norwegian-Helsinki Committee (NHC) in honour of their human rights action in the country, announced the organisation.

full story

The establishment of EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform

07 October 2014

The EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform (CSP) is an instrument of bilateral cooperation between the EU and civil society in Ukraine envisaged by the country’s Association Agreement with the EU (Articles 469-470). The CSP is a Forum which consists of members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on the one hand, and representatives of Ukrainian civil society on the other and is designed to ensure dialogue and the exchange of ideas.

full story

EaP CSF participates in joint roundtable with PISM on deliverables for the Eastern Partnership Summit in 2015

06 October 2014

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum participated in a roundtable discussion organized in partnership with the Polish Institute of International Affairs on 2 October in Warsaw. The event discussed the objectives for the 2015 Riga Summit on the Eastern Partnership as well as the state of human rights and democracy in the region, with particular regard to the situation in Azerbaijan.

full story

Week in focus: EaP CSF Steering Committee meets in Warsaw

01 October 2014

The next meeting of the EaP CSF Steering Committee will be taking place this week on 2-3 of October. The main focus of the meeting is preparations for the sixth Annual Assembly of the EaP CSF, which will be taking place in Batumi Georgia end of November.

full story

EaP CSF member Anar Mammadli awarded Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2014

29 September 2014

EaP CSF Member Anar Mammadli awarded Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2014

EaP CSF Member and human rights defender from Azerbaijan, Anar Mammadli, has been awarded the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2014 in honour of his extensive civil society action and work in the defence of human rights.

The prize, issued by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, has been presented to Mr. Mammadli’s father, Asaf Mammadov, and includes €60,000 in reward.

full story

Eastern Partnership Media Freedom Index: Updated

26 September 2014

The Eastern Partnership Media Freedom Index has been updated to cover the first half of 2014. Georgia remains the leader in terms of media freedom within the region, followed by Moldova and Ukraine. Azerbaijan and Belarus follow are least free in terms of media freedom.

full story

Call for applications: Eastern Partnership Young Leaders Forum in Brussels

23 September 2014

The European Parliament has launched the “Young Leaders Forum: Eastern Partnership-EU”, a new initiative which will take place in Brussels on 8-11 December 2014.

full story

Opportunity: Journalism Seminar for Young Journalists

22 September 2014

Journalists from Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia are invited to apply to a Journalism Seminar taking place in Berlin between 1-9 November. The seminar, entitled “Journalism and the TRUTH in times of conflict”, is organised by NGO taz-Panterstiftung and will be discussing ethical issues ranging from objectivity, truth to the misuse of the media. Applications close on 30 September.

full story

EU Parliament condemns the persecution of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan

22 September 2014

A resolution of European Parliament on the persecution of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan was adopted by the plenary sitting in Strasbourg last week. In line with EaP CSF Steering Committee statements the resolution condemns the recent crackdown on civil society by the Azerbaijani government, calls for the immediate release of human rights defenders and urges respect for democratic principles and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the EU’s cooperation with the country.

full story

Statement of Ukrainian National Platform on EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

22 September 2014

The Ukrainian National Platform of the EaP CSF welcomes the simultaneous ratification of the Association Agreement by the Parliament of Ukraine and the European Parliament, which took place on 17 September.

Full statement

full story

Statement of Armenian National Platform on incidents along borderline territories of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Karabakh

19 September 2014

The Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum expresses its deep concern with the recent escalation of armed conflict along the borderline of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabakh in July-August, 2014, which were accompanied with negligence of Humanitarian Law and constitute a serious threat to security and stability throughout the region. Particularly, in the tense situation of the recent months there were gross violations of the norms enshrined in the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, consistent with the war crimes provided by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

full story

Civil Society invited to contribute to ENP Progress Reports

16 September 2014

The European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Commission are inviting civil society organisations in Eastern Partnership countries to contribute to reports assessing the progress achieved by their respective governments in the implementation, during 2014, of reform commitments within the framework of European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).

full story

New EU support for Civil Society in Ukraine

15 September 2014

A new programme to support civil society in Ukraine has been agreed by Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, and Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, on Saturday 13 September, in a bid to improve oversight of Ukraine’s reform process.

full story

EaP CSF Poster Campaign on Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan: Anar Mammadli

12 September 2014

As part of a campaign to raise awareness of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, the EaP CSF has publi...

full story

Job Opportunity at EaP CSF Secretariat: Advocacy and Membership Manager

11 September 2014

The Secretariat of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) is looking for an Advocacy and Membership Manager who will have a strategic role within the Secretariat focusing on advocacy, membership and internal communications. The Advocacy and Membership Manager will be responsible for providing strategic political analysis to support the development and implementation of effective advocacy strategies with institutional, governmental or other relevant actors. Along with advancing core campaigns, the Manager will identify and coordinate research on topical issues for the Forum.

full story

Co-Chair of EaP CSF Steering Committee delivers speech at EaP Ministerial in Baku

09 September 2014

Co-chair of the Steering Committee of the EaP CSF, Vugar Bayramov, delivered a speech in Baku today at the informal ministerial meeting  of foreign affairs and energy ministers of the EU and Partner Countries held in Baku, in which he addressed the high officials on the importance of the EU engagement in the regional security, human rights and common approach to EU-EaP energy security and  stressed the importance of civil society in driving democratic reforms and promoting government accountability as well as prospects for the EU’s relations with the Eastern neighbourhood. 

Full speech

full story

EU Commissioner Štefan Füle reaffirms commitment to civil society in Azerbaijan

09 September 2014

Civil Society representatives in Azerbaijan met with EU commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Füle, in a Baku meeting on Monday 8 September, which re-affirmed the EU’s commitment to promoting democracy and human rights in the country.

full story

Commission sets new cooperation priorities for Eastern Neighbourhood

08 September 2014

The European Commission has released its cooperation priorities, including decisions about funding, for the Eastern Neighbourhood on Monday, 8 September following consultations with partner countries, EU member states and the European Parliament.

full story

EaP CSF member Rasul Jafarov nominated for Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2014

04 September 2014

An active EaP CSF Forum participant and human rights defender, Rasul Jafarov,  who was detained last month in Azerbaijan, has been nominated for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2014.

full story

EaP CSF launches poster campaign on Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan

02 September 2014

In light of the recent government crackdown on civil society in Azerbaijan, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum has launched a poster campaign to raise awareness of important political figures currently facing imprisonment in the country. The first poster campaign focuses on detained civil society activist, Rasul Jafarov. Mr. Jafarov was an active member of Working Group 1 of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum  and the founder of an unregistered NGOin Azerbaijan called Human Rights Club.

full story

EaP CSF Proposal to the European Council Special Meeting to institute a new European Commissioner for Civil Society and Human Rights

29 August 2014

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum has submitted a proposal to the European Council Special Meeting on August 30, calling for the appointment of a new European Commissioner for Civil Society and Human Rights. The proposal is addressed to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, as well as heads of government and ambassadors of EU member states attending the meeting. The office of the new commissioner would be responsible for civil society and human rights within the EU and beyond, and working hand in hand with the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, and with the European External Action Service.

Full Statement 

full story

Working Groups of the EaP CSF launch their projects

29 August 2014

The EC-funded project “Strengthening the capacities of the National Platforms (NP) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF)”, which aims to strengthen and promote civil society organisations’ role in reforms and democratic changes in the EaP countries, is supporting small projects of EaP CSF’s Working Groups. Most of the Working groups have finalised the development of their projects and their implementation has already started. 

full story

Anar Mammadli – EaP CSF member and human rights defender in Azerbaijan shortlisted for nomination of Václav Havel Human Rights Prize -2014

27 August 2014

Anar Mammadli, a prominent Azerbaijani human rights defender and coordinator of Working Group 1 of EaP CSF was shortlisted for nomination of Václav Havel Human Rights Prize -2014 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,  ‘for an extensive contribution towards defending the right to free elections’, according to a press release from the Council of Europe.

Press release

Statement: EaPCSF condemns arrests of internationally respected civil society leaders in Azerbaijan

Statement of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on arrest by Azerbaijan authorities of Anar Mammadli

full story

Key EU Representatives Present at Minsk Plenary Talks

26 August 2014

Key EU representatives, including High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, attended the plenary talks involving President Poroshenko and President Putin in Minsk on Tuesday, 26 August. 

full story

Azerbaijan political prisoners: human rights defenders’ working group report

26 August 2014

The Working Group led by the prominent human rights defenders - Leyla Yunus and Rasul  Jafarov, who have been imprisoned this month on political charges in Azerbaijan has produced a comprehensive list of political prisoners in the country aiming to draw attention of the international community to this worrying trend in Azerbaijan. 

Read full report

full story

Moldova's Research and Development Field to benefit from EU deal

25 August 2014

Moldova’s Research and Development Field is set to receive up to EUR 924,000 in financial assistance in the period of 2014-2015 following a deal finalized between the EU and Moldova’s Academy of Science on Monday, 25 August

full story

Statement of Armenian National Platform on the Critical Situation in Northern Iraq

14 August 2014

Armenian National Platform of European Union Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is gravely concerned about the critical situation of Yazidi population and other religious minorities in Shangal Region of northern Iraq, a statement from the National Platform says.

Read full statement

full story

Statement: EaPCSF condemns arrests of internationally respected civil society leaders in Azerbaijan

06 August 2014

Civil Society Forum calls for immediate release of Leyla and Arif Yunus and Rasul Jafarov, arrested on fabricated charges following their calls for the release of other political prisoners

 

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in a statement strongly condemns the arrests of Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunus and Rasul Jafarov, highly respected civil society leaders and human rights defenders in Azerbaijan. Their arrests, and the harassment of other activists and journalists in Azerbaijan – including freezing of bank accounts and arbitrary raids of offices, paralysing the work of many civil society organisations and media – are part of a concerted campaign by the Azerbaijan authorities to silence criticism of the repression of democratic freedoms in Azerbaijan. 

 

Read full statement

full story

Human Rights House Network calls for immediate release of Leyla Yunus and Rasul Jafarov

05 August 2014

Members and partners of the Human Rights House Network (HRHN) and the South Caucasus Network of Huma...

full story

EU Delegation in Armenia launched civil society consultation on protection of human rights

05 August 2014

The EU Delegation in Armenia is inviting civil society organisations to contribute to the development of future EU assistance in the area of human rights protection. The aim of the consultation is to increase the engagement with the civil society actors in Armenia and possibility to identify persisting problems in the area of human rights, as well as collecting proposals from civil society on ways of addressing these issues.  The consultation will focus on several thematic areas, namely: elections, torture prevention, anti-discrimination, gender equality and domestic/gender based violence, as well as child protection.

full story

EU announces annual support package to Moldova

30 July 2014

The EU has announced a new annual support package for the Republic of Moldova to help public institutions, citizens and the business community to benefit as much as possible from the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the EU (AA/DCFTA).

Press release

full story

Georgian National Platform discusses post-ratification challenges with Commissioner Štefan Füle

27 July 2014

On 18 July, in the framework of the extraordinary session of the Georgian Parliament, during which the Agreement between Georgia and EU were ratified, the representatives of the Georgia National Platform met with the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle. 

full story

Internship with the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Secretariat

24 July 2014

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum(EaP CSF)  is accepting applications for an internship. The Intern will assist the Director of the Secretariat and the Communications Manager in administrative, policy and communication related tasks.

full story

Proposals of the EaP Civil Society Forum Steering Committee to the Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting in Brussels

23 July 2014

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in the presentation held by Leila Alieva during the EaP Ministerial Meeting in Brussels yesterday wishes to reiterate its support for the Eastern Partnership as an effective mechanism of promoting democratic reforms, including the establishment of the rule of law and sustainable market mechanisms, in the six Eastern Partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine) and conveys a number of proposals.

Full document

full story

EU statement: ‘Hasan Huseynli sentence is part of a disturbing trend’ in Azerbaijan

22 July 2014

‘This sentence is part of a disturbing trend’, said a statement from EEAS Spokespersons on the arrest of Hasan Huseynli, leader of a respected NGO in Azerbaijan last week. 

Statement

full story

Ukraine: Working Group 3 “Environment, climate change and energy security” discusses opportunities for future reforms

22 July 2014

A meeting of the Working Group 3 “Environment, climate change and energy security” of the Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum was held in Kyiv on July 15 focusing on the opportunities for the European integration reforms and strengthening the citizen participation which emerged after signing the Association Agreement.

full story

EaP CSF Statement on arrest of Hasan Huseynli, the head of Intelligent Citizen Enlightenment Center Public Union, Azerbaijan

15 July 2014

Steering Committee of EaP CSF has issued a Statement condemning the arrest of  Hasan Huseynli, the head of Intelligent Citizen Enlightenment Center Public Union, Azerbaijan, addressing EU officials, President of Azerbaijan and international community. 

On 14 July, Nizami Region Court of Ganja, sentenced Hasan Huseynli for 5 years, 11 months and 28 days, a statement says. The EaPCSF urges the government of Azerbaijan to immediately free Hasan Huseynli, and to drop all charges against him and called on the European Commission, the EU Delegation in Baku, and the European Parliament to condemn his arrest in the strongest terms, and to support the Civil Society Forum in putting pressure on Azerbaijan authorities for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

Full Statement

full story

CSF expert panel in Berlin discusses future of Eastern Partnership

10 July 2014

Negotiations, support to civil society and sanctions against Russia should be cornerstones of EU policy towards Eastern Partnership, say participants of CSF expert panel in Berlin 

The expert panel “Eastern Partnership: in need of a rethink” organised by the Civil Society Forum on 1 July in Berlin brought together civil society actors, including the members of the CSF Steering Committee, representatives of Berlin-based civil society organisations and think tanks as well as students and independent researchers. The panel assessed the current state of play in the six Eastern Partnership countries as well as the EU engagement there and focused on ways to reshape the EU policy towards the region in light of recent developments with respect to Ukraine. Germany’s policy towards Russia and its impact on the Eastern Partnership countries were also discussed. Jeff Lovitt, Executive Director of the Policy Association for an Open Society (Czech Republic) and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, moderated the panel.

full story

Azerbaijan: EU Delegation launched consultations on civil society roadmap

08 July 2014

The EU Delegation has launched consultations with the civil society organisations in Azerbaijan and is inviting to contribute to the development of an EU Roadmap for engaging with the civil society in the country, a press release from the EU Delegation says.

More information

full story

Moldovan civil society organisations support the European path of Moldova and launching „Pro Europe” civil society platform

02 July 2014

In a statement fifty representatives of the Moldovan civil society organisations, including CSF Mold...

full story

Conference Resolution of Belarusian National Platform: Belarus in circumstances of regional crisis and stagnation of the Eastern Partnership

23 June 2014

Last week the Belarusian National Platform held a conference under the title “Belarus in circumstances of regional crisis and stagnation of the Eastern Partnership”, bringing together more than 60 civic organizations and initiatives.

In a Resolution following the conference the participants expressed their concern with the situation in the Eastern Partnership region, as well as with the current state and development of the initiative of the EU Eastern Partnership they stated:

Full Resolution

full story

Future of Eastern Partnership, Association Agreements, human rights and political prisoners discussed at annual meeting of Working Group 1

23 June 2014

The CSF Working Group 1 on Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability convened for its annual meeting in Brussels on 17 June. Some 80 participants, including civil society organisations from the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU, representatives of the European External Action Service and the European Commission and independent observers came together for the event. The meeting was chaired by Jeff Lovitt (PASOS), the WG’s EU coordinator, and Leila Alieva (Centre for National and International Studies, the WG’s Eastern Partnership coordinator.

full story

Statement of the EaP CSF Working Group 3 calling on the Heads of EaP countries to show climate leadership

19 June 2014

Climate change is a problem the world is facing here and now, and it's a problem that every year wil...

full story

Statement on commencing the Process of Establishment of the Ukrainian Side of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform

18 June 2014

The Initiative Group of the Ukrainian civil society representatives informs about commencing the establishment process for the Ukrainian side of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform (hereafter the Platform), the creation of which is envisaged in Articles 469 and 470 of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. 

full story

Side events on occasion of Working Group 1 annual meeting in Brussels 16-18th of June

09 June 2014

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the EaP CSF is organising three side events timed to the annual Working Group 1 (Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability) meeting in Brussels on 17 June.

Agenda, times and venues 

full story

Statement: Civil Society Forum calls for immediate release of Anar Mammadli, respected monitor of elections and nominee for Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

03 June 2014

In its statement, the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum strongly condemns the prison sentence of five years, six months handed to Anar Mammadli, Chair of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS), by the Baku Grave Crimes Court on 26 May 2014. The Civil Society Forum calls upon all EU member states, the government of the United States, and members of the Council of Europe to exert maximum pressure on the government of Azerbaijan to cease its legal and extra-judicial harassment of civil society organisations, opposition politicians, independent journalists and concerned citizens working to strengthen and protect freedom of expression and human rights in the country. 

Full statement

full story

Statement of Belarusian National Platform on signing the treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) by the Republic of Belarus

02 June 2014

In its statement on the treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC)  the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum expressed its disagreement with 'signing by Aliaksandr Lukashenka the treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union on behalf of our country'. 

Full statement (in RUBY)

full story

EaP Index 2014 kick off meeting in Kyiv, 20-21st of May

27 May 2014

On 20-21st May in Kyiv, just before Ukrainian elections, EaP Index project team and country experts met to start a new year and discuss the next step towards developing a new European Integration Index 2014 for EaP Countries edition.

full story

Ukrainian Civil Society platform: in need of new strategic lines and focus on vital matters

27 May 2014

Last week in Kyiv Steering Committee members of the EaP Civil Society Forum met with the representative of the Ukrainian national platform to discuss the current developments in the Ukrainian civil society.

full story

Council acknowledges fundamental role of civil society in promoting rights-based approach to EU development

20 May 2014

On 19 May, the Foreign Affairs Council on Development adopted a number of conclusions on implementation of a rights-based approach to development cooperation, encompassing all human rights. The Council acknowledged the fundamental role of civil society in promoting human rights notably through their contribution to the empowerment of rights-holders, awareness-raising and fostering accountability and transparency.

Read full press release 

full story

News digest from Ukrainian National Platform takes stock of civil society activism during Euromaidan

19 May 2014

In its latest news digest, the Ukrainian National Platform turns its attention to Euromaidan highlighting the civic society response to the historical events in Ukraine. The activities of the Platform’s members ranged from routine daily work to support the lives of protesters to proposing reforms to the new government.

Follow the link to find out more about the recent civic activities and initiatives of the Ukrainian National Platform. 

full story

Economic integration and SMEs policies in focus of WG2 annual meeting in Brussels

16 May 2014

The annual meeting of the Civil Society Forum’s Working Group 2 dealing with issues of economic integration and convergence with EU policies took place on 14 May 2014 in Brussels, bringing together thirty civil society representatives from the Eastern Partnership countries and the European Union. The working group members exchanged views on work programme and priorities for the upcoming months, discussed potential group’s input to the new Forum’s strategy and shared their expectations regarding participation in the annual Forum’s meeting in Tbilisi in November this year. The civil society representatives’ engagement in the Eastern Partnership intergovernmental platform meetings and events was also discussed.

Meeting Report 

Photos

full story

Georgian National Platform publishes newsletter highlighting its recent activities

15 May 2014

The Georgian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Forum has published a newsletter covering the Platform’s joint activities, statements, Working Groups news and events over the last two months. The newsletter has been prepared in the framework of the EU-funded project “Strengthening and Capacity Building of Georgian National Platform for the Eastern Partnership“. The document can be downloaded following the link 

full story

Statement of Belarusian National Platform in connection with the deaths of people in eastern Ukraine and Odessa

07 May 2014

The Belarusian National Platform on behalf of representatives of public associations, initiatives, political parties, citizens of Belarus, expresses condolences to the Ukrainian people in connection with the tragic events of May 2 entailing a large number of victims and casualties, as well as about the victims of the fighting, provoked by separatists in Eastern Ukraine.

Full statement

full story

European Commission announces additional funding for Georgia and Moldova

06 May 2014

On 6 May, the European Commission announced a support package for Georgia and the Republic of Moldov...

full story

Invitation to submit expressions of interest to participate in the sixth annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (Tbilisi, Georgia, 20-21 November 2014)

30 April 2014

The Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum is now inviting all interested parties to submit expressions of interest to participate in the sixth annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. This year the meeting will take place on 20-21 November in Tbilisi (Georgia). The online application form can be found here

full story

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum releases Policy Memorandum on NATO security policy concerning Russian military intervention in Ukraine

24 April 2014

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum has released a policy memorandum on NATO security policy concerning Russian military intervention in Ukraine. According to the memorandum, diplomatic measures and sanctions must be accompanied by strategic deterrence to protect NATO members and to support independence of NATO neighbours. 

Full Policy Memorandum 

full story

Open letter on occasion of planned visit of President of Azerbaijan to Prague

24 April 2014

The Czech Independent Social Ecological Movement (NESEHNUTÍ), People in Need and the Association for Democracy Assistance and Human Rights (DEMAS) have submitted an open letter to the Czech authorities on the occasion of the planned visit of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, to Prague.  The three organisations have urged the Czech authorities to use this occasion, in addition to discussing economic relations between the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan, to broach the issue of human rights in Azerbaijan, preferably in a public press conference.

Full text of the letter 

full story

European Parliament reiterates prospect of EU Membership for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine

17 April 2014

At its sitting on 17 April, the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning Russia’s actions aimed at destabilisation of eastern Ukraine and calling for tighter sanctions against Russia. It also welcomed the signing of the political part of Ukraine's Association Agreement and called on the parties to sign the full agreement in time. According to the resolution, the Association Agreements with Ukraine and the other Eastern Partnership countries do not constitute the final goal in their relations with the EU. It further points out that as per Article 49 of the Treaty on the European Union,  like any other European state, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have a European perspective and may apply to become members of the European Union provided that they adhere to the principles of democracy, respect fundamental freedoms and human and minority rights and ensure the rule of law.

Full text

full story

Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility: EC opens call for proposals to strengthen regional actions in the European Neigbourhood

15 April 2014

The European Commission has published a €9, 9 million call for proposals with the overall objective to strengthen and promote civil society's role in reforms and democratic changes taking place in Neighbourhood countries, through increased participation in the fulfilment of Neighbourhood Policy objectives.

Guidelines and applications

full story

Civil Society’s role in post-Crimea crisis: CSF holds event on security challenges in the region

14 April 2014

The event focusing on the security challenges for the Eastern Partnership countries organised by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum took place in Brussels on 10 April, hosted by the office of MEP Werner Schulz at the European Parliament. It provided a platform for exchanging views of the EaP civil society representatives on the newly arising regional security threats as well as the venues for the EU engagement in resolving the conflicts in the EaP region.

Full report

full story

statement: Belarusian National Platform supports UN Resolution on territorial integrity of Ukraine

09 April 2014

We, citizens of the Republic of Belarus, a broad spectrum of civil society organizations, political parties, trade unions, non-governmental organizations and initiatives condemn the official position of the Republic of Belarus to the UN General Assembly March 27, 2014 and support the resolution of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Full appeal

full story

Armenia National Platform Statement on the Broadcasting of Russia 1 and the First Channel in the country

09 April 2014

Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) is deeply concerned with the programmes and reports overtly propagating xenophobia and spawning hatred between nations, broadcasted by Russian TV channels Russia 1 and the First Channel which are rebroadcasted in the Republic of Armenia on the basis of intergovernmental agreements. This phenomenon has become more evidential in the context of recent political developments around Ukraine.

Statement

                      

full story

EU prepares assistance measures for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova association

04 April 2014

In the context of growing regional pressures on Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and delivering on its pledge to coordinate international assistance to Ukraine, the European Commission agreed with International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in the presence of EU Commissioner  Štefan Füle this week in Brussels to spearhead enhanced assistance measures to the three countries.

Press release

full story

Statement of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on the arrest of Hasan Huseynli, Head of “Intelligent Citizen” Enlightenment Center Public Union, Azerbaijan

02 April 2014

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum protests strongly against the arrest of Hasan Huseynli, head of “Intelligent Citizen’’ Enlightenment Center Public Union based in Ganja city in Azerbaijan. He was arrested on 31 March 2014 on trumped up charges of hooliganism for allegedly stabbing someone with whom he had never come in contact. The police in Ganja have confirmed the charges. The investigation that is being carried out against Hasan Huseynli is completely unlawful and absurd, and does not warrant his detention.

Statement

full story

Ukraine: National Platform takes up leadership in creating EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform sanctioned by the Association Agreement

31 March 2014

Last week  the Steering Committee of the Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (UNP EaP CSF) held a meeting, where goals were set for the nearest future and new opportunities that emerged after the signing of the Association Agreement on 21 March were discussed.

full story

Ilko Kucheriv Democracy Fellowship Program open for applications

27 March 2014

Professionals at independent democracy and human rights advocacy NGOs and think-tanks from Ukraine are invited to apply for Ilko Kucheriv Democracy Fellowship Program, announced by PASOS and its partnering network members - the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (IKDIF) and the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).

Read more

full story

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon meets leaders of Ukrainian civil society

25 March 2014

Oleksandr Sushko, Ukrainian National Coordinator of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum together with the number of civil society leaders from the National Platform met with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during his visit to Kyiv last week.

full story

Ukraine and EU sign Association Agreement: four months after ‘euromaidan’ started

21 March 2014

Ukraine and the EU today signed the political provisions of the Association Agreement between them, in a gesture that “recognises the aspirations of the people of Ukraine to live in a country governed by values, by democracy and the rule of law”, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said ahead of the signing ceremony in Brussels.

Statement

full story

Statement of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on extended arrest of Anar Mammadli

19 March 2014

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum firmly condemns  the extension for another three months of the arrest of Anar Mammadli, Chair of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS). On 14 March 2014, the Baku Court of Appeal dismissed the complaint filed by Anar Mammadli against the extension of his arrest for another three months. He was arrested on 16 December 2013. Prior to October 2013, Anar Mammadli was Working Group 1 co-ordinator of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (working group for democracy, human rights, good governance, and stability).

Statement

full story

EU calls referendum in Crimea ‘illegal’ with ‘clear violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity’

18 March 2014

The European Union does not recognize the ‘illegal referendum’ in Crimea, the Council meeting concluded yesterday. EU foreign ministers strongly condemned the vote as being in breach of the Ukrainian Constitution stating that ‘It was held in the visible presence of armed soldiers under conditions of intimidation of civic activists and journalists, blacking out of Ukrainian television channels and obstruction of civilian traffic in and out of Crimea’.

Council Conclusions

full story

EIB launched Eastern Partnership Committee

17 March 2014

Last week, the European Investment Bank (EIB) hosted the inaugural session of its Eastern Partnership Committee comprising representatives of the Bank, the partner countries, the EU Member States, the European Commission and the European External Action Service, according to a press release from the Bank.

Press release

full story

Moldova: EU Council approves visa free up to 90 days for an EaP country

14 March 2014

As off early May, citizens of the Republic of Moldova possessing biometric passports will be able to travel to and throughout the Schengen area without a visa, according to a press release from the Council today.

Press release

full story

Statement of the Ukrainian National Platform: Association Agreement between EU and Ukraine is a holistic and indivisible international legal instrument

14 March 2014

Taking note of the proposal ‘to divide the Association Agreement into political and economic components’ and ‘to sign the political part’ separately, which we believe is technically impossible, has motivated the non-governmental organization who are members of the Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, to make the following declaration:

Full Statement

full story

Ukraine: Civil society calls for comprehensive reforms in social policy

14 March 2014

Beginning of March Rostyslav Dzundza, the coordinator of the Working Group "Social dialogue and justice"  in Ukraine attended a joint meeting organised by the ICF "Caritas Ukraine" with experts from Coordination and Expert Council on Social Policy, Center for Policy and Social Research, Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, National Academy of Science of Ukraine and Social Reforms Headquarters.

full story

Georgia National Platform Statement regarding Russian Federation’s Aggression Against Ukraine

13 March 2014

Georgian civil society condemns the aggression unfolded by Russian Federation against the sovereign European country of Ukraine, outlines the statement from the National Platform of Georgia.

Statement

full story

Education, culture and youth side event in focus of EaP Forum Working group 4 meeting in Brussels

12 March 2014

32 representatives of the Working Group 4 of the EaP Civil Society Forum met on the 28th of February in Brussels to discuss and plan the group activities for 2014. The working group 4 focuses on the issues of contacts between people reflecting the main issues on the agenda of EaP Thematic Platform 4, and include activities, such as education, youth, culture and contacts between seniors.

full story

Call for Nomination of European CSO Representatives for High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. Deadline 13 March

11 March 2014

The first High Level Meeting (HLM) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) will be held in Mexico City on 15-16 April 2014 with an expected 1,300 - 1,500 delegates from various development stakeholders. CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness opened call for nomination  of CSO representatives at the CSO Forum, which will be held on the 14th of April and High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation – HLM GPEDC that will take place on 15-16 April. The CSOs are currently provided 160 slots for the HLM GPEDC, including foreign and local CSOs and CSO speakers at the HLM GPEDC. European Region has all together 8 seats divided between three European Representatives in the Global Council of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) and five non-Global Council members (3 self-funded and 2 funded by CPDE to which preference will be given to non-EU sub-region).

Anex 1 - Application

Anex 2- Financial support

Anex 3 - Organizational Endorsement Form

Information on selection process

full story

Appeal of Ukrainian National Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on information security

07 March 2014

Ukrainian National Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum welcomes formation of new Ukrainian government and its readiness to support the European integration and the required reforms. In this case we appeal proposition to draw particular attention to the information security provision.

Appeal

full story

Georgia: EU provides €21million to support public finances reform, including Parliament and State Audit Office

05 March 2014

This Tuesday Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle signed two financing agreements worth €21m to support public finances reform in Georgia and to strengthen the role and capacities of the Parliament, according to a press release from the European Commission.

The financing agreement to support Georgia’s reform of public finance policy will contribute to good governance and further strengthen government services' delivery and the accountability of the public sector. It will promote transparency, while increasing efficiency and effectiveness of planning and governmental spending.

"Civil society will be informed and consulted. All this should ultimately lead to better management of public spending and accountability towards the Georgian citizens," said Commissioner Füle, saying that this program creates a new mechanism to allow the Parliament to make recommendations on the state budget.

Press release

full story

Statement of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on Russian military intervention in Ukraine

04 March 2014

Statement of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on Russian military intervention in Ukraine

EU should apply maximum diplomatic pressure on Russia to immediately withdraw military forces from Ukraine, and join with US to isolate Russia through tough trade sanctions if Russia does not comply 

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum welcomes the conclusions of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 3 March 2014, namely the condemnation of the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russia, and the decision to take targeted measures in the event that Russia does not de-escalate the conflict.

We call upon EU member states and the European Council to apply maximum diplomatic pressure for the immediate withdrawal of Russian military forces to their permanent bases, and for an EU observer mission to be despatched to monitor the situation in the Crimea.

Full Statement

full story

Survey for the policy paper: Taking stocks of the EU civil society funding in the EaP countries

03 March 2014

Representatives of the civil society organisations are invited to take part in the survey assessing EU funding in the EaP region. The inputs provided will be used for a policy paper with recommendations to policy-makers. The survey is qualitative and the findings will be used (Chatham House Rules apply) in the paper assessing the EU funding that targets the civil society in the EaP countries. It will focus on 2011-2013 period, with the year 2012 as a central reference point. Your observations and recommendations are very valuable. 

The survey is conducted by a researcher Věra Řiháčková from Europeum Institute for European Policy. 

Survey in ENG

Survey in RU

full story

Statement by Mr Henri Malosse, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, following the recent events in Ukraine

03 March 2014

"The entry of the Russian army in the Crimea can only be seen as a de facto annexation of this region. Thus, we strongly condemn such a military intervention in Ukraine, which is an act of international banditry.

European civil society remains committed to the necessity for Ukraine to conduct real reforms to establish a Rule of Law, fight against existing corruption and strengthen the role of organized civil society. It reiterates the importance of European values such as tolerance and the respect for the right of minorities to their cultural identity and their language. In this respect, the vote of the Ukrainian Parliament putting an end to the co-official status of other languages such as Hungarian, Polish or Russian is an unreasonable decision, which, in our opinion, should be revised.

Full Statement 

full story

Appeal of Belarusian National Platform condemning Russian military intervention in sovereign Ukraine

03 March 2014

 Appeal of Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

"About Russian military intervention in sovereign Ukraine"

'We, citizens and representatives of civil society organizations of the Republic of Belarus, condemn Russian military intervention in sovereign Ukraine, accompanied by introduction of Russian military forces onthe territory of the Crimea and the armed seizure of strategic facilities and communications by the Russian military, as well as blocking of Ukrainian military bases.

For this intervention Vladimir Putin on March 1, 2014 received permission from the Federation Council to use military force in Ukraine. Several days before in invasive actions of Russia towards Ukraine, Russian military forces were used in the Crimea on the basis of the Kharkiv agreements on basing the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, signed by Dmitry Medvedev and Viktor Yanukovych in 2010'. 

Full appeal

full story

Resolution of Azeri National Platform condemning verdict against Yadigar Sadigov

02 March 2014

We, the members of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum of Azerbaijan condemn the verdict by the Lankaran District Court against Yadigar Sadigov, the adviser to the head of Musavat Party. Sadigov has been sentenced to six years in prison and the verdict is the result of the lack of an independent judiciary in Azerbaijan.

Resolution

full story

EU-Russia Civil Society Forum - Stop the Threat of War!

02 March 2014
The Steering Committee of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum expresses its strong protest against the decision made by the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation for approving entry of the Russian troops on the territory of the Ukraine, says a statement of EU-Russia Civil Society Forum.

There are no grounds for military intervention into the internal affairs of a sovereign state: there are no vicious and mass human rights violations or crimes against humanity, there are no violations of rights of the Russian citizens in the Ukraine. The threat of military intervention under the pretence of “protection of national interests” is fully inadmissible for a state which considers itself as democratic, observant of the rules of international law, and moreover, a member state of the UN Security Council. We are also deeply concerned over the information about the deployment of the Russian military representatives on the Crimea peninsula which already begun.

Full statement

full story

Organisations of EaP Civil Society Forum perform key functions in Euromaidan activities

01 March 2014

It has been a week since the fall of a Yanukovych regime in Ukraine and ten days since the bloody shooting with nearly 80 persons killed by the snipers. Ukraine and international community mourn the victims and try to organise the process of help to nearly 1500 wounded, channel financial support to the families of the victims, find more than 300 missing protestors and make sure that all those unlawfully arrested during the period of the last three months are freed.

full story

Moldova: first EaP country to recieve visa-free travel

28 February 2014

Moldovan citizens will soon be able to travel to the EU's border-free Schengen area without a visa, under a draft law approved by the European Parliament today and already informally agreed with the Council, according to a press release from the European Parliament. Moldova is the first Eastern Partnership country to meet all the requirements for visa-free travel laid down in the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan. Moldovans who have biometric passports (with a chip storing the holder's facial image and fingerprints) would be able to travel to the Schengen area for 90 days within a 180-day period.

"Today is a very significant day not only for the EU's visa policy as such, but particularly for the Republic of Moldova. I am very pleased that Parliament has passed by such an overwhelming majority the decision to abolish visas for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova," said the rapporteur, Tanja Fajon.

Press release

full story

Commissioner Füle on Ukraine: ‘We need a lasting solution to the political crisis’

27 February 2014

In his speech yesterday to the Members of the European Parliament Commissioner Füle said that the tragic events of the past weeks in Ukraine had put a great responsibility on all involved to make things in the country work. ‘It puts a greater responsibility on the new Ukrainian government – interim and beyond – to deliver the changes the people have asked and fought for. It puts a greater responsibility on the EU to extend all our support and expertise to ensure that these changes are put on solid ground and will be sustainable, the Commissioner said.

‘We expect everyone in Ukraine to behave responsibly and protect the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the country. Due respect for regional, cultural and linguistic diversity of the country is also of utmost importance. We need a lasting solution to the political crisis’.

Full speech

full story

Belarusian National Platform appeals for international monitoring of the situation in Ukraine

24 February 2014

 Appeal of Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum "On the international monitoring of the situation in Ukraine"

UN Secretary-General

Secretary-General of the Council of Europe

OSCE Secretary General

EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Belarusian civil society organizations are extremely concerned about bloody violence and force developments around the protests in Ukraine. Hundreds killed and dozens injured, the prospect of an further escalation of confrontation - all this requires the immediate creation of a rapid response mechanism for:

• formation of a large-scale group of observers, both staff and representatives of international organizations, as well as among civil society experts;

• organization of long-term observation of the conflict and crisis situations;

• mediation between the different parties to the conflict;

• perform other functions aimed at reducing the negative consequences and prevention of violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms in such situations.

Full appeal

full story

Appeal of Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum "On solidarity with the Ukrainian people" - Glory to Ukraine!

24 February 2014

Over 60 Belarusian civil society organizations, participants of Belarusian National Platform of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership have expressed their support with the Ukrainian people and the National Platform of Ukraine.

‘In these days, filled both with grief and hope, when Ukraine is experiencing a turning point in their recent history, we appeal to the whole Ukrainian nation of solidarity and hope’, the appeal says. ‘Together with Ukraine, we mourn the victims, the heroes who gave their lives for universal values - freedom, democracy, humanism and justice! We will keep them in our hearts. Life and health of the people - this is a very high price that Ukrainian people paid for their freedom from unlimited and uncontrolled power. This blood could not happen, but it is not spilled for naught. Let it be a lesson to those who still believes that this price can be paid for staying in power and people's lives can be given for luxuries and personal ambitions’.

Full appeal

full story

EU calles for sanctions towards Ukrainian officials

21 February 2014

EU foreign ministers last night agreed to introduce targeted sanctions against those responsible for the violent crackdown in Ukraine, saying the EU was appalled and deeply dismayed by the deteriorating situation. Meeting in an extraordinary session of the European Council in Brussels, ministers condemned all use of violence, stressing that those responsible for grave human rights violations should be brought to justice.

Amid the worsening situation in Ukraine, the EU has decided to introduce “targeted sanctions including asset freeze and visa ban against those responsible for human rights violations, violence and use of excessive force.” Member states agreed to suspend export licences on equipment which might be used for internal repression. (EU Neighbourhood Info Centre)

Council Conclusions

full story

Working Group 5 meets in Brussels: social and economic policies on agenda of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

21 February 2014

Over 30 participants from six Eastern Partnership countries and EU took part in the working group meeting concerning social and labour policies and social dialogue. Working Group 5 of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is working tightly with the European Economic and Social Committee on raising awareness about the social dialogue and its implementation in the EU countries and establishing a structured dialogue on the issues of labour markets, social rights and social and economic issues pertinent to the EaP countries.

Agenda

Photos from the meeting

full story

Statement of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on political repression in Ukraine

20 February 2014

Catherine Ashton,

Vice-President, European Commission,

and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Council

Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy

Martin Schulz, President, European Parliament

Ministers of Foreign Affairs, EU member states

20 February 2014

 

EU cannot delay any longer an intensive, long-term strategic commitment to Ukraine and immediate despatch of special EU envoy

EU should use targeted sanctions, including freezing bank accounts, against individuals responsible for violence against protesters

 

Dear High Representative, Dear Commissioner, Dear President of the European Parliament, Dear Ministers,

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum calls upon the European Union to send a permanent special envoy to Ukraine, backed up by experienced negotiators from member states, to work towards peaceful solution of the current crisis, and support a sustained EU engagement working for closer EU integration with Ukraine, with the goal of a perspective of EU membership of Ukraine. We appreciate the sincere engagement of leading EU representatives, including the visits of the High Representative and the Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy. These are not sufficient to address the current political crisis in Ukraine.

A permanent, high-level special envoy is required with immediate effect, with a strong mandate to negotiate with all sides in the conflict. The envoy should be backed up by experience diplomats and negotiators seconded from EU member states. The depth and geopolitical importance of the current crisis in Ukraine cannot be addressed without sustained EU engagement at this level and intensity.

In the light of the tragic events of this week, including many deaths of Maidan protesters, the Forum calls upon the EU and EU member states to impose a travel ban on the state officials responsible for attacks on protesters, and for the freezing of their EU-based financial assets. These sanctions must be applied also to President Viktor Yanukovych, who is directly responsible for these actions.

Download the statement

full story

Moldovan National Platform calls for respect of democratic institutions and fundamental human rights in Ukraine

19 February 2014

February 19, 2014, Chisinau

Call on respect of democratic institutions and fundamental human rights in Ukraine

Civil Society of Moldova reaffirms its full support for the people of Ukraine aspirations for the European democracy. We admire the courage of the people of Ukraine and its peaceful struggle for national sovereignty. We express deep condolences for the loss of human lives.

We ascertain the direct responsibility of the current President and interim Government of Ukraine for:

1) undermining democratic institutions by: censoring and closing TV stations, encouraging attacks on journalists, installing political censorship in the VerkhovnaRada, suspension of the legislative initiative right of deputies, harassment and persecution of deputies on grounds of opinion contrary to current executive, effective cancellation ofparliamentary oversight over the executive,

2) illegal assumption of power by the executive by: unlawful de facto installment of the state of emergency, undemocratic political subordination of the law enforcement and security bodies, exercise of political police, systematic use of administrative resources, prosecution powers to intimidate citizens and political opponents,

3) continues violations of fundamental human rights by: systematic repression of peaceful protesters, limiting freedom of movement, security of persons, creating climate of fear, causing disappearances, actions resulted into thefts of the civic activists, promotionof impunity of law enforcement bodies and their associates,

4) use of arbitrary and unjustified force against people by: employment of firearms, snipers, weapons that are illegal against civilians under the international standards, use of illegal forces against the people for illegitimate purposes, hunting and torturing of peaceful activists, all resulting in dozens of casualties and thousands of people seriously injured,

5) unprecedented amplificationof corruption by: taking over by a narrow circle through opaque deals of public assets, flourishing of private deals to the detriment of the national interest.

6) definitiveloss of the legitimacy of thecurrent presidentdue to the responsibility for the erosion of the democratic institutions and systematic violations of human rights.

full story

The Secretariat is accepting applications for an internship

18 February 2014

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Civil Society Forum is accepting applications for an internship. The Intern will assist the Director of the Secretariat and the Communications Manager in administrative, policy and communication related tasks.

Job location: Brussels, Belgium

Start date: ASAP (beg. of March 2014)

Time period: 4– 6 months (please state your preferred time period in your application)

Candidate’s Profile

The Intern will:

Have basic understanding of the workings of the EU, bilateral and multi-lateral tracks of the Eastern Partnership, and civil society involvement in the EaP

Be a recent graduate of European Studies, International Relations, Public relations or other related field

Be fluent in English and Russian and able to interact verbally and in writing with professionalism; Russian as a native language is an advantage

Be an independent, problem solver, team player

Be flexible to perform a wide variety of tasks in a small office

Ability to start ASAP

full story

Belarus: Appeal of the Coordinating Committee of the National Platform 'On the conflict situation in the European Humanities University'

17 February 2014

Appeal of the Coordinating Committee of the National Platform of the Eastern partnership Civil Society Forum

"On the conflict situation in the European Humanities University"

Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum expresses its deep concern over the development of the crisis in the European Humanities University. In the eyes of Belarusian society and international partners EHU is not only independent institution of higher education, but also a significant phenomenon of intellectual, cultural, and social life of Belarus. Due to the lack of appropriate conditions in Belarus for the development of free education EHU was forced to settle in Lithuania, thus becoming the "university in exile".

Independent part of Belarusian society would like to consider EHU as a place of cultivating free and democratic forms of communication, critical thinking, preparing future democratic elites, the preservation and development of research and academic potential. Existence of an independent Belarusian university is a necessary element for the future restoration of democracy. It should be noted that, despite these expectations, European Humanities University during the entire period of its existence could hardly fully comply with these requirements.

Increase of the crisis in the European Humanities University further alienates him from the realization of this mission. Over recent years, EHU increasingly loses links with the Belarusian

society, becomes non-transparent, turns into a purely commercial educational enterprise, limits the space of academic self-government, loses scientific and research component of the University. This state of affairs at EHU is obvious to external observers and confirmed by independent expert assessments of the European University Association.

EHU withdrawal from the university's principles and its mission is not the first time leads to an aggravation of contradictions between the academic community and the university administration, this time these contradictions have reached a critical limit. Academic community, represented by the platform "For New EHU" and EHU Senate (the main body of academic self-government), criticize the current situation and offer their program of reforms for the university. In particular, the academic community notices undemocratic style of management, inefficiency of financial policy, lack of transparency and discriminatory character of human resources’ policies, deteriorating image of the university in Belarus. In turn, the administration carries out its own reform agenda, without entering into dialogue with lecturers and academic community of the university. To date, opposition of the administration and the academic community has moved beyond internal corporate procedures: the administration uses various forms of pressure on lecturers (including dismissal of supporters of the platform "For New EHU"), when they are forced to go to court and the media. All this has a negative effect on the overall image of EHU and aggravates internal crisis.

Under these circumstances, considering the EHU as a specific element of civil society of Belarus, the Coordinating Committee of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum calls on all participating parties, related to the destiny of EHU.

Full appeal

full story

Azerbaijan: Catherine Ashton and Stefan Füle issued a statement concerning the situation on the recent amendments to NGO legislation

13 February 2014

The spokespersons of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy issued a statement concerning the situation on the recent amendments to NGO legislation in Azerbaijan restricting the environment for an independent and critical civil society, especially in the field of human rights and democracy.

Full statement

full story

Vacancy: Programme Manager

13 February 2014

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is accepting applications for the vacancy of Programme Manager/Finance Manager. 

Job location: Brussels, Belgium

Start date: March 2014

Time period: until 31 December 2014 with a possibility of extension

The Secretariat of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is looking to fill in the position of the Programme Manager/Finance Manager. The person in the position will be responsible for the production of the 2014 edition of the European Integration Index for the Eastern Partnership countries (more info here http://www.eap-index.eu) in cooperation with partner organisations and will be involved in other projects and events of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum administered by its Secretariat in Brussels. The person in the position will also perform the responsibilities of the Financial Manager for the small office.

Ideally we are looking for the person who has necessary experience and expertise to exercise both components of the position (programme management and financial management), however the option for filling in the part-time position of Financial Manager and the part-time position of Programme Manager can be considered. Please specify what would be your preferable option in your cover letter. The candidates that have already submitted applications for the recently announced Finance Manager position at the Secretariat and would like to be considered for the full-time position are requested to reapply.

full story

Euronest Committee on Political Affairs, Human Rights and Democracy discusses the future of Eastern Partnership and European Neighbourhood Instrument 2014-2020

13 February 2014

On the 10th of February two CSF Steering Committee members Jeff Lovitt and Leila Alieva participated in the Euronest Standing Committee on Political Affairs, Human Rights and Democracy that meets twice a year, consisting of European Parliament delegation and the Eastern European Partners' (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) delegations.

The speakers from European External Action Service (Gunnar Wiegand) and the European Commission (Michael Koehler) talked about the prospect of the Eastern Partnership until the 2015 Summit in Riga and the European Neighborhood Instrument for 2014-2020.

Jeff Lovitt, representing Civil Society Forum, in his address to the Parliamentarians underlined that there is a need to dispel myths on Association Agreements and to set out what the mutual benefits of closer integration are, the underlying values, and how the EU is going to be more active in promoting and supporting those values not only in the Eastern Partnership countries but also EU member states. He expressed the importance of favorable legislative environment for the operation of NGOs, independent judiciary, anti-corruption efforts, checks and balances on the executive power, public debate on policy-making and implementation.

full story

CSF holds an event on the Eastern Partnership: Long-term EU strategy towards Eastern Partners and Russia (updated)

13 February 2014

Yesterday an expert event of Eastern Partnership advocators - EU officials, journalists, think tank and civil society representatives took place in the European Parliament. An event, organised by the EaP Civil Society Forum focused on the future strategy for European integration in the Eastern Neighbourhood, challenges and lessons learnt.

The speakers included high officials - Henri Malosse, President of the EESC, Philip Mikos, Head of Unit, Regional Programmes Neighbourhood East, DG Europe Aid and representatives of the Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum - Jeff Lovitt, Jan Peiklo and Leila Alieva.

Pictures from the event

Audio recording

full story

Catherine Ashton remarks on the Foreign Ministers Summit: ‘Not business as usual’

12 February 2014

In her remarks to the AFET Committee in the European Parliament Catherine Ashton described the Summit as not 'business as usual', stating ‘there was a good and frank discussion with  President Putin, most notably about our neighbourhood and differences, addressed in a trilateral discussion between the three Presidents’.. ‘We gave clear messages about our concerns’.

The Russian President and his team also gave messages about some of the concerns that they have which led to the decision to hold some consultations at a technical level to explain in greater detail what the impact of some of the Agreements that we've been doing, especially the Free Trade Agreements with Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, how this would be in our view of benefit to the economy of Russia and to try and prevent the further spread of misinformation’ – the statement continues.  Ashton expressed hopes that the EU will also see the discussion on new agreements going forward in the future, stating that EU wants to have a strong bilateral relationship, a relationship based on mutual respect. 

Remarks

full story

EIB to increase support for agricultural investment in Moldova

10 February 2014

The European Investment Bank, the EU’s long-term lending institution, has agreed to increase engagement in Moldova to support agriculture and horticulture, according to a press release from the bank. This follows the success of an earlier lending programme launched in 2010, Filière du Vin, that has supported investment across the Moldovan wine industry.

A declaration of intent outlining key areas of future cooperation in the agriculture sector has been signed last week between Wilhelm Molterer, EIB Vice President responsible for the Bank’s activities in the Eastern Neighborhood, and Vasile Bumacov, Minister of Agriculture for the Republic of Moldova. EIB Vice President called it ‘a historic agreement’ that represents the first ever engagement by the European Investment Bank to support national agriculture in the Eastern Partnership, calling it a model for EIB engagement with other countries in the region.

‘The Moldovan government and the EIB share the common goal to help Moldovan companies become more competitive, meet EU and international quality standards, and increase exports to foreign markets, he continued’, he said in his speech.

Under the initiative the EIB will consider loans for eligible investment in public and private sector projects. The financing programme will support the entire agricultural and horticulture sector, including planting, farming, post-harvest, processing and logistics

Up to 50% of the financing for investment in agricultural projects could be provided by the EIB, with the remainder being provided by local sources or other international finance institutions. The scheme will also cover related research and training, as well as investment improve energy efficiency in the agriculture sector.

Over the coming months the EIB will work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and other bodies to develop an action plan to implement the new initiative.

Press release

full story

CSF statement ahead of EU Council meeting on 10th of February

07 February 2014

In advance of the EU Council meeting on 10 February, we share with the Council our support for strengthening the integration of the Eastern Partner countries with the EU, and for furthering democracy, human rights, and fundamental freedoms in the EU's neighbourhood.

Bearing in mind that implementation of the agreements under the Eastern Partnership initiative requires political commitment and effective policy implementation on the side of Partner governments, we call upon the Council to commission a strategic review of the implementation of the EU's policies towards the Eastern Partner countries, in particular:

--effective use of EU financial support to governments and other actors in the Eastern Partnership countries, including budget support to governments,

--consistency in observation and promotion of human rights, including working for the release of political prisoners and applying pressure for free and fair elections,

--greater engagement with civil society, expert groups, and watchdog groups monitoring human rights and policy effectiveness

--the effectiveness and potential of the multilateral dimension in the Eastern Partnership initiative.

Full statement

full story

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Ukraine

06 February 2014

Yesterday, the European Parliament in Strasbourg voted on a resolution on the situation in Ukraine, where it strongly condemned the escalation of violence against peaceful citizens, journalists, students, civil society activists, opposition politicians and clergy. The MPs expressed its sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the violence in Ukraine and called on the Ukrainian authorities to ‘fully respect people’s civil rights and fundamental freedoms and to take immediate steps to end the state of impunity by investigating and punishing the authors of violence against peaceful demonstrators’.

The Resolution also noted that despite international pressure, the Ukrainian authorities continue to pursue a policy of intimidation, repression, torture and violence against protesters, which has resulted in more than 2 000 people being injured, many people being abducted and at least six people killed’ the EP ‘welcomes the democratic spirit and resilience of the Ukrainian people after two months of courageous protests which have met with a brutal response from the authorities, and expresses its full solidarity and support for the people’s efforts for a free, democratic, independent Ukraine and its European perspective.’

full story

Statement of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on NGO law amendments in Azerbaijan

31 January 2014

Dear High Representative, Dear Commissioner, Dear President of the European Parliament, Dear Ministers, Dear President, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,

The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum urges your support in mobilising diplomatic pressure on the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, not to sign the restrictive amendments to the NGO Act and associated legislative amendments passed by the Parliament of Azerbaijan on 17 December 2013.  As the President’s decision on the legislation is anticipated in the coming days, appeals to his office are necessary as soon as possible. The amendments would give Azerbaijan authorities enhanced powers to arbitrarily fine, and close down, non-governmental organisations that criticise government policies and actions, as well as create new administrative burdens involving receipt and reporting of grants.

Full statement

full story

Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly urgent debate on Ukraine: both sides must take ‘concrete steps’ to solve the crisis

31 January 2014

The Ukrainian authorities should enter into ‘open, honest and effective negotiations with the opposition’ and promptly seek a wide consensus on the geopolitical alignment and further democratic development, as well as the constitutional order, of the country, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) said today at the end of an urgent debate.

Press release

full story

Commissioner Štefan Füle visits Moldova: ‘Now it is important to sustain this dynamic’

31 January 2014

Last week the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Commissioner Dacian Cioloş the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Iurie Leancă during his first visit to an Eastern Partnership country this year.

Our relations are developing at full speed. Last year we made number of strides forward: we initialled the Association Agreement, lifted the quota for Moldovan wine, and started the process to lift visa requirements’, the Commissioner said.

Press-release

full story

Ukraine: Catherine Ashton meets civil society representatives - The violence ‘must stop’!

30 January 2014

Yesterday representatives of the Ukraine’s National Platform together with the Civic Sector of Euromaidan, Student Coordination Council of Ukraine, Euromaidan SOS and other representatives of the civil society and media met with Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The discussion was focused on the current developments in Ukraine, with the special attention to prosecutions of the civil society representatives. The participants have stressed that the negotiation process is lacking the representatives of the civil society, and include only opposition and the government officials. To this remark Catherine Ashton asked who can become such a representative to which the response was that the problem is not about the personalities but the fact that the government officials insist on a dialogue only with the opposition. The speakers also pointed out that the process of negotiations has no trust whatsoever among those protesting as in parallel the government is increasing the numbers of special forces and continues to prepare the violent scenario. Civil society representatives also pointed out that the protest was peaceful until the government began using force against those protesting. In the policy domain they addressed the issue of limiting presidential powers, Constitutional reform, which is taking place already two years and stressed again that the struggle is not about the East and West of Ukraine but against the President who is trying to establish the dictatorship in the country.

full story

Resolution of European Economic and Social Committee (EESC): Civil society in Ukraine wants modernisation and reform

29 January 2014

Ruslana Lyzhychko, a leading figure of EuroMaidan, and Oleksiy Honcharuk, a spokesperson for the movement were invited to speak at the EESC plenary session and discuss what the protesters expect from Europe with representatives of European civil society at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 21 January 2014.

Their visit was followed by the Resolution from the EESC stating that ‘The EESC expresses its concern at the announcement of the Ukrainian parliament's decision to beef up "anti-demonstration" laws. We cannot fail to be concerned by such a decision as the country is shaken by a wave of protests for independence and democracy’.

full story

CSF Election monitoring activists urged the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to review the case of Anar Mammadli

27 January 2014

Election monitoring activists from the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership (EaP-CSF) have urged the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to review the case of Anar Mammadli, a respected Azeri civil rights activist, who has been imprisoned by the authorities there.

Mammadli, who is in pretrial detention, has been charged with tax evasion arising from grants donated to his EMDS election monitoring organization for the presidential election Azerbaijan last October. The EaP-CSF rejects the charges as groundless and politically motivated.

Krzysztof Bobinski, the head of the EaP CSF elections sub group, has said in a letter sent to Jean-Claude Mignon, the PACE president and other Assembly leaders, that the Council of Europe (CoE) should consider whether it should allow Azerbaijan to chair the CoE’s committee of ministers, a key decision making body, as long as Mammadli and over a hundred political detainees are kept in prison. Azerbaijan is due to take over the chair of the committee of ministers in May 2014 for a six month stint.

Full appleal

full story

Publication - The Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership four years on: Progress, challenges and prospects

24 January 2014

The newly published report by Hrant Kostanyan, an Associate Research Fellow at Centre for European Policy Studies, is the first attempt to conduct an in-depth assessment of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum after four years of its operation. 

The report singles out the institutionalisation and socialisation inculcated among its members as the Forum’s greatest accomplishment. In contrast to Forum’s internal developments, the report argues that the external policy successes of the Forum remain modest.

Ten actionable recommendations are put forward aimed at improving the Civil Society Forum’s standing and performance.

Download Full report (ENG)

full story

Appeal of the people of Ukraine’s to the international community: Please act now!

24 January 2014

This is our last plea for help. Tomorrow they might disconnect our phones and internet, announce a state of emergency and kill us while the international community remains silent, upholding European values on paper only. People are dying for them in Ukraine, and will continue to die.

Citizens of Ukraine, representatives of civil organizations, active participants in the peaceful protests on the Maidan (Independence Square) in Kyiv and across the whole country appeal to the international community, national governments, and international organizations to decisively intervene in the current situation in Ukraine in order to help Ukrainians secure peace and civil rights in this part of Europe. We need your help to stop this bloody, brutal and evil war, which criminal government authorities wage against their own people.  

 The response to the protesters’ actions by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) Security Forces is outrageous. Police strongly violate human rights, secured by international conventions and Ukrainian legislation, particularly by using live ammunition and water cannons. At least five people have already been killed by sniper’s bullets and torture by criminal thugs hired by the authorities to fight activists, and the fate of many others has not been determined.  Hundreds of protesters were severe injured, among them dozens of medical workers and journalists, who have been intentionally shot by snipers from “Berkut” (riot police), mainly targeting their eyes. MIA Security Forces have kidnapped the severely wounded right from the hospitals, handcuffed, tortured and humiliated them. We ask you to note that despite the terror against protesters arranged by authorities all over country, and specifically in Kyiv, people’s resistance, with only one exception, remains peaceful.

Appeal

full story

Georgia: Statement of Solidarity of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on the latest developments in Ukraine

24 January 2014

The civil society of Georgia is deeply concerned about the tragic events going on in Ukraine. We express our sincere condolences over those killed during the latest events.

For the past two months, the Ukrainian government has been neglecting people’s legitimate and peaceful demands. Moreover, the government adopted the draconian laws restricting civil rights of citizens thus provoking protesters and contributing to escalating mass tension.

Each nation has the right to determine its future, global orientation and the way of development, while the government, personifying its will is tasked to put the national aspirations into practice. The Ukrainian government, which came into power with the promises to accelerate the process of European integration refused to sign the Association Agreement with EU prior to Vilnius summit, by bringing the arguments being not enough convincing for Ukrainian people, thus putting the future of the country under risk.

The situation has become especially tense in the last days, which resulted in physical confrontation between the part of protesters and law-enforcement bodies, and caused casualties among participants of the manifestation. People started to disappear in suspicious situations, the facts of violence committed by certain civil persons mobilized by the government towards peaceful citizens (including journalists) have increased. The government’s attempt to suppress the people’s legitimate manifestation by violent and inhuman methods is obvious.   

The confrontation, which has already sacrificed lives of several people, puts the country’s stability, democratic values and fundamental human rights under threat. In the situation like this, the government is obliged to make all efforts possible to bring the process to peaceful, constitutional framework, protect human security, and the freedom of assembly and expression.  

By voicing our deep concern regarding the situation in Ukraine, we register our strong protest towards the Ukrainian government on infringing upon democratic values and mass violation of human rights in the country. We hold on hope that the international community will consolidate to direct its joint efforts to stop violence in Ukraine, and facilitate the peaceful and democratic developments in the country by taking the aspirations of the Ukrainian people into consideration.

Full Statement

full story

Moldovan National Platform: Stop the Violation of the Fundamental Human Rights in Ukraine!

21 January 2014

Declaration of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum of Republic of Moldova

Considering the role of the National Platforms in the framework of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership,

Taking into account the recent legislative developments in Ukraine (law “On Amendments of the Law “On the Judicial System and Status of Judges” and Procedural Laws on Additional Citizens Safety Measures”, adopted on 16 January 2014),

The Moldovan National Platform expresses serious concerns that the above mentioned documents work to promote and develop the fundamental human rights and ensure compliance with the international Agreements and Conventions[1] to which Ukraine is part of.

The current socio - political situation in Ukraine demonstrates a clear deviation from democratic values and principles to which Ukraine committed constantly as well as contempt for citizens will to pursue the European integration path.

full story

Statement - EU must cease financial assistance to Ukraine government and impose sanctions on legislators that voted for dictatorial legislation

20 January 2014

 Civil Society Forum challenges EU and Eastern Partner countries to sign a Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.

To

Catherine Ashton,
Vice-President, European Commission,
and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Council
Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy
Martin Schulz, President, European Parliament
Ministers of Foreign Affairs, EU member states

Dear High Representative, Dear Commissioner, Dear President of the European Parliament, Dear Ministers,

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum calls upon the European Union to cease all financial assistance to the government of Ukraine, and to impose a travel ban on all 239 Ukrainian MPs who voted on 16 January 2014 for authoritarian new laws restricting the freedom of assembly, speech, and association. EU sanctions should include freezing of EU-based financial assets of the lawmakers, and should be applied also to President Viktor Yanukovych, who signed the measures into law.

The newly enacted measures in Ukraine include Soviet-style censorship and libel laws, and allow prosecutors to initiate criminal prosecution to stamp out criticism of the authorities. The laws also curb the right to operate any independent media on the internet, imposing fines and confiscation of servers that do not have a special licence from the government. While those responsible for violence against peaceful protesters at the Euromaidan have been granted impunity, the new legislation jeopardises freedoms of assembly, expression, and association, and imposes jail sentences of 10-15 years for mass disruptions or protests. On this basis, all those peacefully protesting in Ukraine this weekend can be sent to jail.

Statement

full story

Vacancy: The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is looking for Finance and Administrative Manager

19 January 2014

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is accepting applications for the vacancy of Finance and Administrative Manager. 

Job location: Brussels, Belgium

Start date: mid-February 2014

Time period: until 31 December 2014 with a possibility of extension

Finance and Administrative Manager

Specific duties of the Financial and Administrative Manager include:

  • Preparing Secretariat’s annual operating budget and other projects’ budgets when needed;
  • Advising on new or updated policies and procedures and ensuring they are taken into consideration when designing and implementing projects;
  • Processing of all day-to-day financial transactions, including invoices, purchase orders, expense reimbursements of the Secretariat and its staff;
  • Preparing financial reports in accordance with the terms and conditions specified by donors; 
  • Monitoring budgets including recommending effective approaches to track and manage these budgets;
  • Producing financial analysis for use in planning and decision making;
  • Responsible for compliance with donors’ requirements for audit;      
  • Maintains and updates accurate administrative and financial project data and prepares monthly submissions to the accountant;
  • Liaises with auditors, donor agencies/ministries, financial services of partners and vendors; 
  • Carries out all Secretariat’s purchasing activities; ensures satisfactory delivery of goods or services;
  • Prepares contracts and liaises with contractors and consultants to ensure satisfactory delivery of services;
  • Manages petty cash; 
  • Prepares travel-related documents and supports other staff members in event management when necessary; 
  • Liaises with building management on common services issues;
  • Ensures adequate maintenance of office space and facilities services; 
  • Exercises control over non-expendable property, supplies and materials; 
  • Performs any other duties as may be assigned or required.

Desired Skills and Experience

Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in Finance, International Management, Business Administration or related field.
    • Minimum of 3 years related finance or general administration experience, including grants management and budget preparation, preferably in an international environment; 
    • Intermediate to Advanced Excel skills
    • Strong understanding of compliance with grants regulations and experience in submitting financial reports to the European Union,  and other donors would be an asset; 
    • Strong ability to establish priorities, work within tight timelines and multi-task; 
    • Ability to work under minimal supervision with high level of resilience; 
    • Good team player with strong inter-personal skills;
    • Excellent knowledge of English and preferably good command of Russian;
    • be methodical, accurate and organised;
    • be able to respect strict confidentiality.

Applications and interviews

CV and motivation letter should be sent to applications@eap-csf.eu by midnight CET the 30th of January 2014 (extended to 5th of February) with the reference: “Finance and Administrative Manager”. Only candidates selected for interview will be contacted. The interviews will be conducted in Brussels in early February.

About the Forum and the Secretariat

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum was established in 2009 and aims to support Eastern European countries' sustainable reform process with a view to accelerating their political association and economic integration with the EU. The Forum strengthens the diversity and plurality of public discourse and policymaking by holding governments and public authorities accountable to the commitments made in the joint declaration of the Prague Eastern Partnership summit, signed by the EU and the governments of the six Partner countries. See www.eap-csf.eu for further details.

The Secretariat of the Forum was registered in 2012 as an international non-profit organisation in Brussels, Belgium. The Secretariat serves as an information, coordination and expertise hub for the participants of the Forum, the bodies of the Forum, and stakeholders in Brussels and Eastern Partnership partner countries. It works to support the activities of the Steering Committee and enhance the visibility of the Forum.

 

 

full story

Catherine Ashton called on the President of Ukraine to bring recent decisions restricting citizens' fundamental rights in line with international commitments

17 January 2014

In a Statement today EU High Representative Catherine Ashton expressed ‘deep concerns by the events in Kyiv’ where in ‘several pieces of legislation restricting the Ukrainian citizens' fundamental rights have been hurriedly passed in an apparent disrespect of parliamentary procedures and democratic principles’.

‘I am particularly concerned by the changes to the judicial code which impose worrying restrictions on the rights of assembly and on the freedom of speech and media, and are contrary to Ukraine's international obligations. The changes that seem to seriously curtail the activities of civil society organisations in Ukraine and simplify procedures for revocation of mandates of Members of Parliament are equally worrying’, the statement says.

Statement

full story

International Renaissance Foundation statement: Stop attack on rights and Freedoms in Ukraine!

16 January 2014

Unprecedented impertinence of the attack on fundamental human rights and civic liberties has occurred in the Ukrainian Parliament today, says the statement from the International Renaissance Foundation. The act challenges a democratic nature of the Ukrainian state and opens the way for massive repressions against its citizens, it continues.

The Parliament of Ukraine has violated its own procedures today to adopt a repressive bill #3879, “On Making Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges” and Procedural Laws on Additional Measures for Protecting Security of Citizens”. No debate preceded the bill, registered only on January 14, 2014.

full story

EuroMaidan’s social manifesto: the politics of daily work

15 January 2014

Ukrainians have come out on the streets to prove their constitutional right to live in a free country and to influence the social policies in the country, says a statement from the CSF coordinator in Ukraine of the Working Group 5 - Social Policies and Social Dialogue, Rostyslav Dzundza.

‘We, the representatives of the civil society are united by common democratic values of respect of human and civil rights and dignity of the citizens, freedom of speech, rule of law and social rights and we cannot stay aside these processes that are happening in Ukraine and consider the necessity to include the changes in the social policy of our country to the Euromaidan plenary’, a statement continues.

As organisations, which for decades are working on securing social protection to the people in need in Ukraine we cannot and will not hope for the promises of social security in the future. We do not wish to wait for the social reforms 10-20 years and live in the society of a ‘governed poverty’, in the social ‘reality’, misguided by the economic and political actions of the ruling bureaucracy.

We want to have new social policy today and now, a statement proclaims. And we want to build Europe here.

It is not sufficient for us to be mediators in the implementation of someone else’s political plans and intentions. We have to fight with the government’s inertia, but not from Maidan to Maidan. Instead, we have to advocate daily social reforms at our working places.

High social standards in the Western European countries are a result of the longstanding everyday struggle of their citizens for their rights. Hence, we are not asking for impossible. We demand the creation of political and legal conditions that will enable Ukrainians to arrange care for themselves and their loved ones, to create an effective system of social services in every locality, in cities and in the countryside. We do not need help, but we wish not to be hindered in rebuilding our country.

During the period of the systemic transformation of Ukrainian economy and political system, we believe that a fundamental reform of the social sphere and public administration would guarantee the success of such transformation. 

We believe that the fundamental principles of the social reform are three "S”: subsidiarity, self-government and self-organization.  A clearly delineated outline of the planned social reform is a necessary precondition for the support from the civil society to any political force. 

full story

Armenian National Platform issues a statement on EU-Armenia relations

24 December 2013

The Armenian National Platform (ANP) of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Civil Society Forum (CSF) acknowledges the Vilnius Summit as an important event that enabled to “check the realities,” to clearly and adequately formulate the achievements, failures, ambitions, and the degree of responsibility of every individual partner country and the European Union.  

The Summit finally recorded the failure of the last years' policy of the RA, aiming at association with EU. In fact, refusing from European integration and choosing another integration model, Armenia ended up losing the most noticeable opportunity for taking its statehood on a new qualitative level and stepped on a track full of threats to Armenia’s sovereignty and national security. The possibilities for reforms in democratic institutions, human rights and other spheres became limited as a result the U-turn of the RA authorities.

Full statement

full story

President Herman Van Rompuy: remarks on Ukraine, following the European Council – ‘The future of our relations is for the long-term’

21 December 2013

Following the European Council this week, President Herman Van Rompuy outlined his remarks, reconfirming a message of ‘strong support’ to Ukraine. The citizens of Ukraine have shown again these last days how fully aware they are, of the historic nature of Europe's offer, which he said is ‘the most reliable road to a modern, open, independent Ukraine’.

‘And on behalf of the entire European Council, I can say that our offer, the offer of political association and closer trade ties, is still on the table. We are willing to sign, as soon as the country is ready’, he said, expressing regrets about  the decision of Ukraine's government of late November not to sign the Association Agreement with EU. 

But the future of our relations is for the long-term’, said President Herman Van Rompuy. ‘We can't let that be compromised by short-term calculations, by outside pressure. It must be a free choice’.  

‘To my mind, the future of Ukraine lies with Europe. One can try to slow it down, to block it, but in the end no one can prevent it’, sating that EU made it abundantly clear that the ‘European Union's agreements with partner countries in the region are not at Russia's expense. On the contrary, it is also set to benefit from it’.

Remarks

full story

Members of European Parliament address a letter to Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan on recent arrest of Anar Mammadli

20 December 2013

Members of the European Parliament Joachim Zeller, Member of the Delegation to the Euronest (EPP), Member of the Election Observation Mission to Azerbaijan, Ulrike Lunacek, Member of the Delegation to the EU-Armenia, EU- Azerbaijan and EU-Georgia Parliamentary Cooperation Committees (Greens/EFA), Werner Schulz, Member of the Delegation to the Euronest (Greens/EFA), Filip Kaczmarek, Member of the Delegation to the Euronest (EPP), Member of the Election Observation Mission to Azerbaijan have addressed the letter to Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the arrestation of Anar Mammadli, chairman of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre, Baku (EMDS) and former Steering Committee member of the EaP Civil Society Forum.

‘With great concern we have learnt that on December 16th Anar Mammadli, chairman of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre, Baku (EMDS) and board member of the network European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) has been arrested and given a three months pre-trial detention at the Nasimin District Court in Baku’, the letter says.

‘The EMDS is one of the most professional and best reputed election observation organisations in the Eastern partnership region’, it continues. 

The letter states that the work of EMDS is highly appreciated by ODIHR, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. It also indicates that independent citizen’s election observation is an indispensible right of voters to exert control over electoral processes and stresses that a sentence of Anar Mammadli would considerably throw back the Republic of Azerbaijan in their efforts for improving election processes in the country.

The Members of the European Parliament urgently recommend an immediate release from pre-trial detention and invite to further support and develop citizen’s activities in the field of electoral processes.  They also recommend to grant registration to EMDS and to do anything possible to support citizens in their activities for free and fair elections in the country.

Letter

Open Letter to HE Ilham Aliyev by Ivanna Volochiy

full story

EU High officials issue a statement on detention of Anar Mammadli, EMDS chairman and member of EaP Civil Society Forum in Azerbaijan

20 December 2013

Spokespersons of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle have issued a statement on the detention of Mr Anar Mammadli, chairman of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre in Azerbaijan.

The High Representative and the Commissioner are very concerned at the arrest of Mr. Anar Mammadli, Chairman of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre, on 16 December and by the Court's decision to sentence Mr. Mammadli to three months' pretrial detention in the absence of his lawyer’, a statement says.

‘The High Representative and Commissioner Füle call upon the Azerbaijan authorities to ensure a speedy, fair, transparent and independent investigation of the charges against Mr. Mammadli, free of political influence and prejudice while fully respecting due process’, it continues.

‘The EU will closely monitor the case of Mr. Mammadli as well as other ongoing legal procedures in Azerbaijan involving civil society organisations and individuals’, the statement concludes.

Earlier this week Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum has issued a statement  protesting strongly about the three months’ detention order imposed on Anar Mammadli, the head of the Election Monitoring and Democratic Studies Center (EMDS) in Azerbaijan, and his subsequent imprisonment on 16 December 2013. The Statement urged the authorities to immediately free Anar Mammadli, and to drop all charges against him. 

Statement

EaP CSF Statement

 

full story

EU Eastern Neighbours at the crossroads: CSF holds stakeholder event in the European Parliament

19 December 2013

EU Eastern Neighbours at the crossroads – an event organised by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and the office of Jacek PROTASIEWICZ, Vice-President of European Parliament in the European Parliament in Brussels this week brought together EU policy-makers and civil society actors. The participants assessed the post-Vilnius situation in the eastern neighbourhood and looked for ways to solve geopolitical and policy dilemmas facing the neighbourhood, as well as assessed the role that civil society can play in the reform process. 

Photo Gallery

full story

Media Freedom Watch launches weekly newsletter service. Subscribe today!

18 December 2013

Media Freedom Watch is inviting those interested in the latest developments in media in Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine (in English and Russian) to subscribe to its weekly newsletter, an informational product of Media Freedom Watch website, funded by the European Union. 

The website is a concentrated source of information on the processes and events that take place in Eastern Partnership countries. It addresses a number of key problems existing in the media sphere of all six countries of the ENP East region through the coverage of these problem issues and bringing the attention of the international community to them – harassment of journalists; persecution of independent media; censorship and self-censorship; and complicated legal framework for media.

It is destined to become a bridge between the journalist community and media-NGOs, on the one hand, and EU official bodies, European human rights organizations and media organizations, on the other hand.

Eastern Partnership Media Freedom Watch Project is aimed at facilitating freedom of speech and media protection in the six countries by means of raising public awareness at both regional and international levels concerning the situation of media and journalist freedom in the region. The project is implemented by Internews-Ukraine, international public organization, with the support of the European Union and in terms of cooperation between leading media NGOs: Yerevan Press-Club (Armenia), Yeni Nesil Journalists Union (Azerbaijan), Green Wave Association (Georgia), Independent Journalism Centre (Moldova), and partners from Belarus and is supported by the Eastern Partnerhsip Civil Society Forum.

Should you have any further questions, please contact Media Freedom Watch Project Manager Nataliya Sad at nsad@internews.ua.

full story

UK foreign minister raises issue of imprisonment of Anar Mammadli with Azeri authorities

18 December 2013

On 17 December UK Foreign Secretary William Hague who visited Baku to initial a deal for the construction of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, raised the case of imprisonment Anar Mammadli with Foreign Minister Mammadyarov.

Mammadli, who chairs the Baku-based Center for Election Monitoring and Democracy, documented cases of various violations in this October's presidential election, which brought a third encore for President Ilham Aliyev’s ten-year rule. His criticism of the last election included the post-election crackdown on dissenting media, and was picked up by international news outlets and cited by international watchdogs. Anar Mammadli was a Coordinator of Working Group 1 on Democracy, Human Rights, and Good Governance of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in 2013.

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum joins the campaign to postpone Azerbaijan’s six-month chairmanship of the organisation, currently scheduled to start in May 2014, until it conforms to the organisation’s rules.

CSF Statement

Read more

full story

Statement of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on European integration aspirations in Ukraine

17 December 2013

Catherine Ashton,

Vice-President, European Commission,

and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Council

Štefan Füle

European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy

Martin Schulz, President, European Parliament

Ministers of Foreign Affairs, EU member states

 

Brussels, 17 December 2013

 

Statement of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on European integration aspirations in Ukraine

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Solution of political crisis in Ukraine requires inclusive talks with opposition and civil society to shape credible government commitment towards signature of Association Agreement with EU

 

 

Dear High Representative, Dear Commissioner, Dear Ministers,

Throughout 2013, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum has repeatedly expressed its support for the signing of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, as a historic document that should guarantee the future success of the Eastern Partnership initiative, and confirm the European future of Ukraine. Civil Society has strived to act as a full participant in the dialogue between Ukraine and the EU, calling upon the parties to express goodwill in fulfilling requirements and reaching agreements, to overcome political ambitions, and to confront interference by Russia in EU-Ukraine bilateral relations.

The refusal of the Ukrainian Government to continue preparations for the signature of the Association Agreement led hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to feel betrayed and to gather in the streets of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, demanding that President Viktor Yanukovych sign the Agreement at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on 28 29 November 2013.  The signing of the Agreement was disrupted owing to the lack of political will on the part of the President and the Government of Ukraine, and fierce pressure from the side of pro-Russian political interest groups.

The continuing disregard by the authorities of the interests of the citizens of Ukraine, along with the bloody violence committed by Ministry of Interior Special Forces against peaceful participants in the Euromaidan rallies on the nights of 30 November and 1 December 2013 have placed on the agenda the issue of the legitimacy of power and its responsibility for unlawful actions. The right to an European future and peaceful resolution of the political chaos in the country have united all concerned Ukrainians. Euromaidan has already become the largest and longest-lasting action in support of European integration since 1989. People’s Assemblies (Narodne Viche), which have been gathering hundreds of thousands of ordinary Ukrainians in the heart of Kyiv every Sunday, are a reminder to the authorities that sovereignty belongs to the people of Ukraine, who are the only source of legitimate power in Ukraine, and hold the key to a solution to the political crisis.

Unfortunately, the recurrent forceful dispersal of protesters, which took place on 11 December 2013 have demonstrated that the Government of Ukraine understands neither the need to find a political compromise nor the likely consequences of escalation of the political crisis

With a view to preventing a further deepening of the crisis in Ukraine, the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum calls on the Ukrainian authorities:

  • to organise as quickly and as publicly as possible a roundtable with the participation of real and authorised representatives of the protesters, leaders of the opposition, and recognised representatives of civil society to develop an action plan for a compromise solution to  meet the concerns of the Euromaidan participants;
  • to stop criminal prosecution or other persecution of civil activists and protesters, who were arrested at protest rallies on 1 December 2013;
  • to comply with obligations not to use force against peaceful demonstrators;
  • to punish all officials responsible for the shedding of blood on 30 November 2013, not only those who carried out the  violence;
  • to take practical steps to sign the Association Agreement, in line with the calls from Ukrainian society, instead of the imitation of an active negotiating process without concrete results.

We are deeply convinced that the EU in its turn can help to reduce political tensions in Ukraine by:

  • the presence of political and public figures from the EU in Ukraine until the end of the active phase of the conflict, and participation as observers or mediators in the negotiations process between the authorities and the representatives of Euromaidan;
  • dissuading the Russian Federation from taking actions that would lead to the enforced inclusion of Ukraine into its integration projects;
  • consideration in line with the European Parliament resolution of 12 December 2013 of action to reach a swift agreement on a visa-free regime with Ukraine, and to start by introducing a visa-free regime for the short-term visits of citizens of Ukraine to the EU member-states in the Schengen zone[1];
  • the imposition of EU sanctions on particular high-ranking officials in Ukraine unless the Ukrainian Government fulfils the requirements not to use force towards participants engaged in peaceful demonstrations, and unless those responsible for forceful actions are duly punished.

 

Yours faithfully,

Steering Committee

Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership

Statement



[1] European Parliament resolution of 12 December 2013 on the outcome of the Vilnius Summit and the future of the Eastern Partnership, in particular as regards Ukraine (2013/2983(RSP)) “11.  Calls for the EU institutions and the Member States to commit to a broad opening towards Ukrainian society, in particular through a swift agreement on a visa-free regime, strengthened research cooperation, expanded youth exchanges and increased availability of scholarships; considers that further efforts should be made to include Ukraine fully in the EU’s internal energy market.”

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P7-TA-2013-0595&format=XML&language=EN

full story

Statement of EaP Civil Society Forum on arrest of Anar Mammadli, who led election monitoring of Presidential elections in Azerbaijan

17 December 2013

Arrest of Anar Mammadli shows disregard of Azerbaijan authorities for independent election monitoring and civil liberties. Civil Society Forum calls on Azerbaijan authorities to release him immediately.

Dear High Representative, Dear Commissioner, Dear President of the European Parliament, Dear Ministers,

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum protests strongly about the three months’ detention order imposed on Anar Mammadli, the head of the Election Monitoring and Democratic Studies Center (EMDS) in Azerbaijan, and his subsequent imprisonment on 16 December 2013. The investigation being carried out against Anar Mammadli does not warrant his detention as he has until now answered every summons to appear as a witness in the case, and the fact that he has had his passport taken away means that he is unable to leave Azerbaijan. Prior to October 2013, Anar Mammadli was Working Group 1 co-ordinator of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (working group for democracy, human rights, good governance, and stability).

Anar Mammadli is a highly respected civil rights activist, and the reports produced by his election monitoring organisation are considered to be highly credible both in Azerbaijan and abroad. We consider that the criminal investigation being conducted against him which derives from grants EMDS received from abroad to conduct its election monitoring activities is another example of the victimisation of civil rights activists by the Azerbaijan authorities.

We urge the authorities to immediately free Anar Mammadli, and to drop all charges against him. The authorities must understand that every additional political prisoner in Azerbaijan undermines the country’s image abroad and its position in the Council of Europe and in the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe as well as its relations with the European Union.

We urge the European Commission, the EU delegation in Baku, and the European Parliament to condemn his arrest in the strongest terms, and to support the Civil Society Forum in pressing the Azerbaijan authorities for his immediate release.

Statement

full story

CSF expresses concern regarding the imprisonment of Anar Mammadli, a member of former Steering Committee from Azerbaijan

17 December 2013

CSF expresses high concern regarding the imprisonment of Anar Mammadli, a member of last year’s Steering Committee from Azerbaijan who was detained for three months yesterday by the Chief prosecutor’s office. He is being investigated on criminal charges in connection with grants given to EMDS for election monitoring in the recent presidential election and faces a prison sentence. EMDS is one of the most reputable election monitoring organizations in the EaP. Anar was invited to the Prosecutor Office as a witness, but was kept there several hours and at last imprisoned for 3 months. 

full story

Eastern Partnership after Vilnius: strategy first of all

15 December 2013

‘The Vilnius Summit is continuing in the streets and squares of Kyiv (and other Ukrainian cities)’, said the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy  Štefan Füle discussing the situation in Ukraine and the results of the Vilnius Eastern Partnership summit in the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week, according to a press release from the Commission.

The continuing support of the EU to the modernisation of Ukraine and the readiness to sign the Association Agreement were the main topics raised in his statement and during exchange with the members of European parliament. He also explained the way forward for the Eastern Partnership after the Vilnius summit and underlined the principles and values on which this policy is based, according to a press release says.

‘The massive support for European integration, for reform and modernisation, that has been shown by Ukrainian citizens over recent weeks suggests that a large part of the population has made up its mind about where Ukraine should go, and that Ukrainians are committed to defending their choice by peacefully exercising their civil rights, their freedom of association and freedom of expression’, said the Commissioner.

Their voice has been heard. I firmly believe that Ukraine and the European Union have been bound in association – unprecedented by its depth, breadth, and strength – not only by the letter, but by the spirit of this Association Agreement, which is maybe worth a million times more than a simple stroke of the pen. I admire the Ukrainian nation’s love for freedom and the maturity of its European spirit. It is not the European Union's compensation that they seek; it is a chance to live by European values.

The Agreement is also a framework for some of the investments that Ukraine will have to make if it is serious about its modernisation pledge. Modernisation and investment go hand-in-hand. There can be no modernisation without genuine effort, political will and adequate investment.’

The speculation we have seen about the alleged cost of Ukraine's modernisation is unfounded and unjustified, as are the trade restrictions imposed by Russia. They are meant to dissuade the Ukrainian people from taking up new opportunities, stressing that ‘in our partnership, we respect and defend the rights and freedoms of each individual, and we must defend the right of every nation to make its own choices. The people of Ukraine, its independence and sovereignty should not become victims of geopolitical zero-sum games or secret agreements’

We are in permanent contact both with government and opposition, as well as civil society to help find a way out of the current political stalemate. That way has to be based on non-violence and on compromises which are conducive to a rapid political and economic stabilisation of the country. This must include a swift and credible investigation into the police brutality on Maidan on the night of 29 to 30 November; a panel with experts from government, opposition and from the Council of Europe will hopefully very soon be formed to monitor these investigations.

I call upon the authorities to release all those peaceful demonstrators who remain in custody, the Commissioner said.

‘As President Barroso stated in Vilnius, times of limited sovereignty are over in Europe’, said Commissioner Füle emphasising that Vilnius was an important step in the development and advancement of the Eastern Partnership.

‘Vilnius was the first summit delivering tangible results’, the Commissioner said,  based on the steady work on political association and economic integration that the European Union has been doing with partners since the adoption of the Prague Declaration in May 2009 and the Warsaw Declaration of 2011. There are:

  • Vilnius was the first summit delivering tangible results’, the Commissioner said,  based on the steady work on political association and economic integration that the European Union has been doing with partners since the adoption of the Prague Declaration in May 2009 and the Warsaw Declaration of 2011. There are:
  • initialling the Association Agreement/DCFTA with Georgia and the Republic of Moldova;
  • signing the Visa Facilitation Agreement with Azerbaijan (after a similar agreement had been signed earlier this year with Armenia);
  • signing a  Framework Participation Agreement for EU-led crisis management operations with Georgia;
  • initialling the Common Aviation Area Agreement with Ukraine and endorsed the Eastern Partnership transport network and list of priority projects agreed by Transport Ministers in October 2013;
  • a successful Eastern Partnership Business Forum meeting and Civil Society Conference in Vilnius on the eve of the Summit;
  • Belarus finally expressed its readiness to take up our offer to begin negotiations on a Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreement; very important for the citizens of Belarus.

We also agreed a Joint Summit Declaration which sets ambitious goals to be reached by 2015. Let there be no doubt that respect for our common values will remain at the centre of our partnership: an independent judiciary, tackling corruption and effective and accountable public administration will be essential to ensure agreements serve those for whom they have been negotiated - namely the citizens’.

Looking ahead we will intensify our support for broader society – business communities, local and regional authorities, parliaments – and most of all civil society which is vital for building the constituencies for reform. Vilnius has also proven that differentiation is at the heart of the Eastern Partnership: we will be as ambitious as our partners are willing to be and we will deliver to the extent to which our partners are able to deliver on reforms. But combined with greater differentiation is our strong determination to pursue our common agenda with all six partners through multilateral dialogue and cooperation’.

The Eastern Partnership is all about creating the conditions that will unlock and fulfil the potential for growth, enterprise, and creativity of citizens in Eastern Europe. The Partnership is being tested by the decision of Ukraine not to sign the AA/DCFTA at this stage. But the European Union has come out stronger because it did not compromise when faced with external pressure, it stood firm. It stands united and keeps the door to finishing the transformation of partner countries, within a clear rules-based framework, firmly open’, he concluded.

full story

‘More for more’ principle in action – EU rewards Moldova, Georgia and Armenia with €87 million to boost reforms

12 December 2013

As was announced by the European Commission today, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia will benefit from €87 million additional funds under the Eastern Partnership integration and cooperation (EaPIC). The new funds (€35 million for Moldova, €27 million for Georgia and €25 million for Armenia) will go towards projects to boost economic opportunities in rural areas, advance reforms in the energy sector, improve job market management, offer vocational education and training and others, a press release said.

 

full story

European Parliament approves new European Neighbourhood Instrument for 2014-2020

11 December 2013

A deal with EU member states on six foreign policy funds – including more than €15 billion for the new European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) – was endorsed by the European Parliament today, according to a press release from the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre. The total funding for the six instruments is worth over €51 billion for the period 2014-2020, and covers neighbouring and partner countries, pre-accession assistance, as well as peace-keeping, democracy and human-rights actions, a press release says.

The European Commission welcomed the vote, saying it would “enable the EU to continue to be a global player and promote its interests and values”.

In a joint statement, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle and Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said: “The instruments adopted today allow us to pursue cooperation with our external partners on four policy priorities: enlargement, neighbourhood, cooperation with strategic partners and development cooperation.”

“In our EU Neighbourhood, we will efficiently accompany sector reforms and keep up the efforts of approximation in the East, and boost democratisation and economic and social development in the South,” the Commissioners said. “We will focus support to our neighbours even more on our political and policy agenda. It will allow for more differentiation and for giving incentives for best performers who genuinely implement deep and sustainable democracy, including respect for human rights, and agreed reform objectives.”

The final budget for the ENI stands at €15.433 billion (current prices), which is overall comparable with the total funding allocated under the current ENPI for 2007-2013.

“Thanks to the new Neighbourhood Instrument the EU should be able to react faster to the changing reality of our neighbourhood, while clearly supporting democratic values and human rights.  We are ready to give more support to countries that make progress on democratic reform, but also expect them to demonstrate more respect for these values,”said the EP’s ENI rapporteur Eduard Kukan.

The European Neighbourhood Instrument was endorsed by 618 votes to 53, with 8 abstentions.

Building on the achievements of the current European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), the ENI will support strengthening of relations with Neighbourhood countries and bring tangible benefits to both the EU and its partners. It will provide support through bilateral, multi-country and Cross Border Co-operation (CBC) programmes.

The European Parliament said its intervention meant EU foreign policy spending would be more efficient and more effective, with greater democratic scrutiny.

“We do not want to micromanage EU external assistance but, to ensure the democratic legitimacy and accountability of EU action, we need to scrutinize the big decisions,” said the EP rapporteur on the common implementing rules MEP Elmar Brok, adding: “A mid-term review of the strategic objectives will enable the next Parliament to have its say on priorities under these instruments. We have also ensured that EU action will be more visible, better coordinated, and more closely focused on human rights, democracy and civil society.” 

full story

EU-Armenia in the new context: way forward and role of civil society in reform process

09 December 2013

14th Cooperation Council between EU and Armenia took place today in Brussels, according to a press release from the Commissioner’s Štefan Füle office.

'Compared to previous Cooperation Council there is definitely a difference in the content of our discussions - given the new international commitments of Armenia.  But what remains the same, is our desire and resolve to continue to have a close relationship and take it forward, based on what we have achieved so far’.

In this light, we have reconfirmed the need to revisit the basis for our bilateral relations, as well as to update the EU-Armenia European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan to adjust it to the extent and ambitions of our future cooperation’.

‘We have commended the progress on the Mobility Partnership’, he added.

The ratification of the Agreements on Visa Facilitation and Readmission is completed and we are looking forward to their early entry into force. This will enable us to boost people to people contacts, which is an important element of our continued cooperation’, the Commissioner said calling for ‘the way forward for EU-Armenia relations to be outlined in the new context’ and assuring that ‘Armenia can count on the continued EU support to advance political, economic and social reforms and improve the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms’.  

In reference to the role of the civil society Štefan Füle  said that the ‘meeting was also yet another important opportunity to underline the role Civil Society is playing in the reform process, in shaping it and monitoring reforms’. ‘We have strengthened the cooperation and support for the Civil Society. We hope very much that also their work will be built on what has been achieved in that area in the last 3,5 years. We hope very much that fundamental freedoms, in particular freedom of expression and assembly, will be further strengthened’, he said.

A specific support is going to be provided to the Armenian national platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in order to strengthen its role and monitoring the reform process by building structured dialogue with the government’, the Commissioner added  calling on ‘the government to ensure that there is not intimidation of Civil Society representatives, human rights activists, in particular women's rights activists and appealing to investigate some of those cases from the past and make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice’, a press release concludes. 

Press release

full story

Ukraine: Media law institute issues statement on violence against journalist during civil protests

03 December 2013

'Media Law Institute expresses its indignation at brutal assaults on journalists, performing their professional duties, by the Ministry of Interior special unit "Berkut" defending the Administration of Ukraine`s President building', a statement says. 'During the events of 1st December outside the Presidential Administration in Kyiv, the authorities severely beaten with truncheons and kicked not only those, who provoked the conflict, but also journalists recording the developments', it continues. 'As a result, more than 50 Ukrainian and foreign journalists were injured. Police had clearly seen and understood that these people do not represent a threat, but this did not stop them'. 'In addition to physical violence against journalists, their professional equipment – cameras and camcorders – was destroyed as well. The events were recorded in photo and video materials, and with eyewitness testimony. In particular, among suffered were journalists of Reuters, AFP, Ukrainska Pravda, Channel 5, Ukrainsky Tyzhden, LB.UA, UBR, other media outlets'.

Read Statement 

full story

Ukrainian protests are peaceful, despite the provocation cases

03 December 2013

©CNN

Address to journalists in the EU and worldwide, International media NGO “Internews Ukraine” calls on to disseminate the two messages concerning the peaceful protests in Kyiv. 'First, Ukrainian protests are peaceful. Second, the regime is cruel to its citizens and to the journalists'.

'Some of you might have watched videos about yesterday’s violence near the Presidential administration in Kyiv', an appeal says. 'One thing should be made clear: this violence is NOT the essence of the Ukrainian protests. It was a result of a special operation aimed at provoking violence on both sides of the confrontation'.

'The key idea of these provocations is to discredit the peaceful character of the Ukrainian protests, and to create an aggressive image of the will of the people. Some radicals can naively join them. But they do not represent even a tiny part in the Ukrainian protests', the announcement says. 

Hundreds of thousands people who took on streets on December 1st, were peaceful.  They want the change of the regime but they don’t want blood. They want a free Ukraine, a non-violent European state respecting the rule of law and the fundamental freedoms. The huge manifestation was provoked by forceful disperse of peaceful pro-EU protesters by riot police early in the morning of November 30 in Kyiv.

The regime, however, is cruel. During the events on December 1st and November 30th it has attacked journalists. At least 40 journalists, including from the international media such as Reuters, Euronews, etc. have suffered from police assault (more information in Ukrainian is available here: http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2013/12/1/7004192/). These brutal acts are against the international law and conventions protecting freedom of speech.

'Your support is highly needed and valuable', an announcement concludes.  'Together we should stay firm and stop violence' - says the team of Internews Ukraine, an International Kyiv-based NGO.

full story

EaP Civil Society Forum at the Civil Society Conference in Vilnius: Political Challenges and Future agenda of the Eastern Partnership

02 December 2013

 

In November an important event in the life of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, Civil Society Conference that is traditionally conducted in the margins of the Eastern Partnership Summits took place. Up to 100 Forum participants took part in the event that brought together civil society leaders from the EaP countries and the EU, key experts from regional and transatlantic non-governmental organisations, think-tanks, international aid agencies and political foundations, as well as distinguished political figures and public activists. The event took stock of the Eastern Partnership policy from Warsaw to Vilnius and set the future course of action from Vilnius to Riga. The panellists discussed how to empower civil society and enhance civil society’s participation in the decision making processes.

Commissioner Füle talking about the deliverables of the Eastern Partnership, said that engagement with citizens, with the civil society is the major success of the policy. Commissioner reiterated the support to the Civil Society Forum, a stakeholder in the Eastern Partnership and expectation of playing a key role of a structural dialogue with authorities of the EaP countries, building up on the results of the sectorial cooperation, leading dialogue with member states, and taking part in the implementation of Association Agreements (Commissioner Speech).

In the joint declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit, government representatives of the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU also recalled the valuable role of civil society within the Eastern Partnership. They recognized that civil society constitutes an integral element in a well-functioning democratic system. They underlined the contribution of civil society in all the relevant activities under the Partnership including through the Civil Society Forum and its National Platforms and the importance of participation of the Civil Society Forum representatives in the meetings of the multilateral Platforms and the role played by civil society in partners’ reform processes in encouraging dialogue between civil society and partner countries' authorities on achieving the goals of the Eastern Partnership. They emphasized the importance of continuing to make available adequate resources as appropriate to support the capacity development and further involvement of civil society in national reform processes.

The panel Role and State of Civil Society: Glass Half-full or Half-empty?, in which all the panellists represented Civil Society Forum, identified the formation of the regional civil society, and regional solidarity on various issues, be it the U-turn of the policies of the Ukrainian government or the issue of political prisoners, as a success of the Eastern Partnership policy. The importance of statements produced by the Forum and National Platforms in this regard was stressed by Krzysztof Bobinski and Ulad Vyalichka. Manana Kochladze underlined the importance of tripartite dialogues between the government, civil society and the EU, which is successfully going on in Georgia since 2010, and reminded that the path to European integration will be lengthy as it requires change of a mind-set. Leila Alieva called to analyse and address individual obstacles to reform in each of the Eastern Partnership countries and suggested that by replacing the ambitious reform agenda by agendas dominated by pragmatic interests the societies of the EaP countries are deprived of their reform potential.

full story

Statement of the Steering committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum regarding the violence in Kyiv

30 November 2013

Steering committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum expresses our deep concerns regarding the police attack against the non-partisan, mostly youth-attended peaceful Euromaidan demonstration in Kyiv, Ukraine in early morning November 30.

It is the first time in the European history when a peaceful demonstration gathered to support European integration of its country was brutally disrupted by the government which repeatedly declares the strategic objective of the EU integration. Official explanation of the Ukrainian interior ministry which justifies the disproportional use of force by the need to set up a Christmas tree is ridiculous and should be rejected.

We remind Ukrainian government that violence against peaceful people cannot be tolerated. We call for immediate investigation of all the cases reported regarding attacked and wounded people, including women and teenagers. We urge to punish those officials who are behind of decision to attack people in Kyiv.

The right for peaceful gathering should be guaranteed in full compliance with Ukraine’s constitution and international obligations.

Adopted in Vilnius, November 30, 2013

Statement

full story

A Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit: Civil Society ‘an integral element in a well-functioning democratic system’

29 November 2013

A Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit, Vilnius, 28-29 November 2013 gives after Summit status report and a way ahead for - Eastern Partnership and the role of civil society.

'The participants of the Vilnius Summit recall the valuable role of civil society within the Eastern Partnership’, a declaration says. ‘They recognize that civil society constitutes an integral element in a well-functioning democratic system and underline the contribution of civil society in all the relevant activities under the Partnership including through the Civil Society Forum and its National Platform. It also welcomes the support extended to civil society through the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility.

It recognises the outcome of the 5th meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on October 4-5, 2013, in Chisinau and the establishment of the permanent secretariat of the Civil Society Forum. The declaration welcomes the 6th meeting of the Civil Society Forum that will take place in Georgia. ‘The participation of the Civil Society Forum representatives in the meetings of the multilateral Platforms should be further encouraged’, it says.

‘The participants of the Vilnius Summit underline the need to further strengthen civil society. Summit participants also recognise the important role played by civil society, through the Civil Society Forum and its national platforms, in partners’ reform processes in encouraging dialogue between civil society and partner countries' authorities on achieving the goals of the Eastern Partnership’, according to the declaration. The participant ‘emphasize the importance of continuing to make available adequate resources as appropriate to support the capacity development and further involvement of civil society in national reform processes’.

‘Welcoming the outcome of the Business Forum held in Vilnius on 28 November 2013, the participants of the Vilnius Summit invite the business communities in EU and partner countries to further develop the Business Forum and to use this platform to exploit the new economic opportunities offered. They also encourage the social partners (employers' organizations and trade unions), including through the Civil Society Forum where appropriate, to work more closely together as a means to advance in 2014-15 in the area of economic convergence and regulatory approximation’.

The declaration underlines the need to promote investment, research-industry partnerships as well as a vibrant and innovative SME sector to contribute to broad-based, inclusive growth and job creation. It stresses the role to be played by SMEs in economic development in partner countries and the need to develop and implement business-friendly policies to facilitate investment. The recognition of the contribution of a well-functioning social dialogue to support socio-economic reforms and inclusive growth is also emphisised and the intention of enhancing cooperation in the field of employment and social policy, notably by involving social partners is indicated.

Full Declaration

full story

Looking ahead on Eastern Partnership agenda: goals to be attained by 2015

29 November 2013

The participants of the Vilnius Summit set the following to be attained by the Eastern Partnership  2015

  • Further deepening relations and cooperation between the EU and partners; 
  • Making further steps in strengthening democracy, guaranteeing respect of human rights and rule of law including through the pursuit of reform of the judiciary and strengthening law enforcement;
  • Securing where applicable signature by Autumn 2014 and provisional application of the Association Agreements/DCFTAs thereby launching the implementation phase and ensure that the Agreements' ratification processes are well advanced; 
  • Establishing where applicable Association Agendas as soon as possible in 2014 as the means of preparing for and implementing the Association Agreements/DCFTAs and to serve as the key monitoring tool;
  • Continuing to provide EU assistance to support partners' reform agendas including taking into account the provisional application and implementation of the Association Agreements including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas;
  • Accession by the Eastern European partners concerned to the regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin and making progress towards their accession to the Common Transit Convention as further steps in the process of economic integration;
  • Advancing through gradual steps towards visa free regimes, in due course on a case by case basis, provided that conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place;
  • Strengthening the business dimension of the Eastern Partnership including through improving the business environment in partner countries to the benefit of local, regional and European SMEs and businesses;
  • Gradually developing a Common Knowledge and Innovation Space to pull together several existing strands of cooperation in research and innovation; 
  • Further strengthening the multilateral dimension of the Eastern Partnership;
  • Seeking further regulatory approximation in all transport areas and implementing transport infrastructure projects, along the Eastern Partnership transport network through existing EU programmes and instruments, seeking closer involvement of European and International Financial Institutions and prioritizing projects that improve connections with the TEN-T core network;
  • Promoting and strengthening strategic multilateral projects, through creating a conducive, transparent, regulatory, and financial environment for the implementation of projects of Common Interest and Projects of Energy Community Interests for the countries concerned. 
  • Further strengthening of public institutional capacity with support from the EU;
  • Promoting and strengthening visible and effective multilateral Flagship Initiatives including where appropriate combining policy dialogue and support for infrastructure;
  • Further strengthening people to people contacts - including through the opening of the new "Erasmus +", "Creative Europe" and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie strand within Horizon 2020 to the participants from the Eastern Partnership countries;
  • Implementing a Visibility Strategy for the Eastern Partnership.

Full text

full story

Civil Society Signature Declaration - Association Agreement between Ukraine, on one side, and the EU, its Member States, on the other side

28 November 2013

CIVIL SOCIETY SIGNATURE DECLARATION

under the

Association Agreement between Ukraine, on one side, and the EU, its Member States, on the other side

(on the basis of the Agreement initialed by the EU and Ukraine in 2012)

We, the representatives of the Civil Society of the European Union and Ukraine put our signatures under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement to demonstrate our deep commitment to its values and principles and our will to implement substantial reforms contained in the Agreement which aim to modernize Ukraine.

We express our regret with the decision of the Ukrainian government to suspend the signature of the Agreement and see no acceptable rationale behind this decision. 

Taking into account the will of the Ukrainian society demonstrated by ongoing mass rallies (Euromaidans) to defend its European future, confirmed by various public opinion polls, and supporting the position expressed by the Ukrainian National Platform of EaP Civil Society Forum and Ukrainian civil society as a whole:

We sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and commit ourselves to stimulate its implementation in all the areas, where civil society has its stakes, interests and concerns. 

Being committed to the spirit of ever-growing civil society cooperation (Chapter 26 of Agreement) we urge the establishment of the bilateral EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform, envisaged by the Article 469 without delay. We invite all willing civil society actors to take part in a working group to prepare the establishment of the bilateral Platform regardless of the date of official signing of the Agreement.

We will continue to encourage and put public pressure on the Ukrainian authorities to sign the Agreement as soon as possible. 

Signed in Vilnius on November 28, 2013

In UKR

full story

Armenian National Platform Statement: Strategic Approaches post September 3, 2013

27 November 2013

The Armenian National Platform (ANP) of the Civil Society Forum (CSF) reconfirms its disagreement (expressed in the September 17, 2013 statement) to the RA President’s September 3, 2013 declaration on membership to the Customs Unions and participation in the formation of the Eurasian Union. ANP evaluates the following failure to pre-sign the Association Agreement with the European Union as a serious blow to democratic development and reforms in various fields in Armenia.   

Remaining faithful to its mission, established in the ANP Founding Assembly and its Organizational Principles, and in the light of a newly-emerged situation in Armenia, CSF ANP has initiated some modernization of the priorities and practices in its Operational Strategy.

The changes seen in the political sphere, public opinion and orientations assume the revaluation of the principles, adopted by ANP, particularly regarding the dialogue with the authorities and ANP member’s inclusiveness. Besides, the dialogue with the RA authorities will be implemented from the positions, dictated by the ANP agenda and its priorities. The ANP agenda will remain aligned with the EU-Armenia relations, the directions established in the Eastern Partnership Road map, and Armenia’s policy for association to the European Union.   

CSF Armenian National Platform, as a platform of free, unrestrained and multi-lateral discussions and debates, will hereafter be more consistent and vigilant in applying the ANP organizational principles, implementing its aims and priorities and selecting/mandating its representatives.

Statement

full story

EC published a Factsheet on Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, 28-29 November 2013

27 November 2013

The third Eastern Partnership summit will be held in Vilnius, Lithuania on 28-29 November 2013. It will bring together heads of state or government from the 28 EU member states with those of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The summit will be chaired by the President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy who, together with the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, will represent the European Union. The summit will be hosted by the President of Republic of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite.

The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, and the Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, will also attend the summit.

The six partner countries will be represented by the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, President Georgi Margvelashvili of Georgia, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca and Vladimir Makey, Foreign Minister of Belarus.

Full factsheet

full story

Statement of the Subgroup on Local Government and Public Administration Reform in support of the ongoing demonstration in Kyiv

27 November 2013

The Associations members of the Local Government and Public Administration Reform to the Civil Society Forum for Eastern Partnership support the ongoing demonstration in Kyiv and in many other cities of Ukraine in favour of signing by the Country of the Association Agreement.

As stated by the Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum for Eastern Partnership, we call on all sides to start a dialogue between the authorities and the demonstrators to bring back Ukraine on its European path and enable the speedy signing of the Association Agreement.

For many years now, the members of the Subgroup on Local Government and Public Administrative reform have worked for enshrining the principle of local democracy, the development of legitimate and functioning local and regional authorities, the full and respected participation of civil society in the decision making process at the local level. We consider that these priorities and actions, which are fundamental for peace, stability, development and protection of human rights, will be supported through the Association Agreement with the EU.

We consider that the last decision to delay the signature is also undermining the process of the Eastern Partnership as whole already very much affected by the decision of Armenia in July. We again confirm the difficulties in our field of interest in Belarus and in Azerbaijan and call for opening possibilities on local governance in all the countries of the EaP with the strong support of members and institutions of the EU.

The list of the Members of the Subgroup : Association of the Local Democracy Agencies (France) - Head of Societal Expertise - Department GURT Resource Centre (Ukraine) - Lev Sapieha Foundation (Belarus) - CSRDG – (Georgia) - CCC Creative Centre – (Ukraine) - Institute for Urban Development – (Moldova) - BINA Consortium –(Azerbaijan) - Urban Foundation – (Armenia) - Assembly of Pro Democratic NGOs – (Belarus) - Liberal Club (Belarus) - East European Foundation (Ukraine) - Communities Finance Officers Association

25th of November 2013

Statement

full story

Georgian and Belarus National Platform express solidarity and send strong messages to Ukrainian Civil Society

26 November 2013

Georgian and Belarus National Platforms expressed solidarity with the ‘partners, colleagues and friends - representatives of civil society of Ukraine, which work in favour of further European integration of their country’.

In their statement, Georgian National Platform said:

EaP CSF Georgian National Platform expresses its solidarity with Ukrainian Civil Society groups that gathered on the streets of Kyiv in protest at the Ukrainian Government’s U-turn on a long-planned EU Association Agreement in Vilnius Summit’, a statement said.

We firmly believe that Ukrainian people’s choice is the European Integration. The stake is about the establishment of the democratic institutions, strengthening of the rule of law and human rights protection, reducing corruption and eradicating poverty, increasing labour, environmental and social standards that would lead towards prosperity and welfare of Ukraine. It is a vis-a-vis to the Russian Federation ambitious through blackmailing and different types of economic and political pressures to revive the type of Soviet Union – The Customs Union – that would imply itself decreased human rights standards and increased poverty’, statement continued.

The Georgian NP called on:

• To European Union to reaffirm its strong political and financial support to Eastern Partnership Countries, including Ukraine after the Vilnius Summit for implementation of democratic reforms in line with the EU integration process;

• The citizens of Ukraine to accept our solidarity in the continuing fight towards pro-European future of our countries.

The Belarus National Platform said in their statement: ‘The Eastern Partnership initiative today is on the threshold of a new stage of its development. In this context, the recent decision of the government of Ukraine is counter-productive and prevents implementation of needed reforms and approximation of Ukrainian state and society to the European norms and standards’.

We, representatives of the civil society organizations of Belarus, members of Belarusian  National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, on the eve of the third summit of the Eastern Partnership in Vilnius express our solidarity with partners, colleagues and friends - representatives of civil society of Ukraine, which work in favour of further European integration of their country, despite the recent decision of the Ukrainian government to temporarily suspend the preparation for the signing of an Association Agreement with the European Union’.

From the situation in our own country - Belarus - we know how hard for civil society is the task of initiating and carrying out the required changes in the society when this kind of operation is not supported at governmental level’.

We express our sincere solidarity and support to Ukrainian National Platform of the EaP Civil Society Forum and in through it - to all the Ukrainian civil society organizations actively working for the benefits of their country towards European integration. We fully share the position reflected in the Statement of the Ukrainian National Platform from November 23, 2013, ascertaining the unacceptability for Ukrainian citizens the government’s decision’.

Statement of Solidarity of behalf of Georgian National Platform

Statement of support of the Ukrainian civil society organizations in favor of further European integration of Ukraine of Belarus National Platform

full story

The Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum condemns the continuing crackdown on independent media and human rights advocates in Azerbaijan

26 November 2013

The government of Azerbaijan, which is due to take over the chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Council of Ministers in May 2014, must free falsely imprisoned journalists such as Rashad Ramazanov and Sardar Alibeyli. Ramazanov, a blogger critical of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, was recently jailed for nine years on dubious charges of possession of drugs. Alibeyli, editor of the PS Nota publication, was given a four-year prison sentence on charges of hooliganism.

The authorities must also drop their campaign against Azadlig (Freedom) newspaper, a rare independent media voice in Azerbaijan. Its editor-in-chief, Ganimat Zahid, and satirist, Mirza Sakit, have been arrested, and other staff have been physically intimidated and even forced to leave the country. At the same time, the publication is suffering cyber-attacks and economic pressure, which threatens its existence.

Anar Mammadli, the Chairman of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS), Bashir Suleymanli, the EMDS Executive Director, and Elnur Mammadli, the head of the International Cooperation of Volunteers public union (ICV), have been under criminal investigation since the end of October for receiving foreign grants to fund observation of the presidential election on 9 October 2013. This investigation must also be dropped. Mammadli, a member of the outgoing Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, has also been prevented by government authorities in Azerbaijan from attending the Steering Committee meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 29 November 2013.

The Steering Committee also endorses the European Parliament's call for the release of Ilgar Mammadov, a civil society leader and the Director of the Baku School of Political Studies of the Council of Europe. Mammadov has been detained unlawfully on trumped up charges since February 2013 because he was nominated to stand as a candidate in the Azeri presidential election.

Full Statement

full story

Ukrainian National Platform: Statement concerning the situation on the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU

26 November 2013

Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, which brings together 186 NGOs from all over Ukraine, claims the inadmissibility of Ukraine’s government refusal to sign and implement the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. We believe that the decision taken in a secretive manner without any public discussion is void from the procedural and substantive point of view.

This decision destroys hopes of millions of Ukrainian for the better life, showing Ukraine’s inability to commit agreement obligations as a state in the international arena. Moreover, it provokes a sharp conflict between the state and its citizens. This decision has no legitimacy in the eyes of the community and questions the legitimacy of the current government, which acts contrary to Ukrainian laws, program’s regulations of the ruling political authority and Ukraine's international obligations, recorded in numerous joint documents with the European Union.

Statement

Statement of the Subgroup on Local Government and Public Administration Reform on situation in Ukraine

full story

Statement of the Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum on the situation in Ukraine ahead of the Vilnius Summit

25 November 2013

The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership supports the ongoing demonstrations in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities in favour of the signing by the country of the Association Agreement which has been under negotiation for many years and is already initialed.

We call on all sides to start a dialogue between the authorities and the demonstrators to map out a policy which would firmly put Ukraine back on its European path and enable the speedy signing of the Association Agreement (AA).

Full Statement  

Statement of Solidarity of behalf of Georgian National Platform

Statement of support of the Ukrainian civil society organizations in favor of further European integration of Ukraine of Belarus National Platform

full story

Barroso and Van Rompuy: EU position concerning Ukraine ‘remains clear’

25 November 2013

President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy on Ukraine  in a joint statement on Ukraine said that ‘European Union's position ‘concerning the Ukrainian decision to suspend temporarily the preparations for signing the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA)’, ‘remains clear’.

‘The offer of signing an unprecedented Association Agreement and a DCFTA is still on the table’, the statement said and ‘the EU stands ready to be more open and more supportive to those who are willing to engage in reforms and modernisation’ – two main messages from EU officials to the Ukrainian side.

‘We are convinced that signing the Association Agreement and a DCFTA, the most ambitious agreement the European Union has ever offered, provides the best possible support for Ukraine's economic situation, reform course and modernisation in view of building a prosperous and stable future for all Ukrainians’.

‘While being aware of the external pressure that Ukraine is experiencing, we believe that short term considerations should not override the long term benefits that this partnership would bring. However the European Union will not force Ukraine, or any other partner, to choose between the European Union or any other regional entity’, the statement continued.

‘It is up to Ukraine to freely decide what kind of engagement they seek with the European Union. Ukrainian citizens have again shown these last days that they fully understand and embrace the historic nature of the European association’.

‘We therefore strongly disapprove of the Russian position and actions in this respect’ – says the statement.

‘The European Union looks forward to the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius this week. It will be an important moment to take stock of the situation and take forward the relations with our Eastern partners.’

Statement 

full story

Media Freedom Index of Eastern Partnership countries presents second wave results – Moldova takes up the lead

22 November 2013

An initiative of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Media Freedom Index of Eastern Partnership countries presented its second wave results in Kyiv last week. According to the Index, Moldova ranked first, Georgia second; Armenia and Ukraine were placed third and fourth places respectively, while Azerbaijan and Belarus took fifth and sixth places.

Project contributes to better understanding by the EU the specifics of regional media landscape and facilitates the information exchange between journalist communities of the Eastern Partnership countries, said Zoltán Szalai, Head of Press and Information Section of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, commenting on the presentation of survey results while stressing the importance of media freedom and freedom of speech as European Union’s fundamental values.

Andriy Kulakov, Programme Director of NGO “Internews Ukraine,” an organization, who is leading the project implementation, reminded that the Project is aimed at promoting and defending media freedom in Eastern Partnership region by raising international public awareness about issues related to freedom of speech and journalists’ rights in six EaP countries. “Index’s task is to identify so-called “pressure points” of EU’s Eastern partners in order to promote their further settlement,” Kulakov said.

EaP Media Free Watch website in ENG and RU

full story

Statement of Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius on Decision of Ukrainian Government

22 November 2013

‘The news from Ukraine is disappointing. We have taken note of the decision of the Ukrainian government but want more clarity. The decision, whatever it will turn out to be in its final form, will not mean that we will be lowering the curtain on what has been achieved’, says a statement of the Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius on Decision of Ukrainian Government.

‘Ukraine, a European state of 46 million, has become closer to the European Union in the past years. The people of Ukraine appear to have already made up their mind that they belong to the European family. President Yanukovych should take responsibility for fulfilling the European aspirations of the Ukrainian people’, the statement continues.

‘European Union has always said that it would be ready to sign the Association Agreement, the most ambitious of its kind, if and when Ukraine is ready, and we have always maintained that the ultimate choice whether to undertake the necessary reforms rests with the Ukrainians. Given how much has already been achieved on this road, the government decision is unfortunate’.

Statement

full story

Assessment of Moldovan National Platform before Vilnius Summit: Transparency in decision making in the agenda

21 November 2013

The perspective of signing the Association Agreement with the European Union is a great motivation for the Moldovan Government to implement actions in the field of democracy, transparency and accountability – the main ways to prevent corruption.  Proving concrete results in combating corruption, reforming the judiciary system and ensuring transparency in the decision making are the main conditions given by EU to the governance of Moldova before signing the Association Agreement.

full story

Statement of Azerbaijan National Platform on increasing pressure against civil society in Azerbaijan

20 November 2013

Pressure against civil society in the Republic of Azerbaijan has increased amid the 9 October 2013 Presidential Elections. Domestic and international organizations monitoring situation of fundamental human rights face aggressive reaction of the government. Country's television uses insulting and threatening language against international organizations, which stated that the election failed short of transparency and fairness, particularly the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. The first repression wave of the government also targeted domestic election observation organizations, which released critical reports reflecting numerous cases of election violations.

Number of activists, journalists, human rights defenders and politicians faced intimidation and harassment prior and during the election, while some were arrested based on politically motivated grounds such as possession of illegal substances or firearms. 

Full statement

full story

Statement of EaP Civil Society Forum to Eastern Partnership Summit, Vilnius, 29-30 November – ‘A democracy roadmap from Vilnius to Riga’

15 November 2013

To achieve sustainable democratic development, EU and partner countries must place inclusive policymaking, deep democracy, and monitoring of EU spending at core of relations in all partner countries – and launch public awareness campaigns to explain mutual benefits of closer European integration’, highlights the statement of the EaP Civil Society Forum addressing the high officials - Catherine Ashton, Vice-President, European Commission, and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Council, Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy and Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Eastern Partnership countries Ministers of Foreign Affairs, EU member states.

‘The Civil Society Forum is convinced that the mutual benefits of closer European integration must be given priority in all partner countries without differentiation with respect to the level of progress at the governmental level in working towards agreements with the EU’ – the statement says.

Statement

full story

EC publishes progress reports on the implementation of Visa Liberalisation Action Plans by Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia

15 November 2013

15. 11. 2013

Ahead of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius Summit on 28-29 November the Commission has issued three progress reports on the implementation by Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia of their respective Visa Liberalisation Action Plans (VLAP), a press release from the EC says.

It reports that regarding the Republic of Moldova the Commission considers that it meets all the benchmarks set in the four blocks of the second phase of the VLAP. 

  • The reform of the Ministry of Interior has been completed,
  • judicial cooperation in criminal matters with EU Member States,
  • international police cooperation has been improve,
  • as well as cooperation with Ukraine in the area of border management.

Taking into account overall relations between the EU and the Republic of Moldova, the Commission will therefore consider, immediately following the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit, presenting a legislative proposal to lift visa requirements for Moldovan citizens holding a biometric passport - amending EC Regulation 539/2001 - in accordance with the agreed methodology under the VLAP.

'The assessment found that Ukraine has made substantial progress in all four blocks of the VLAP and in particular since the end of 2012, speeding up its implementation and adopting a number of substantial legislative packages in order to tackle the identified gaps. However, there are still some important first phase requirements to be met', a press release says.

The first report on implementation of the Action Plan by Georgia concludes that Georgia has made very good progress during the first few months.

"I wish to congratulate the Moldovan authorities for their steadfast commitment and considerable efforts during the last three years. The progress achieved will pave the way for a Commission proposal aiming at allowing visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Moldovan citizens holding a biometric passport. This is very good news for citizens and a very tangible element towards a closer political association and economic integration with the EU. It is also an encouragement for other Eastern partners who seek to achieve the same goal", said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.

"I also wish to congratulate Ukraine and Georgia for their progress. Ukraine is very close to moving to the second, practical stage of the implementation of the Action Plan, and Georgia has made a very good progress during these first few months of the implementation of its Action Plan", Malmström added.

Press release

Fifth progress report for Moldova

Third progress report for Ukraine

First progress report for Georgia

full story

The Eastern Partnership Roadmap to the Vilnius Summit: An open road from Vilnius to Riga

14 November 2013

EaP Civil society Forum members, EU official, think tank, media and government representatives from the EaP and EU countries gathered yesterday at the Eastern Partnership Roadmap event organised by the Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum to discuss the six country status reports ahead of the Vilnius Summit.

The Vilnius Summit, which should mark the launch of a new phase of European integration for all the eastern neighbours of the EU, for Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, there is the prospect of initialling or signature of Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Agreements with the EU. For Azerbaijan, there should also be the signing of visa facilitation and readmission agreements. In the case of Armenia, the substantive progress made in finalising negotiations on the content of an Association Agreement and DCFTA with the EU must be built upon to renew its integration prospects, and engagement with all sectors of society with a view to sustainable democratic development and closer European integration should be a renewed priority in EU relations with Belarus.

Overview Report

EaP Country Reports available for download:

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine

full story

Election Observation NGOs condemn harassment of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS) by the Azerbaijani government

14 November 2013

14.11.2013

On 28 and 30 October 2013, after presidential elections in Azerbaijan, the chairman and two of the board members of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS) were summoned for questioning to the Major Crimes Investigation Department of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan. They were told that the reason for the interrogation, was that organisations receiving large grants from foreign sources are under scrutiny. The investigators were particularly interested in the election observation work done in connection to the presidential elections and EMDS's critical conclusions of the election process.

Chairman of the International Cooperation of Volunteers public union (ICV), partner organization of EMDS, was also questioned in connection with election observation programme implemented jointly with EMDS.

On 31 October 2013, the Office of the Prosecutor General searched EMDS’s offices and as a result printed material, press releases, reports and programme and financial documents and two computers were confiscated.

According to a spokesperson of the Office of the Prosecutor General quoted by the Azeri-Press Agency, the Office “has started investigations regarding irregularities recorded.”

The participants of the conference on "Reporting on elections: Council of Europe Handbook for Civil Society Organisations" held on 14 November 2013 in Vilnius considers such actions as exerting pressure against civil society. This is unacceptable in the light of the Republic of Azerbaijan’s international commitments and calls the Office of the Prosecutor General to drop the investigation.

full story

Resolution of the Conference of Belarusian National Platform - 'The Future of the Civil Society Forum in focus the third Summit of the Eastern Partnership'

13 November 2013

The participants of the Conference of Belarusian National Platform of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership, welcomed the success of this program on the regional level on the eve of the third Summit of the Eastern Partnership, which will be held 28-29 November 2013 in Vilnius and which can be a starting point for change in the political configuration in the region. For almost five years of its existence, the EU initiative "Eastern Partnership" was able to draw on the path of European integration serial number of post-Soviet countries.

At the same time, they noted some concerns both within the Eastern Partnership initiative and beyond, namely:

1. The expected results for the third Summit of the Eastern Partnership will inevitably lead to qualitative changes in the political situation in the region: Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are expected to take the path of deeper European integration, and therefore will strengthen the EU's influence on the process of development of these countries;

2. Other states - participants of the Eastern Partnership, such as Belarus, Azerbaijan and Armenia, now do not show progress in the European vector of foreign policy, and may be secondary participants of the Eastern Partnership;

3. In this situation, there is a strong possibility of diversification of relations with the countries of the Eastern Partnership of the European Union, as those countries that are more advanced on the path of European integration, will now be occupied by the practical implementation of the reform developments. At the same time, countries that show little progress, remain outside the process of rapprochement with the European Union;

4. Nowadays there is the rise of antagonism between the various regional integration programs in the region on a number of parameters: deepening of European integration in the framework of the Eastern Partnership and the process of creation of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Full Resolution

full story

Belarus National Platform: Comments on the Strategy of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum for 2014-2016

12 November 2013

12.11 2013

We, the participants of the Belarusian National Platform of the EaP CSF, welcome the efforts of the EAP CSF Steering Committee aimed at the development of the CSF Strategy for 2014-2016. The Strategy development is relevant for the coming time period due to perspective expiration of certain provisions of the Concept Paper of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum relating to the plans for 2012-2014. Thus, it makes sense to adopt new Strategy of the Forum at the sixth EaP CSF meeting in Tbilisi in 2014.

Comments in full

full story

How you assess the Civil Society Forum? 93 respondents took part in a survey

12 November 2013

93 participants have filled in the questionnaire on the Civil Society Forum in Chisinau, which means that every third participant kindly provided us with his or her views and ideas how to make Forum 2014 in Georgia even better. Here is a brief summary of the trends in responses:

A brief summary of the trends in responses:

  • More than 70 per cent of the respondents believe that 2-day format of the Forum is optimal,
  • About 20 per cent of respondents believe that the number attendees of the Forum can be decreased,
  • According to the respondents, welcome speeches, adoption of resolutions, election sessions are rivalling each other for the status of the least interesting part of the Forum. This goes in line with the suggestions to decrease the length and number of welcome speeches, make the elections process more structured, and move resolution proposing and adoption online,
  • The alarming tendency is that 14 per cent of respondents have not attended any Working Group meeting. This data goes in line with the view of 47 per cent of respondents that Working Group dimension of the Forum needs strengthening most of all,
  • According to the respondents, the plenary and panel sessions should allow more opportunities for interaction with the audience,
  • Networking, relations building, and advocacy were identified as the main reason for participating in the Forum by the majority of the participants.

full story

Azerbaijan between two ways: Eastern partnership or Customs Union

08 November 2013

In 6 November 2013, the National Platform of Azerbaijan Eastern Partnership of Civil Society Forum and Public Association for Assistance to Free Economy with support of Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation held a round table on “Azerbaijan between two ways: Eastern partnership or Customs Union” .

At the round table,  the representatives of Civil society, independent experts, local and international NGOs discussed the events happening  in relation with Azerbaijan, European Union and Customs Union, on the eve of  the Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Vilnius, On November 27-29.

The coordinator of  the National Platform, Gubad Ibadoglu made an opening speech and noted that, the purpose of the round table is to discuss the events stirring around the Eastern Partnership summit and the ideas on the membership to the Eurasian Union that is topical nowadays.

full story

EaP for the Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh announced new call for projects for civil society

06 November 2013

In response to feedback received from interested applicants in the South Caucasus, the European Partnership for the Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (EPNK) has opened a call for proposals for small projects for civil society peacebuilding efforts concerning the conflict in the region.

All applications should be submitted using the RGI templates in English, but answers may be completed in Russian. The deadline for RGI project applications to Sunday 24th November (midnight Greenwich Mean Time). 

The grants pool, entitled the Regional Grants Initiative (RGI) is part of the second phase of EPNK. This initiative is funded by the European Union and administered by EPNK.

EPNK is a consortium of five European NGOs (International Alert, Conciliation Resources, Crisis Management Initiative, Kvinna till Kvinna and LINKS) that works with local partners in the South Caucasus on a wide range of confidence building projects to positively impact the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process.

Applicants for RGI funding are invited to submit proposals for projects that complement EPNK’s activities and introduce new, innovative peacebuilding initiatives. RGI application forms, as well as the guidance note for applications, including RGI eligibility criteria, can be found on the EPNK project website:

www.epnk.org.

More information and application

full story

New publication explains EU budget support in Eastern Partnership countries

06 November 2013

EU has published a publication, explaining the main form of EU assistance in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region - budget support. Criticised and questioned by some, the brochure explains what is budget support, how it works, what are the criteria attached, and why the EU uses budget support for assistance to its Eastern partners.

According to the brochure, budget support involves dialogue, financial transfers to the partner country, performance assessment and capacity development, and it claims to support reforms in mutually agreed sectors, as well as in macroeconomic and public finance policy,

Once eligibility criteria and mutually agreed conditions are met, budget support sees EU funds transferred to the national treasury of the partner country. However, the payments are tied to performance, with a strong focus on the results of reform. (EU Neigbourhood Info Centre)

Full broshure

full story

Report on the Georgian Presidential Election by EaP CSF Election Task force

04 November 2013

The presidential election held on October 27, 2013 puts Georgia firmly among the leaders of the Eastern Partnership countries in terms of commitment to democratization. It also creates a promising backdrop to the implementation of the Association Agreement (AA) including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement which is to be signed at the Summit of the Eastern Partnership in Vilnius at the end of November.

Many local and international groups have reported on the calm nature of the election and pre-election campaign especially in contrast to the tense atmosphere which accompanied the parliamentary election in 2012. Representatives of the two main candidates told the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum - Election Task Force (EaP CSF – ETF) that neither wanted a repeat of last year’s confrontation in the light of the forthcoming Vilnius Summit. In addition media representatives reported that they were able to operate in an atmosphere of considerable freedom during the election campaign.

Full report

full story

Looking ahead: CSF expresses views on civil society development at EU’s Regional Strategy meeting in Brussels

30 October 2013

Yesterday CSF coordinators Jan Pieklo and Leila Alieva participated in the consultation meeting with the Civil Society organisations hosted by the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle in view of the preparation of the next European Neighbourhood Policy country progress reports.

The participants contributed on behalf of the Forum and highlighted the need for introduction of a mechanism for supporting civil society monitoring of all EU projects funding government activities.

full story

EaP Civil Society Forum Election Task Force reports on the Presidential Elections in Georgia

29 October 2013

Seven election observers (Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine and Poland) representing non-governmental organizations which are members of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership observed the Presidential election in Georgia on October 27, 2013. The observers were well received and had an intensive programme of meetings and training sessions with local NGO’s, representatives of the media, main contenders and government officials. On polling day, the Task Force (TF) monitored the voting process in 41 precinct election commissions in Tbilisi, Rustavi and Mtskheta and attended the opening and vote count in four randomly selected precinct commissions.

Full Report

full story

CSF coordinators take part in Erasmus+ conference in Lithuania

29 October 2013

29.10.2013

Two coordinators of the Working Group 4 – Yaryna Borenko and Nikolai Kvantaliani participated in the Information Day on Erasmus+ for Eastern Partnership countries that took place in in Kaunas, Lithuania last week. During the event the Presidency outlined the new possibilities that the programme will open for students and academic staff from the Eastern Partnership countries once it kicks in January 1st, 2014. After the opening statement by Dainius Pavalkis, Minister of Education and Science of Lithuania Jan Truszczyński, Director General, European Commission, DG Education and Culture talked about recent  developments   and challenges in  EU higher education and synergies with Eastern Partnership countries.

Agenda

full story

Visa-free Europe Coalition published its October Newsletter

23 October 2013

Coalition for the European Continent Undivided by Visa Barriers with 45 member organisation published its October newsletter. The newsletter informs about cooperation between EU and Eastern Partnership countries in the area of justice and home affairs, highlighting the meeting of Ministers of the EU Member States and the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, as well as representatives of the European Commission in Luxembourg first week of October.

Newsletter

full story

Azerbaijan National Platform - Statement on Presidential Elections

21 October 2013

The National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum of Azerbaijan notes with great regret that voting and counting in the presidential elections of 9 October 2013 were conducted with serious violations, as reported in the results of observation by OSCE/ODIHR, local observation organisations, and monitoring of the elections by the members of the National Platform. Moreover, during the pre-election period and on election day, the fundamental rights of citizens were violated, in particular the persecution and arrests of civil society and opposition activists. The entire election process was impeded by the unauthorised interference of police and local in the nomination and registration of candidates, the pre-election campaign, voting and vote-counting.

Statement

 

full story

No shortcuts on roadmap from Vilnius to Riga: open and participatory policymaking must take centre-stage

17 October 2013

17.10.2013

The EaP CSF has reported the results of the monitoring of the implementation of the Eastern Partnership Roadmap to the Vilnius Summit at the Eastern Partnership Platform 1 "Democracy, Good Governance and Stability" taking place in Brussels on 17 October. The period assessed is May 2012 – July 2013. The key message is that for democratic development and economic integration to be sustained, both EU and partner countries must communicate openly and improve engagement of the public.

Full report

full story

New Steering Committee elected at the Forum

10 October 2013

The new Steering Committee, consisting of 6 national coordinators, 9 working group coordinators and 3 EU coordinators have been elected last week at the Fifth annual Forum of the EaP Civil Society in Chisinau.

Full list and contact details of Coordinators can be found here

full story

Forum in Chisinau adopts ten key resolutions calling on the EU and EaP countries to ‘retain multilateral character’ of Eastern Partnership

08 October 2013

Ten key resolutions and statements were adopted during the 5th Civil Society Summit last week during the productive two-day event in Chisinau with more than 250 participants from 28 countries.  Two panel discussions, five working groups and over sixteen subgroups worked on major policy issues concerning developments in EaP countries. During the panels the participants discussed the context of Association Agreements before and after the Summit in Vilnius and worked  on assessing reform processes in EaP countries by presenting European Integration Index and Road Map Monitoring of EaP countries.

full story

STATEMENT of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society on socio-political situation in Azerbaijan on the eve of Presidential election

08 October 2013

Following the observation of the last two stages of the presidential election to be held on October 9, 2013, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum expresses its regret that equal opportunities for all the candidates were not provided in the pre-election period allowing them to communicate with their voters through television broadcasts and meetings. Also opposition political activists were persecuted in the election period.

Statement

full story

The Secretariat is accepting applications for an internship

07 October 2013

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Civil Society Forum is accepting applications for an internship. The Intern will assist the Director of the Secretariat and the Communications Manager in administrative, policy and communication related tasks.

full story

Forum calls on the EU to support Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in their European choice

07 October 2013

The third summit of the Eastern Partnership, which was initiated by Poland and Sweden in 2009, will ...

full story

RESOLUTION of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on supporting integration of EaP countries into European Union rather than Customs Union

07 October 2013

The Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership (EaP CSF) welcomes the historic prospect of Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius 2013 for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to sign or initial Association Agreements with the European Union. Meantime we also express our solidarity and share the disagreement and frustration expressed in the statement of the Armenian National Platform of the CSF on September 17th regarding the intention of the RA authorities to join the Customs Union and participate in formation of the Eurasian Union that led to the failure of the initialling of the Association Agreement between EU and Armenia.

Resolution

full story

European Commissioner Štefan Füle in Chisinau: Civil Society is at the Core of Eastern Partnership

05 October 2013

'The role of civil society in promoting the idea of European integration in Eastern Partnership member-states is crucial. Each defender of human rights, each member of civil society is more important than 10 European Commissioners because they work with people and they are the ones to explain to people the meaning of European integration and its benefits', said the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Štefan Füle at the opening of the Civil Society Forum which started its works today in Chisinau.

full story

Together for a European Future: Civil Society Forum takes the lead to support Eastern Partnership

05 October 2013

The fifth annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum held under the title Together for a European Future brought together more than 250 representatives of the civil society organisations from the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU, as well as senior government officials, diplomatic and donor community.

full story

EaP Civil Society Forum in Chisinau: Füle fosters human rights and civil society at the heart of Eastern Partnership

04 October 2013

Human rights and civil society will remain at the centre of the European Commission’s concerns Stefan Füle, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy told the fifth annual Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership meeting in Chisinau today.

full story

Belarus National Platform: What to expect from the 5th meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum?

01 October 2013

'The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is designed to coordinate the efforts of civil society organizations in the EaP countries and their partners in the EU, to promote broad involvement of civil society in the reform processes'.

'We, representatives of the civil society in Belarus, members of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, on the eve of the 5th meeting of the Forum call on our colleagues in civil society organizations in the partner countries and the European Union with an overview of the current state of the Eastern Partnership, as well as with our view on the challenges and prospects for its development as an important long-term initiative of the European Union in its relations with the neighboring countries, and for the development of the EaP Civil Society Forum as an important part of this initiative. We sincerely count on the discussion of the estimates and proposals expressed in this document at the meeting of the Forum in Chisinau'.

full story

Georgia: National Platform expresses concern with the constant political and economic pressure exercised by Russian Federation towards EaP countries

30 September 2013

The National Platform of Georgia announces its ‘concern with the constant political and economic pressure exercised by Russian Federation towards Eastern Partnership countries’. It became ‘vivid with sudden decision by Serj Sargasyan, President of the Republic of Armenia, to join the Russian sponsored Customs Union, as well as ongoing statements that Eurasian Economic Union project and DCFTA negotiated with EaP countries is compatible with each other’, says a statement from the Platform with the signatures from 55 organisations.  The increased pressure of Russian Federation military in South Ossetia, through constructing insurmountable barriers dividing families and private and communal properties, impeding freedom of movement has been intensified since May 2013, is one of the most example of Russia’s pressure on Georgia, the statement continues.

full story

Public Administration Reform Expert Group met in Prague

30 September 2013

Last week a subgroup on Local Government and Public Administration Reform participated is an expert group meeting in Prague, says a press release form the Assiciation of Local Democracy Agencies.

full story

Belarusian National Platform: round up of activities

26 September 2013

Coming up to the Fifth Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Belarusian National Platform of the EaP Civil Society Forum has produced a summary of activities for the last year, announcing the launch of its website, available in Belarusian, English, and partly Russian languages.

full story

Ukraine at crossroads on the eve of historical moment: National Platform Statement on EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

24 September 2013

In a statement on EU-Ukraine Association Agreement Ukrainian National Platform talks about Ukraine’s historic moment, which can define its future. Association Agreement between Ukraine and EU may be signed in Vilnius at the Eastern Partnership Summit in November.

full story

Letter of Coordination Committee of Belarusian National Platform to EU officials on the third phase of the European Dialogue on Modernization with Belarus society

24 September 2013

In the letter from the Coordination Committee of Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum to the EU officials, the NP members expressed concerns about the feasibility of the previously announced decision by the third phase of the European Dialogue on Modernization with Belarus society. 

full story

Report of the Steering Committee meeting - 5-6 September in Kyiv is now available online

23 September 2013

At the meeting, which took place in Kyiv, Ukraine, Steering Committee members discussed the final preparations for the EaP Civil Society Forum in Chisinau and Forum’s activities, debated on the Forum’s organisational structure and its correspondence to the Forum’s goals, as well as shared recent developments in the National Platforms and Working Groups and the work of the Secretariat.

full story

Armenian National Platform of the Civil Society Forum addresses national authorities to explain recent decision to join Customs Union

19 September 2013

The Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Civil Society Forum (CSF) has issued a statement, reconfirming its support for the enlargement of multilateral ties between the Republic of Armenia, foreign states and international organizations and expressing the ‘disagreement and deep frustration regarding the statement of the President of the Republic of Armenia on joining the Customs Union and participating in the formation of the Eurasian Union’.

full story

National Platform Annual meeting in Ukraine – civil society to speak in one voice

17 September 2013

The Annual Meeting of Ukrainian National Platform is taking place today and tomorrow in Kyiv. It is a large consolidated event of the civil society which brings around 100 participants from various parts of the country, regional and national NGOs, independent experts and representatives from the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs, as well as members of the Eurointegration Committee of Verhovna Rada of Ukraine and EU Delegation to Ukraine.

full story

Azerbaijani election challenge: legal boundaries of international law

14 September 2013

President Ilham Alijev’s candidacy in the forthcoming presidential election (October 9) looks set to face a legal challenge from the main opposition candidate Camil Hasanli, the CSF website has learned from sources close to the campaign.

Hasanli will argue that the Azerbaijani Central Election Commission should have rejected the incumbent as a candidate in the election as the country’s constitution limits presidential rule to two terms while President Alijev is currently running for a third term.

full story

Speech delivered by the EaP CSF Steering Committee at Eastern Partnership Informal Ministerial on Education in Yerevan

13 September 2013

Today, the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum addressed Commissioner Füle and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Eastern Partnership countries at Informal Ministerial Meeting in Yerevan.

We are all aware that we are meeting at an important time for the Partnership. The Vilnius summit will take place at the end of November this year and the Civil Society Forum will be holding its fifth annual meeting in Chisinau at the beginning of next month. Progress in the Eastern Partnership will be assessed at both meetings in an atmosphere of some uncertainty’, said Gevorg Ter-Gabrielyan, a representative from the Steering Committee.

full story

Civil society in Armenia appeals to UN and international community to stop violence and protect human rights

12 September 2013

A number of urgent appeals by the Armenian NGOs and citizens to the international community including the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights - Ms. Navi Pillay, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Mr. Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Mr. Juan Mendez, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences Ms. Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Ms. Margaret Sekaggya, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Chair-Rapporteur, Mr. El Hadji Malick Sow have been addressed recently on the degrading situation in the field of human rights in the country.

full story

Transparency International Centre in Armenia condemns attack on Forum representatives

11 September 2013

Leading anti-corruption sub-group members of the Civil Society Forum Transparency International Anti-corruption Center and the Armenian National Chapter of Transparency International strongly condemned a physical attack on Forum representatives last week and demanded an immediate investigation.

full story

European Union Visitors Programme open for applications in Moldova

10 September 2013

The EU Delegation in Moldova launched the annual European Union Visitors Programme, according to a press release from the EU Delegation. 

full story

Strasbourg: European Court of Human Rights launches collection of leading cases

10 September 2013

The European Court of Human Rights launched new print and online collections of its leading case-law in order to heighten awareness of the most important cases and encourage their application at domestic level, says Council of Europe press release.

full story

EaP CSF Steering Committee condemns attack on its members in Yerevan

06 September 2013

Recent developments in Armenia where civil rights activists including members of  the Armenian National Platform of the Civil Society Forum have been attacked by unknown  assailants, is seen by many as  an attempt to intimidate those people in the country who do not agree with the decision by President Serj Sargasyan to sign a customs union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

full story

CSF welcomes EP decision to observe Presidential Election in Azerbaijan

06 September 2013

After protests from human rights defenders the European Parliament (EP) yesterday (September 5th) decided to reverse a decision taken in July not to observe forthcoming presidential elections in Azerbaijan and to send an observation team to assess the whether the poll will be free and fair.

full story

Statement of Steering Committee of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum regarding intention of Armenian authorities to join Customs Union

05 September 2013

The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership (EaP)  expresses its deep regret with the statement of the President of the Republic of Armenia  Serzh Sargsyan on Armenia’s intention to join the Customs Union. The consequence of this step would be a setback in the level and effectiveness of Armenia’s engagement in the Eastern Partnership, and in particular would negatively affect the perspective of the EU-Armenia Association Agreement.

full story

European Integration Index 2013 for EaP Countries launched in Kyiv

04 September 2013

Today at the press conference in Kyiv two EaP CSF Country Facilitators - Boris Navasardian  (Armenia National Platform)  and Oleksandr Sushko (Ukrainian National Platform) among other prominent experts presented  an updated edition of the European Integration Index  2013 for EaP Countries.

full story

EaP CSF to present progress in cooperation at CORLEAP Vilnius meeting

02 September 2013

This week EaP CSF Subgroup on Local Government and Public Administration Reform will participate in the plenary Meeting of CORLEAP, taking place on the 3 September in Vilnius. Antonella Valmorbida, its coordinator, will contribute with the Forum’s achievements and share further proposals to the participants.

full story

Chisinau Civil Society Forum in focus of the EaP CSF Steering Committee meeting in Kyiv next week

30 August 2013

The EaP CSF Steering Committee (SC) is scheduled to meet on 5-6 September in Kyiv. 14 members of the Committee will discuss the main developments in the National Platforms, Working Groups and subgroups and brainstorm on optimising the work of the Forum throughout the year.

full story

Civil society is requested to provide comments on EU-funded ‘Civil Society organisations and local authorities programme for 2014-2017’

29 August 2013

The EU Delegation in Armenia has recently launched civil society dialogue online resource (www.eu-cso.am) which serves as a platform for interaction with civil society.

Currently the EU Delegation in Armenia has announced the beginning of consultations on the Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities Programme for 2014-2017.

The Delegation is requesting CSOs to submit substantial and concise feedback and comments on the programme objectives and how to make it a better fit to the country’s context. The Consultations will run until 22 September.

full story

Two Forum members nominated for Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

28 August 2013

Ales Bialiatski from Belarus and the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association from Georgia were shortlisted candidates of 27 candidatures which fulfilled the criteria for the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, announced annually by the Council of Europe. The third candidate was the Rights Defence Network from China.

full story

Azerbaijan National Platform: Effective monitoring of public finance cannot be ensured without active participation of civil society

28 August 2013

Participants of the seminar on public finance management noted access to information on budgetary expenditures in Azerbaijan as the most serious problem in the region. They discussed the difficulties in establishing the dialogue between public finance institutions and CSOs at the regional level.

full story

Register for the first online civil society dialogue on EU-Armenia relations

27 August 2013

In Armenia the first civil society dialogue online consultation resource (www.eu-cso.am) has been launched, says a press release from the EU Delegation.

full story

Moldova and EU Presidency discuss preparations for the Vilnius Summit

26 August 2013

Last week Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, and Igor Corman, Speaker of the Parliament of Moldova, met in Vilnius and stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation on the way towards the third Eastern Partnership Summit, which is scheduled in the Lithuanian capital city in autumn 2013, according to a press release from the current EU Presidency. 

full story

Appointment of a Communications Manager for CSF Secretariat: Ivanna Volochiy

26 August 2013

Ivanna Volochiy has recently joined the Forum’s Secretariat in the position of Communication manager. Previously she has been involved on a number of communication campaigns in the Eastern Partnership countries. For the last four years she has worked as a Communication and Information officer at the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre in Brussels and completed a traineeship placement in the DG Development and Cooperation of the European Commission. 

full story

EU Observer conveys on how EU rebukes Russia on Ukraine’s trade

26 August 2013

In the August issue of EU observer Andrew Rettman in his article "EU rebukes Russia on Ukraine trade" talks about the recent comments of the European Commission on Russian attempt to intimidate Ukraine on trade.

John Clancy, European Commission spokesmen, said in a statement on Tuesday (20 August) that: "Any economic threat from Russia directed against Ukraine and linked with a possible signature of the association agreement with the EU is unacceptable." 

full story

Experts of the Ukrainian National Platform point to flaws in anti-corruption policy

21 August 2013

Working Group 1 "Democracy, human rights, good governance and stability" of the Ukrainian National Platform of the EaP CSF welcomes political compromise enactment of the law "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on implementation of the state anti-corruption policy". The adopted law is an important step towards European integration of Ukraine.

full story

Two calls for applications for Belarus and Ukraine from Visegrad Fund

21 August 2013

International Visegrad Fund in the framework of the project “Public Administration Reform in Visegrad Countries: Lessons Learned for Belarus and Ukraine” announced 2 calls for applications.

full story

Call for application - Consultant for research on Eastern Partnership impact on minorities

20 August 2013

Minority Rights Group is seeking to engage a consultant to carry out research and author a 35 page paper on the impact of the Eastern Partnership mechanisms to minorities with a special regards to their capacities to absorb funds and access to decision making processes.

full story

EU policy in Moldova examined by David Rinnert

19 August 2013

Friedrich Ebert Foundation published the short paper written by David Rinnert of Moldova's role in the EaP in light of the political crisis in the country and the upcoming Vilnius Summit in November 2013.

full story

Successful Opening Conference of the Eastern Partnership Youth Regional Unit in Kyiv, 20-21 June

19 August 2013

The recently initiated EU financed Eastern Partnership Youth Regional Unit (EPYRU) held its opening conference in Kyiv on 20th-21st June, which brought together over sixty delegates from the countries of the Eastern Partnership, including representatives of governments, statistical and research institutions and youth-oriented NGOs.

full story

The conference “Eastern Partnership - Perspectives of Cultural Diplomacy” in Krakow will set new goals in the context of Cultural Diplomacy

19 August 2013

On the 29th and 30th of August, the international Expert and MA/PhD Students Co-Conference entitled: “Eastern Partnership - Perspectives of Cultural Diplomacy” will be held in Krakow, Poland.

full story

CSF WG3 discussed analytics the group will present at CSF in Chisinau

16 August 2013

The annual meeting of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Working Group 3 “ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY” held on 8th of July in Chisinau, brought together experts from 6 EaP countries to discuss the activities of the Working Group.

full story

Call for Applicants for Chatham House Robert Bosch Fellowship

14 August 2013

Chatham House, in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, has announced a call for applicants for Robert Bosch Fellowship from the countries of the Eastern Partnership and Russia.

full story

CSF supports the Index on Censorship calling the EU leaders to stop the abuse of the rights to privacy and freedom of expression

14 August 2013

SF supports the petition “EU leaders: Stop mass surveillance” produced by the Index on Censorship to stop the abuse of the rights to privacy and freedom of expression. The main goal of the petition is to attract attention around the issue and to push European leaders to action. Celebrities, artists, activists and politicians have signed an Index on Censorship petition calling for Europe’s leaders to end mass surveillance. The petition also demands that mass surveillance is on the agenda at the next European Council Summit in October.

full story

NGO experts developed a package of amendments to the Social Policy of Ukraine

13 August 2013

Experts of the All-Ukrainian charitable foundation "The Coalition of HIV-Service Organizations" and the Center for Policy Research of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine developed a package of amendments to the existing legislation in the field of social services.

full story

The European Endowment for Democracy launched its first support programme

13 August 2013

The EED announced the launch of its support programme on the 12th of August. As stated at the EED website EED assists pro-democratic civil society organisations, movements and individual activists acting in favour of a pluralistic multiparty system regardless of their size or formal status.

full story

Ukrainian National Platform issues newsletter for the period April-June

05 August 2013

The Ukrainian National Platform has issued a digest of news based on the activities of the Platform ...

full story

Steering Committee looks for ways to involve CSOs from conflict zones

03 August 2013

The Steering Committee (SC) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF)  meeting o...

full story

The European Commission is inviting CSOs to contribute to 2013 ENP progress reports

26 July 2013

Commission services are now beginning the preparations for the next set of European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) progress reports, which will cover implementation of the Action Plans or Association Agendas in 2013 and will be adopted in spring 2014.

full story

Call for applications for the Youth Side Event to the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

24 July 2013

EaP CSF Working group 4 “Contacts between people” in partnership with National Youth Council of Moldova (CNTM), National Council of Youth and Children’s Organizations of Civil Society of Belarus (RADA) and Ministry of Youth and Sport Moldova invite interested parties to respond to the call for applications for Youth Side Event to the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum that will take place on 2-3 October in Chisinau, the Republic of Moldova before the 11th of August.

full story

Armenian National Platform calls the Armenian government for an open dialogue on the Association Agreement

24 July 2013

The Armenian National Platform (NP) in its recent statement notes with satisfaction the opportunity for the deepening of the EU-Armenia relations and the anticipated initialling of the Association Agreement (AA).

full story

The role of EaP stakeholders, one of which being CSF, should be strengthened according to the Commissioner Füle

24 July 2013

Štefan Füle Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy in his closing remarks at the Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting on the 22nd of July in Brussels underlined the important role of EaP stakeholders, including the Civil Society Forum, in the EaP and shared his expectation that this role needs to be further strengthened. He strongly encouraged greater interaction between the stakeholders and EaP partners' governments.

full story

CSF monitored the Presidential Elections in Armenia

23 July 2013

Armenian National Platform for Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and Forum delegates from other countries closely monitored the Presidential Elections held on February 18, 2013 in Armenia.

full story

Appeal of the Georgian NP to the EU and EaP Foreign Ministers

23 July 2013

The Georgian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum appeals to the EU and Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers to step up efforts to oppose the Russian Federation’s efforts of establishing new “borders” and erecting various forms of barricades, barbed wire fences, reinforced concrete structures, walls, and trenches on the territory of Georgia.

full story

CSF representatives addressed Foreign Ministers of the EaP countries in Brussels

23 July 2013

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) Civil Society Forum (CSF) affirmed its support for the Eastern Partnership and expressed its appreciation with the European Union’s efforts in creating a favourable environment for civil society in partner countries, when addressing the Foreign Ministers of the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU on the 22nd of July in Brussels.

 

full story

Need for fair assessment of upcoming elections in Georgia and Azerbaijan stressed

19 July 2013

The Co-Chair of the EaP CSF Krzysztof Bobinski stressed the need to ensure a fair assessment of the elections in Georgia and Azerbaijan in a recent article on European Voice.

full story

The European Parliament will not be sending observers to the Azerbaijani Presidential elections

18 July 2013

The European Parliament (EP) will not be sending observers to the Azerbaijani Presidential elections in October, a key EP committee decided on July 13.

The decision came as the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), a part of the OSCE, finally received a formal invitation from Azerbaijan and starting recruiting its core team for an observation mission in the Caspian oil and gas rich state.

full story

Appeal of Moldovan civil society to HR/VP Catherine Ashton on situation in Transnistria

12 July 2013

A coalition of Moldovan civil society organisations (CSOs), many of them members of the EaP CSF, have sent an appeal to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP) Catherine Ashton on 9 July 2013.

full story

CSF experts stressed the need for clear measurable indicators at Clima East Launch event

12 July 2013

At the launch of the Clima East Package and Workshop, which took place on 2-4 July in Brussels, Maria Strochylo from the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine, representing the EaP Civil Society Forum, suggested to refine the current work plan, to come up with measurable indicators for the project and to ensure project’s transparency.

full story

Call for applications – Culture for the Eastern Partnership Congress

11 July 2013

Applications for the Culture for the Eastern Partnership Congress in Lublin on 4-6 October 2013 are now open. The congress will bring together artists, intellectuals and practitioners of culture from the EU and the EaP countries, who strive for changes in culture and are ready to engage in implementing those changes.

full story

Ukrainian National Platform presents its activities in the first half of 2013

10 July 2013

The Ukrainian National Platform published its newsletter for the first half of 2013.

full story

Language in draft EU-Georgia Association Agreement suggests enlargement fatigue

09 July 2013

Andrew Rettman from EUobserver spots clear signs of enlargement fatigue in the recently agreed on draft text of the Association Agreement (AA) between the EU and Georgia.

full story

EaP CSF congratulates new OSCE PA Chairman and stresses importance of election observation in Azerbaijan and Georgia

09 July 2013

The EaP CSF Co-Chair Krzysztof Bobinski send a congratulation letter to the newly elected speaker of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Mr Ranko Krivokapic concerning his election during the meeting of the Assembly in Istanbul.

full story

The EaP CSF appeals for unbiased judgement by PACE observers of Presidential elections in Azerbaijan and Georgia

09 July 2013

Krzysztof Bobinski, CSF steering committee co-chair, reminds PACE in the appeals that voters in both Azerbaijan and Georgia will be expecting an unbiased judgement from parliamentary observers.

full story

Füle expresses hope to re-integrate Transnistria economically into Moldova with the Association Agreement

05 July 2013

The European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle discussed the lessons to be drawn from the recent political crisis in the Republic of Moldova with President Nicolae Timofti in Strasbourg on 2 July.

full story

New Lithuanian EU Presidency stresses commitment to Eastern Partnership

05 July 2013

The Lithuanian EU Presidency has underlined the particular focus of the Baltic country’s first Presidency on the relations with the Eastern partners of the EU during a high-level international seminar on the Eastern Partnership organised in Vilnius on 2 July.

full story

Civil Society Communication Platform calls for increased cooperation with Belarusian Civil Society by Council of Europe

04 July 2013

The Civil Society Communication Platform “Belarusian Civil Society in 2013” met on 14-15 June 2013 in Warsaw in order to review the current situation of different sectors of civil society in Belarus. The meeting was organised by the Conference of International Non-governmental organisations of the Council of Europe and the Casimir Pulaski Foundation.

full story

Role of culture as vector for reforms assessed at Eastern Partnership Ministerial Conference on Culture

04 July 2013

On 27-28 June the EaP Ministerial Conference on Culture was held in Tbilisi with the participation of Androulla Vassiliu, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

full story

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum is recruiting a Communications Manager

04 July 2013

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Civil Society Forum is looking to appoint a full-time Communications Manager

full story

Results of project on migration between EaP countries and EU presented in Brussels

03 July 2013

A final seminar concluding the two-year project “Cost and Benefits of Labour Mobility between the EU and the Eastern Partnership Partner Countries” was organised in Brussels on 25 June 2013 gathering representatives from all EaP countries and the EU member states taking part in the study as well as representatives from civil society and academia.

full story

Small and Medium businesses identified as key in economic integration of Ukraine by WG2 of the Ukrainian NP

02 July 2013

WG2 “Economic Integration and Convergence with EU Policies” of the Ukrainian NP discussed the economic integration of Ukraine during its meeting on 12 June 2013 in Chernihiv.

full story

Steering Committee of Ukrainian NP

02 July 2013

The Steering Committee of the Ukrainian NP met on 4 June 2013 in order to discuss the coordination o...

full story

Pending higher education reform in Ukraine discussed at the WG4 meeting of the Ukrainian NP

02 July 2013

The WG4 “Contacts between People” of the Ukrainian NP met on 6 June 2013 in order to discuss youth volunteers’ issues and educational issues.

full story

Catherine Ashton calls initialling of AA with Armenia, Georgia and Moldova at Vilnius Summit “realistic”

01 July 2013

On 27 June 2013 High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton briefed the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on the most recent discussions in the Foreign Affairs Council, including the ones on the prospects of Vilnius Summit.

full story

Project "Strengthening Capacities National Platforms of EaP CSF": assessing the 6 months of work

28 June 2013

The following activities have been conducted in the first six months of the project implementation (...

full story

Newly established Eastern Partnership Minorities Network invites minority organisations to join

27 June 2013

The Eastern Partnership Minorities Network (EaPMN), a network in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, offers new training and networking opportunities for organisations working on minority issues in the region. The five establishing partners invite minority organisations to join the network and enhance in cooperation the full participation of minorities in the EaP process.

full story

ODIHR still waiting for invitation to monitor Presidential elections in Azerbaijan

26 June 2013

The Organisation for Democracy and Human Rights (ODIHR), an election monitoring organisation with massive experience in observing polls in the European Union and post-Soviet countries, has yet to receive a formal invitation from the Azerbaijani Government to observe the October presidential elections in their country.

full story

EaP CSF Steering Committee Meeting 12-13 June 2013

25 June 2013

The Steering Committee (SC) of the Civil Society Forum (CSF) held its third meeting in 2013 in Brussels in order to discuss preparations for the 2013 CSF meeting in Chisinau, the short-term and long-term priorities of the Forum, progress achieved so far as well as to select the participants to the CSF meeting.

full story

Call for papers on "The Black Sea Region 20 years from Now"

25 June 2013

On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) a student essay competition is conducted on the topic "The Black Sea Region 20 years from Now".

The deadline for the submission of essays is 22 August 2013.

full story

Moldova’s Association Agreement negotiations finalised

25 June 2013

Moldova has concluded its Association Agreement negotiations with the EU Georgia and Armenia are expected to finish the talks in July and September respectively, according to a senior Commission official speaking at a conference in Warsaw.

full story

Assessment of Ukraine's progress in adoption of EU environmental standards presented in Brussels

24 June 2013

A panel discussion on "Environmental challenges of the European Integration: How Ukraine and other EaP countries are adopting EU environmental standards" was jointly organised in Brussels on 11 June by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, the Resource and Analysis Center "Society and Environment" and the Ukrainian National Environmental NGO "MAMA-86" with support from the International Renaissance Foundation.

full story

Human rights side-lined by energy issues during visit of Azerbaijani president to Brussels?

21 June 2013

Energy issues and especially the Southern Gas Corridor were on top of the agenda during the meeting of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev with the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso today.

full story

Annual Meeting of Working Group 4 on 14 June 2013

21 June 2013

Working Group 4 (WG4) on "Contacts between People" held its annual meeting on 14 June 2013 in Brussels in order discuss work done by the sub-groups of WG4 and discuss future activities and priorities of the WG.

full story

Call for applications - 6th International Black Sea Symposium 2013 "Empowering Civil Society in the Black Sea region: a Tool for Innovative Social Change"

20 June 2013

The 6th International Black Sea Symposium 2013 on 4-6 July 2013 in Athens is still accepting applications.

full story

Pressure grows on EU leaders to put human rights firmly on their agenda for talks with Azerbaijani President on 21 June

20 June 2013

Several EU non-governmental organisations voiced their support for the letter send by a coalition of Azerbaijani NGOs to the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy calling for the use of a human-rights based approach vis-à-vis Azerbaijan.

full story

Cost of Borders in the Black Sea Region analysed at Conference

18 June 2013

A conference organised by the EaP CSF member organisation "Public Association for Assistance to Free Economy" (PAAFE) in Baku on 30 May 2013 showed that reforms in the area of removal of barriers hindering the free movement of goods, services, capital and people are rather slow.

full story

Euronest Parliamentary Assembly calls on CSF to strengthen dialogue and conduct media trainings

18 June 2013

The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly has called in the resolution of the Political Committee on the CSF to strengthen dialogues and contacts between people across borders and conflict lines.

full story

Azerbaijani NGOs call EU not to forget human rights during meeting with Azerbaijani President on 21 June 2013

18 June 2013

A coalition of Azerbaijani NGOs, many of them members of the CSF and the Azerbaijani National Platform, calls on the EU to use a human-rights based approach vis-à-vis Azerbaijan.

full story

The EaP CSF Steering Committee calls for signing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

17 June 2013

The Steering Committee of the EaP CSF sees the signature of the Association Agreement with Ukraine in 2012 as a breakthrough which will open the way to irreversible changes in Eastern Europe.

full story

The Belarusian National Platform calls for more coordination between the Eastern Partnership and the European Dialogue on Modernisation

17 June 2013

The Belarusian National Platform adopted a resolution during its annual national Conference on 1 June 2013 in Minsk inviting the EU to better coordinate the initiatives of Eastern Partnership and European Dialogue on Modernisation.

full story

Annual Meeting of Working Group 5 on 3 June 2013 in Brussels

17 June 2013

Working Group 5 (WG5) conducted its first regular meeting on 3 June 2013 in the premises of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels. Participants gathered to listen to expert presentations, to receive an overview of developments since the formation of the group at the Stockholm meeting and to decide on the future work of the group.

full story

Conference on "Free Trade, Regulatory Approximation and Mobility in the EaP: from Commitments to Deeds"

07 June 2013

A conference on this topic is jointly organised by the European Commission and the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) in Warsaw on 20 June 2013 from 11:30-15:30.

full story

Georgian NP produced first Newsletter

07 June 2013

The Georgian National Platform has produced its first newsletter in English. The newsletter gives a comprehensive overview of the activities of the National Platform in February, March and April 2013.

full story

EU-Ukraine: Time to walk the talk

07 June 2013

A conference under this title was organised by the Yushchenko Foundation, Paweł Zalewski, Member of the European Parliament, and David Campbell Bannerman, Member of the European Parliament, with support from the EU Ukraine Business Council in the premises of the European Parliament on 5 June 2012.

full story

Call for papers on local cultures

06 June 2013

The Kultura Enter, a Poland-based e-zine, annouced a Call for Papers for a special issue tiled "Power of Provinces" on local cultures.

Paper proposals shoud be submitted in the form of an abstract (up to 1500 characters) until 14 June.

full story

Possibility to provide input to the “Culture for the Eastern Partnership” Congress Culture for the Eastern Partnership Congress

06 June 2013

The organisers of the congress invite interested parties to co-create the forthcoming Congress. For this purpose, five programme lines of the Congress were prepared and thematic suggestions as well as critical remarks are most welcome by the organiser. Suggestions for panellists, moderators and workshop instructors are appreciated as well. 

full story

Georgian NP concerned over wire fences along Administrative Boundary Line

04 June 2013

The Georgian National Platform expresses its concerns over the instalment of wire fences alongside the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) with the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia inside Georgian controlled territory by Russian forces.

full story

Azerbaijani NP discussed Public Finance Policy and Management

04 June 2013

The Azerbaijani National Platform organised a workshop on 19 May 2013 in Baku in order to enhance the effectiveness of public finance control.

full story

Belarusian NP elects new Coordination Committee and decides on participants to Chisinau Forum

04 June 2013

The Belarusian National Platform conducted its annual conference on 1 June 2013 in Minsk. The two main issues discussed during the conference were the recommendation of Belarusian organisations for participation in the 5th meeting of the Civil Society Forum in Chisinau and the election of a new chairman as well as the members of the Coordination Committee.

full story

Project on Life-Long Learning implemented by Education sub-group

04 June 2013

The education sub-group under WG4 was awarded funds under the support scheme for small projects of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic for a project with the title "Life-Long Learning in the Eastern Partnership countries: culture, politics, and recognition".

full story

Network of Youth think-tanks of Eastern Partnership founded at meeting in Baku

04 June 2013

A Forum concerning the establishment of think tanks network of youth represented in the Eastern Partnership countries was organised in Baku in May by the "Democratic Reformers Youth" Public Union and supported by the Youth Foundation under the President of the Azerbaijan Republic.

full story

Panel Discussion on "Environmental Challenges of the European Integration"

04 June 2013

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, the Resource and Analysis Center “Society and Environment”, the Ukrainian National Environmental NGO “MAMA-86” with support of the International Renaissance Foundation are jointly organising a panel discussion on 11 June 2013.

full story

Election of CSF participants to Chisinau meeting

01 June 2013

The Azerbaijani National Platform has conducted its election of participants to the Civil Society Forum 2013 in Chisinau on 1 June in Baku.

In order to increase transparency of the selection procedure, a video stream of the discussions has been organised, which is available in Azerbaijani here.

full story

Call for applications - Seminar for Young Journalists on the role of civil society and the CSF for development of the state

30 May 2013

A seminar on "The role of Civil Society for the development of the state - is the Civil Society Forum of the EU Eastern Partnership of help?" is organised by the Foundation of the German newspaper TAZ in Berlin on 27 July to 4 August 2013 for young journalists from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia.

The deadline for applications is 10 June 2013.

full story

Importance of democratic reforms stressed by CSF at Euronest Assembly

29 May 2013

During the third ordinary annual Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, which took place on 27-29 May 2013, the Director of the Brussels-based Secretariat of the EaP CSF Natalia Yerashevich addressed the General Assembly.

full story

Cost of Borders in the Black Sea Region - Join the conference online

29 May 2013

A conference on the costs of borders in the Black Sea Region is organised in Baku on 30 May 2013 by the Public Association for Assistance to Free Economy (PAAFE) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. The conference, which aims at promoting the free movement of people, goods and services as well as regional economic integration in the Black Sea region, will be broadcasted online.

full story

Results of EaP Grant Scheme of Czech Foreign Ministry

28 May 2013

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic has announced the results of its call for proposals for projects in the EaP region.

full story

Importance to analyse impacts of DCFTA's on agricultural sector stressed by CSF experts at Panel

28 May 2013

The EaP Civil Society Forum was represented at the first meeting of the Panel on Agriculture and Rural Development which took place on 13 May 2013 in Brussels by Sergiu Mihailov from Pro Cooperare Regionala, Moldova and by Oleg Shatberashvili from European Studies for Innovative Development, Georgia.

full story

Georgian NP concerned over violence on International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia

27 May 2013

The Georgian National Platform has issued a statement concerning the assaults on LGBT right activists and their supporters on 17 May, the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, in Tbilisi.

full story

EaP Platform I briefed on activities of the CSF

26 May 2013

The EaP CSF was represented at the meeting of the EaP Platform I on "Democracy, Good Governance and Stability" by its Co-Chairs Krzysztof Bobinski and Boris Navasardian as well as by the Director of the Brussels-based Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the EaP CSF Natalia Yerashevich.

full story

Invitation to participate in Survey on CSO involvement in programming process of new Multiannual Financial Framework

23 May 2013

CONCORD, the European NGO confederation for relief and development, has launched a survey in order to assess whether and how civil society organisations have been consulted in the first phase of the programming exercise of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 of the EU and the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).

The deadline for participation in the survey is 31 May 2013.

full story

Annual Meeting of Working Group 1 on 14 May in Brussels

22 May 2013

Working Group 1 on “Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability” held its annual meeting on 14 May 2013 in Brussels in order to receive updates on the work done so far and to discuss future activities of the WG.

full story

Annual Meeting of Working Group 2 on 13 May in Brussels

22 May 2013

Working Group 2 on “Economic Integration and Convergence with EU Policies” held its annual meeting on 13 May 2013 in Brussels in order to receive updates on the work done so far and to discuss future activities of the WG.

full story

Youth mobility- the key to democratic reforms in the Eastern Partnership countries

22 May 2013

A conference on “Youth mobility – the key to democratic reforms in the Eastern Partnership countries” took place on 14 May 2013 in the European Parliament.

full story

The European Endowment for Democracy – a driver for change?

22 May 2013

Within the framework of the WG1 meeting on 14 May 2013, an expert panel on the topic of “The European Endowment for Democracy – a driver for change?” was organised jointly by the EaP and the Policy Association for an Open Society (PASOS).

full story

Fiscal decentralisation crucial to promote change and effective local democracy in Eastern Partnership Countries

21 May 2013

On 14 May a conference on fiscal decentralisation in the Eastern Partnership countries provided a platform to debate the challenges and opportunities connected with fiscal decentralisation.

full story

EaP CSF suggested civil society monitoring of infrastructure projects at meeting of the Transport Panel

21 May 2013

The EaP CSF was represented at the meeting of the 4th meeting of the Transportation Panel on 30 April 2013 in Brussels by Gubad Bayramov from the Public Initiative Centre, Azerbaijan.

full story

Preparations for Vilnius Summit on track

21 May 2013

The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President fo the Commission Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle attended the Foreign Ministers Meeting of the Visegrad countries in Krakow on 17 May 2013 and met with Foreign Ministers from the Eastern Partnership countries.

full story

One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

17 May 2013

For the seventh year the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival will be held in Brussels. The festival runs from 21 to 29 May 2013 and offers 13 new documentary films. The focus of this year’s festival is Azerbaijan. Each film is accompanied by a panel discussion involving politicians, human rights activists and international NGOs.

full story

European Parliament alarmed about crackdown on Russian civil society

17 May 2013

Werner Schulz, MEP and Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee EU-Russia, organised a seminar in the European Parliament on 15 May on the mounting pressure on Russian civil society by the authorities and the EU's response to the issue

full story

Statement of the Azerbaijani National Platform on the arrest and torture of activists

16 May 2013

The Azerbaijani National Platform decries the arrest and torture of three activists who were arrested during their participation in a peaceful action on 30 April organised under the slogan "No terror" to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the incidents in the Azerbaijani State Oil Academy.

full story

Call for applications - Warsaw Euro-Atlantic Summer Academy

16 May 2013

The College of Europe, Natolin, the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Polish-American Freedom Foundation have established a programme called the Warsaw Euro-Atlantic Summer Academy (WEASA) aiming to work with analysts and policy advisers from the Eastern Partnership region on systemic transformation, European Union integration and transatlantic relations.

Deadline for applications: 26 May 2013

full story

Reply on recent exchange of letters on the issue of NGOs from conflict areas

14 May 2013

In connection with the exchange of letters between the Co-Chair of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Krzysztof Bobinski and the Chairman of the Azerbaijani Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Elkhan Suleymanov (see here), the Steering Committee has received a reply to the last letter of Mr Bobinski.

full story

Call for applications - Contest for best projects of cross-border cooperation

14 May 2013

A contest for best projects of cross-border cooperation is organised in cooperation with the Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress within the project “Lublin and Rzeszów – cooperation and use of development opportunities”.

Deadline for applications 14 June 2013.

full story

Online conference on Youth Mobility

14 May 2013

It is possible to join a conference on "Youth Mobility - the key to democratic reforms in the EaP countries" organised by AEGEE Eastern Partnership Project online.

full story

Azerbaijani National Platform decries attempts to create “atmosphere of fear” ahead of elections by increasing punishment for administrative offences

10 May 2013

The Azerbaijani National Platform of the EaP CSF issued a statement severely condemning a proposed legislative amendment that would extent the administrative detention period for a certain group of administrative wrongdoings thereby restricting human rights in Azerbaijan.

full story

The EaP CSF took part in the Panel on Public Administration Reform

10 May 2013

The EaP CSF was represented at the 4th meeting of the EaP Panel on Public Administration Reform in Baku on 18 April 2013.

full story

Conference organised by Georgian NP condemns practices of illegal surveillance

10 May 2013

The Georgian National Platform organised a conference on “Civil Society against Illegal Surveillance” on 29 April 2013 with the support of the Open Society Georgia Foundation and the European Union. The Conference hosted the chairman of the Georgian Parliament, the Prime Minister of Georgia, the Ombudsman and other high officials form the Government, representatives of international organisations and Diplomatic Missions in Georgia.

full story

The European Endowment for Democracy - a driver for change?

08 May 2013

In the margins of the Working Group 1 Meeting on 14 May a discussion on "The European Endowment for Democracy - a driver for change?" will be conducted.

full story

Statement of the Steering Committee on the Presidential Elections in Armenia

06 May 2013

Concerning the recent presidential elections in Armenia on 18 February 2013, the Steering Committee regrets that the Armenian authorities failed to seize the opportunity to consolidate public support, which would have been essential to politically underpin the challenging reforms awaiting the country once it signs the Association Agreement with the EU.

full story

Azerbaijan’s presidential election in October will be “ democratic and a free expression of the will of the Azeri people” says Azerbaijani politician. The CSF Co-chair begs to differ

30 April 2013

On 19 March speaking at a meeting of Euronest Committee on Social Affairs, Education, Culture and C...

full story

Exchange of letters on the issue of NGOs from conflict areas

22 April 2013

A search by the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum for a formula which would allow bona fide non-governmental organisations from conflict areas such as Abkhazia or Transnistria to take part in the work of the Forum has led to an angry protest from the Mr Elkhan Suleymanov, head of the Azerbaijani Euronest parliamentary delegation.

full story

Call for Proposals for Projects in the EaP region by the MFA of the Czech Republic

22 April 2013

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic has launched a Call for Proposals for small projects in the Eastern Partnership region in 2013 targeting the priorities of the Civil Society Forum.

Projects proposals should be submitted in English by 10 May 2013.

full story

Call for Proposals launched by EU Delegation in Baku

17 April 2013

A call for proposals has been launched by the EU Delegation in Baku, joining funds under the Civil Society Facility with those under the Non-State Actors thematic programme. The deadline for receiving applications is 16 July 2013.

full story

Call for applications: Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress in Lublin, 1-3 October 2013

15 April 2013

The second Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress (EEIC) will be organised in Lublin, Poland on 01-03 October 2013.

Deadline for registration: 15 September 2013

full story

The CSF took part in the EaP Panel on Migration and Asylum

12 April 2013

The EaP CSF was represented at the 4th meeting of the EaP Panel on Migration and Asylum which took place in Tbilisi on 20-21 March.

full story

CSF Subgroup on "Fight against corruption" starts project on conflict of interest

12 April 2013

Civil Society Organisations from Poland, Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia decided to start a project on Conflict of Interest (CoI) within the framework of WG 1 Sub-Group “Fight against Corruption” as an important part of this fight.

full story

Reply by Azerbaijani Parliamentarian to CSF's intervention at Euronest

11 April 2013

The CSF has received a letter in reaction to the speech the Co-chair Krzysztof Bobinski delivered to...

full story

Statement of the Azerbaijani National Platform on Detention of Activists

10 April 2013

The National Platform of Azerbaijan has issued a statement on the detention of seven young members of the NIDA Civic Movement by Azerbaijani authorities.

full story

Invitation to apply for the 5th meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on 4-5 October 2013, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova

09 April 2013

The Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum is inviting all interested parties to submit expressions of interest to participate in the fifth meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. The submission of expressions of interest is a necessary step in the selection process to participate in the EaP CSF meeting in Chisinau in 2013.

full story

Statement of the Georgian National Platform on Georgia's EU integration

08 April 2013

The Georgian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum has issued a statement on Georgia's EU Integration and the current cohabitation.

full story

Visa Ban of Belarusian Activists rescinded

05 April 2013

The Vilnius Administrative court has rescinded a decision by the Lithuanian government’s Migration Department to ban Nicholas Ulasevich, a Belarusian citizen and the coordinator of the “The Astrawiec Nuclear Power station is a crime” campaign.

full story

The Secretariat is accepting applications for an internship

01 April 2013

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Civil Society Forum is accepting applications for an internship.

full story

Conference on Costs of Borders in the Black Sea Region

29 March 2013

The Public Association for Assistance to Free Economy and Friedrich Naumann Foundation in cooperation with the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies and the Ukraine Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting are organising a conference on "Cost of borders in the Black Sea region" on 30-31 May 2013 in Baku.

full story

EIDHR Forum 2013

29 March 2013

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) annual Forum will take place on 16-17 April 2013 in Brussels.

full story

Call for Applications - Seminar for Young Journalists

29 March 2013

A seminar on "Political Extremism and how the State is dealing with it: The Example Berlin" is organised by the Foundation of the German newspaper TAZ in Berlin on 26 April to 4 May 2013 for young jounalists from Belarus, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Russia.

The deadline for applications is 10 April 2013.

full story

Child Poverty - Good Practices from Caritas Projects in Georgia and Moldova

26 March 2013

Caritas Europe, a member of the Civil Society Forum, published a report on child poverty. The report...

full story

Summer School on ENP Eastern Dimension in Warsaw

25 March 2013

The University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw is organising an International Summer School on European Neighbourhood Policy: The Eastern Dimension from 17-30 August 2013.

full story

Call for Applications - Transparency International Summer School

21 March 2013

Transparency International is currently accepting applications for their Summer School on Integrity which will take place on 8-14 July 2013 in Vilnius.

The deadline for registration is 1 May 2013.

full story

Commissioner Füle presented ENP Progress Reports

20 March 2013

“Vilnius Summit to be a milestone in bringing partners closer to political association and economic integration” said Commissioner Füle on 20 March.

full story

EaP CSF Co-Chair Krzysztof Bobinski addressed Euronest and demanded a reaction to the current campaign in Azerbaijan

19 March 2013

“The European Parliament must react to the current campaign by the Azerbaijani authorities to limit democratic rights and civil society activities”, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Co-chair Krzysztof Bobinski said on Tuesday.

full story

Position Paper on European Dialoge on Modernisation with Belarus by the Coordinative Council of the Belarusian National Platform

19 March 2013

The Coordinative Council of the Belarusian National Platform has produced a position paper on the European Dialogue on Modernisation with Belarus.

full story

Call for Applications - Workshop for Filmmakers from Eastern Partnership Countries

15 March 2013

The Directors Across Borders (DAB) project is currently accepting applications for a Story Development Workshop for feature films which will take place in Yerevan, Armenia, 6-10 May 2013.

Applications should be submitted no later than 22 March 2013.

full story

Call for Applications - BBC Media Workshop for Belarusian Journalists

15 March 2013

The BBC is organicing a series of workshops for media professionals in Belarus, as part of the EU-funded Media Neighbourhood Project, in the areas of professional journalism, new media and management.

The deadline for applications is 1 April 2013.
full story

DCFTAs with Armenia, Georgia and Moldova to be finalized before Vilnius?

14 March 2013

The EU hopes to finalize negotiations with three Eastern Partnership countries - Armenia, Georgia and Moldova - on the conclusion of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA) by the Vilnius Summit. Please find a state-of-play of the negotiations below.

full story

Tamar Chugoshvili appointed assitant to Georgian Prime Minister

12 March 2013

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum congratulates Tamar Chugoshvili on her new post as an assistant to the Prime Minister of Georgia on Human Rights and Gender Equality Issues.

full story

Update on the Fight against Corruption in Georgia

05 March 2013

A number of reports and analyses have been produced by the members of the Sub-Working Group on the Fight against Corruption on the situation in Georgia.

full story

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Launches the Election Task Force

28 February 2013

An Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) Election Task Force, made up of election and civil society experts from Eastern Partnership and EU countries, was launched in Yerevan at the occasion of Armenia’s presidential elections on 18 February.

full story

Diplomatic Workshop at European Academy for Diplomacy

26 February 2013

The European Academy of Diplomacy is organizing the 5th edition of the European Diplomacy Workshop in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, PZU and the Casimir Pulaski Foundation on 22 – 27 April 2013 in Warsaw, Poland.

full story

Azerbaijani Parliament ignores call from Civil Society on new NGO law

25 February 2013

The Azerbaijan Parliament has ignored a call by 62 civil society organizations to reject amendments to legislation governing non-governmental organizations on the grounds that it threatens the freedom of activity of NGO’s.

full story

Press Conference on the views of the civil society on the upcoming EU-Ukraine Summit

21 February 2013

On the 21st of February the Secretariat of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum hosted a press conference at which the representatives of the Ukrainian National Platform of the Civil Society Forum shared their views and expectations at the crucial juncture of the EU-Ukraine relations  in advance of he upcoming EU-Ukraine Summit with the press, think tank representatives and other interested parties.

full story

Workshop of EMDS broken up by Azerbaijani police

17 February 2013

The Co-Chair of the Civil Society Forum and Coordinator of Working Group 1 on Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability Krzysztof Bobinski expressed his solidarity with the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS), an Azerbaijani NGO and member of the CSF. A workshop of EMDS on citizen participation on public policy was broken up by the local police in Khachmaz last week.

full story

Civil Society Defence Committee was restored in Azerbaijan

15 February 2013

One hundred NGOs objected to changes in legislation project at the Public Forum

full story

CSF presentation at Informal Partnership Dialogue in Tbilisi

13 February 2013

Krzysztof Bobinski, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the CSF, and Manana Kochladze, Coordinator of the Georgian National Platform of the CSF, met with Commissioner Füle and Foreign Ministers of Eastern Partnership countries during the Eastern Partnership Informal Dialogue in Tbilisi on 12-13 February 2013.

full story

Commissioner Füle attended conference of Ukrainian National Platform

13 February 2013

During his visit to Ukraine on 7th and 8th February, Commissioner Füle attended a meeting with the CSF Ukrainian National Platform and thereby continuing his tradition of close communication with the civil society.

full story

Appointment of a Communications Manager for CSF Secretariat: Lucas Maurer

03 February 2013

The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the position of Communication Manager has been filled. ...

full story

Congratulations to Ucha Nanuashvili on his appointment to the Ombudsman of Georgia

02 January 2013

Our sincere congratulations to Ucha Nanuashvili on his recent appointment to the Ombudsman of Georgi...

full story

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum is recruiting a Communications Manager

12 December 2012

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Civil Society Forum is lo...

full story

REVISED STATEMENT ON DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CIVIL SOCIETY OF ARMENIA

12 December 2012

STATEMENT OF THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM ON DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CIVIL SOCIETY OF AR...

full story

Statement of the Forum on Nuclear Energy

12 December 2012

STATEMENT OF THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM ON NUCLEAR ENERGY   November 30, 20...

full story

Resolution on Monitoring Forthcoming National Elections

11 December 2012

Resolution by the IV Forum of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on Monioring Forthcoming...

full story

Report on the Civil Society Forum 2012

11 December 2012

Report on the Civil Society Forum 2012 that took place on 29-30 November in Stockholm, Swe...

full story

The New Steering Committee of the Forum elected in Stockholm

08 December 2012

The New Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum Elected on 29-30 November 2012 in Stockholm,...

full story

Statement on Repressions against Civil Society in Belarus

30 November 2012

Statement by the IV Forum of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum «On repressions aga...

full story

Statement of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum On Issuing Non-grata status to Belarus Anti-nuclear Activists

30 November 2012

STATEMENT OF THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM on the issuing of non-grata status by th...

full story

Resolution of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on the Law on Referendums in Ukraine adopted on November 30, 2012

30 November 2012

Resolution of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on the Law on Referendums in Ukraine adopt...

full story

Statement of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum 'The Need for Better Environmental Governance', adopted on 30.11.2012, Stockholm

30 November 2012

The Need for Better Environmental Governance Statement of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society For...

full story

Resolution on support of the Eastern Partnership Programme passed at the Stockholm meeting of the Civil Society Forum on November 30, 2012

29 November 2012

Resolution on support of the Eastern Partnership Programme passed at the Stockholm meeting of the Ci...

full story

2012: A year when the Forum mapped the future, and laid a sustainable basis for further development

23 November 2012

During 2012, the Civil Society Forum has built on the foundations successfully laid since its launch in 2009, and set in place strong forward planning for 2013.

full story

Appointment of Director of Secretariat: Natalia Yerashevich

23 November 2012

The Steering Committee is pleased to be able to announce that the position of Director has been accepted by Natalia Yerashevich, who will be presented to the Forum in Stockholm, Sweden, on 29-30 November 2012. 

full story

Ukraine ‘missed opportunity’ for free and fair elections

15 November 2012

Ukraine’s parliamentary elections on 28 October 2012 represent another missed opportunity in an Eastern Partnership country to conduct a ballot that is not only free and fair, but is also seen to be free and fair, according to a statement by the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.

full story

Civil Society Forum seeks Director of Secretariat

18 October 2012

The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is seeking a DIRECTOR.

full story

Free and fair elections in Georgia, and peaceful transition of power, applauded by Civil Society Forum

09 October 2012

The Georgian parliamentary election held on October 1 2012 is a welcome development in the quest for free and fair elections in the Eastern Partnership states. The contest between government and opposition parties was confined, by and large, to the electoral process itself, giving citizens a peaceful way to express their views, and the outcome of the election was accepted by the losing side, with its leader appealing to Georgians to respect the result, said the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in a statement issued on 9 October 2012.

full story

Statement by the Civil Society Forum's Georgian National Platform on the parliamentary election and the role of civil society

09 October 2012

In a statement following the parliament elections of 1 October 2012, the Georgian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum has stated that the holding of the parliamentary election in a peaceful and stable atmosphere is an important step forward for Georgia’s democratic development, one which lays the ground for accelerating the country’s integration with the EU.

full story

Model of youth participation in “Eastern Partnership” discussed in Baku

04 October 2012

Model of youth participation in “Eastern Partnership” discussed in Baku.

full story

Participants selected for Stockholm annual Forum - 29-30 November 2012

30 September 2012

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum 2012 will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, on 29-30 November 2012.  This year there were 583 applications, out of which 202 organisations have been selected by the Steering Committee in line with the eligibility guidelines. With 45 per cent new delegates compared with the 2011 Forum, the goal of having at least 40 per cent new delegates has been met. In addition, 34 per cent has never attended any of the three annual Forums to date. In the case of EU delegates, with an increase in applications, 50 per cent of those selected did not attend in 2011.

full story

Belarus parliamentary elections were neither free nor fair, says Civil Society Forum steering committee: ‘Free and fair elections are key to government legitimacy’

28 September 2012

The Belarusian parliamentary election held on 23 September 2012 was by all accounts neither free nor fair. The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership believes that legitimacy that derives from free and fair elections is the foundation of government. Such legitimacy is crucial in the Eastern Partnership initiative of the European Union, which aims to promote political and economic reforms bringing the partner countries closer to EU values and standards of living.

full story

Georgian national platform calls for democratic values and electoral legislation to be upheld, and the political will of Georgia's citizens to be expressed, in the parliamentary election of 1 October 2012

18 September 2012

 

Statement of the Georgian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership’s conference held on 15 September 2012 “Parliamentary elections and Georgia’s EU integration prospects”:
The 1 October parliamentary election is an extremely important challenge for Georgia’s statehood and democratic development. Ensuring a free and fair election environment and holding the elections to high standard will in large part determine the future progress of Georgia’s European integration. 
full story

CNTM is hiring an expert in regional youth policy

07 August 2012

National Youth Council of Moldova (CNTM) with the support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic runs till October 2012 the project “Strengthening the youth cooperation in Eastern Partnership countries”.

full story

Civil Society Forum calls for immediate release of Ales Bialiatski

30 July 2012

The 4th of August marks the first anniversary of the imprisonment of Ales Bialiatski, the leader of Belarusian human rights organization Viasna and vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights. This date will be marked by demonstrations throughout Europe. Prisoners in Belarusian prisons are often subject to inhuman treatment and heavy pressure to make them plead for a pardon or even confess. This is unacceptable, and the Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum as written to the authorities in Belarus calling for their immediate release.

full story

New opportunities for youth NGOs from Eastern Partnership countries

26 July 2012

National Youth Council of Moldova (CNTM) with the support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic launches a project for strengthening of cooperation between youth NGOs from Eastern Partnership countries. The main aim of the project is stimulation of youth participation in this region. Partners of this project are Youth Councils from Belarus, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.

full story

Forum co-Chairs welcome opportunity to monitor implementation of Eastern Partnership roadmap

23 July 2012

The two co-Chairs of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum were invited to attend the EU-EaP Ministerial Meeting on 23 July 2012, and invited Eastern Partner governments and EU Delegations in the partner countries to the Civil Society Forum annual event in Stockholm, Sweden, on 29-30 November 2012.

full story

“Armenia in Europe” conference in Yerevan

13 July 2012

Armenia will be brought closer to Europe when the process is perceived by large sections of the country’s population, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy stated at the Armenia in Europe conference in Yerevan, Armenia.

full story

STATEMENT of the Working Group 1 of the EaP Civil Society Forum

06 July 2012

The WG 1 members, representing several organizations from both EaP and EU countries, supports the statement of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety calling on the Azerbaijani government to refrain from adopting draft amendments to the laws “On the right to obtain information”, “On commercial secrets” and “On state registration and state registry of legal entities”, which create unreasonable obstacles for the access to data on the ownership of private companies.

full story

Civil society representatives participated at the Platform 4 meeting

05 July 2012

Two representatives from Working Group 4 “Contacts between people” of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum participated in the meeting of Platform 4 of the EaP.

full story

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Working Groups first round of meetings in 2012 (Ukraine)

29 June 2012

In the first half of the year there has been active communication both within the Civil society Forum Working groups and between them in Ukraine.  Experts and civil society representatives from different regions of Ukraine were engaged in drawing up plans for the year, outlining the main challenges of European integration and developing communication channels with national governments and colleagues from other Eastern Partnership countries and European institutions.

full story

STATEMENT of The Ukrainian National Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum On the development of Energy Infrastructure within the framework of the Eastern Partnership and in the context of Platform 3 “Energy Security” meeting

28 June 2012

The UNP CSF experts taking part in Working Group 3 “Environment, climate change and energy security” are delighted to welcome the participants of the seventh meeting of Platform 3 “Energy Security”, wish them an interesting and productive discussion and would like to ask them to take into account the following points in their discussions on Ukraine:

full story

Reforms of the Border Management System: Implementation of Action Plan on EU Visa Regime Liberalization for Ukraine

18 June 2012

State Border Guard Service of Ukraine is the most proactive agency in comparison to other defense and law enforcement structures and it resolves from the military structure into law enforcement (police-type) body.

full story

Statement of the 1st Working Group of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on recent cases of violation of the ceasefire on the contact line of the Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces

18 June 2012

We the representatives of the 1st Working Group of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum express our concern with regards to the numerous cases of violation of ceasefire on the contact line of the Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces resulting in casualties from both sides.

full story

STATEMENT of Ukrainian National Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Concerning Reforms of Public Administration in Ukraine

18 June 2012

Proper public administration is the basis for economic development and human rights defense. That is why it is urgently needed to take effective measures for public administration development in Ukraine in line with the grounding principles: due course of law; predictability; impartiality and consistency.

full story

CZ MFA Eastern Partnership Grant Scheme 2012 – Final Results

14 June 2012

The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has allocated over 100 000 € for small projects implement...

full story

Recommendations for the seventh meeting of the Eastern Partnership Platform 1

06 June 2012

While national governments and European institutions discuss fight against corruption in EaP region, there is a tendency to overlook the problem of political corruption, particularly the issue of financing of political parties, including public financing, financing election campaigns and bribery during elections.

full story

Working Group 1: Statement on Georgia

06 June 2012

The October 2012 Parliamentary Elections are of crucial importance for future of democracy in Georgia. The new parliament shall ensure the country’s transition to parliamentary system and form the new government in line with the amendments to the Constitution of Georgia (October 15, 2010).

full story

Invitation now open to apply for participation in the fourth meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (29-30 November 2012, Sweden)

17 May 2012

Invitation now open to apply for participation in the fourth meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (29-30 November 2012, Sweden)

The Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum is now inviting all interested parties to submit expressions of interest to participate in the fourth meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. The submission of expressions of interest is a necessary step in the selection process to participate in the EaP CSF meeting in Sweden in 2012.

full story

4th Civil Society Forum Annual Event to Be Held in Sweden, 29-30 November 2012 - call for participants to be launched second week of May

03 May 2012

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, working to increase the transparency and information flow throughout the work of the Forum, is publishing and sharing with Forum participants the decisions of the first two Steering Committee meetings of 2012, which took place on 26-27 January in Brussels, and 4-5 April in Baku, respectively.

full story

Strategy Concept and Secretariat statutes approved for Civil Society Forum

03 May 2012

In line with the decisions taken at the Poznan Forum, on 26-27 January 2012, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Steering Committee finalised the Strategy Concept and the statutes for registration of the Secretariat of the Forum.

full story

Free elections to be flagship priority for Civil Society Forum

03 May 2012

Democratic legitimacy is the basis of good government. Reform is impossible without fair democratic procedures as reforms will not succeed unless they are introduced by fairly elected legislatures and governments. The Eastern Partnership programme, of which the Civil Society Forum (CSF) is a part, advocates reforms aimed at having partner countries base their political systems on the principles of democracy, a market economy, and the rule of law. None of this can be achieved without free and fair elections.

full story

Commissioner Stefan Fule Response to Georgian National Platform

23 April 2012

Dear all,
Thank you for your letter of 12 March regarding the preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia in October this year. As you are aware the EU is closely monitoring developments in Georgia leading up to the elections. 1 sincerely appreciate your input and reflections in this regard.

full story

Statement of the Belarusian NP of EaP CSF regarding death penalty

13 April 2012

We, the participants of activity of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, express our deep concern at the fact that the death penalty is still applied in Belarusian legal and judicial practice. Particular suspicion and broad public discussion has caused the death penalty for the case of a terrorist act that took place at the metro station "Kastrychnitskaya".

full story

Statement of the Ukrainian Platform of the EaP CSF regarding the Implementation of State Anti-Corruption Policy in Ukraine

10 April 2012

The members of Ukrainian National Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum are deeply concerned about the critical situation regarding the scale of corruption in Ukraine and its impact on social processes. Thus, in 2011 68 % of Ukrainian citizens were involved into corruption-related activities, though they admitted corruption is one of three most important problems of the state.

full story

The international Report on Public Assessment of Environmental Governance in Eastern Partnership countries was presented

19 March 2012

On March, 15 2012 in the information agency “Ukrinform” the expert report The Assesment of environmental policy in the countries of the Eastern Partnership”, dedicated to discussion of process of implementation of reforms of environmental policy in the framework of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Flagship Initiative on good environmental governance in six countries of EaP and analysis of the main achievements and failures in reforming environmental policy in the context of European integration.

The event was organized by the UNENGO “MAMA-86” and the Civic Expert Council within the Ukrainian part of the EU-Ukraine cooperation committee (CEC UPC ). Among the participants in the event were the representatives of the Ministry of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine, independent national and international experts from the partner countries of the Eastern Partnership, in part from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, embassies of Poland and Slovak Republic, Delegation of the EU to Ukraine, international organizations and mass media.

full story

Georgian National Platform letter to Commissioner Stefan Fule

12 March 2012

Dear Commissioner Füle,
We appreciate the willingness and remarkable efforts undertaken by the European Union aimed at supporting Georgia to hold democratic elections in pending period. We take a notice of the EU Foreign Affairs Council recent conclusions (February 27, 2012) which underline the “utmost importance of ensuring that the Parliamentary elections in 2012 and the Presidential elections in 2013 meet internationally recognized democratic standards” and pledge to “closely monitor developments in Georgia leading up to the elections.”

full story

Statement of the Belarusian National Platform of EaP CSF regarding the diplomatic conflict between the authorities of Belarus and the European Union

05 March 2012

Representatives of the Belarusian civil society, members of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum are convinced that the solution to the essentially important issues of reforming and modernization of the country and turning it back to the network of the European communities, may lay the basis for negotiations and overcoming the existing conflict between the authorities of Belarus and the European Union.

full story

Proposals to strengthen public participation and civil society engagement in the policymaking process in the Eastern Partnership countries

05 March 2012

A set of proposals to strengthen public participation and civil society engagement in the policymaking process in the Eastern Partnership countries was presented to a meeting in Prague of EU foreign ministers (Visegrad Four and Baltic states) by Jeff Lovitt, one of the co-Chairs of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, and Eduard Mihalas, one of the co-ordinators of the Forum's Working Group 4 - Contacts Between People. Jeff Lovitt, Executive Director of PASOS, presented the Forum's input into the Eastern Partnership roadmap, due to be published by the European Commission on 25 April 2012. Recommendations resulting from the meeting of the Forum's Working Group 4 - Contacts Between People - held in Prague on 2 March 2012 - were presented to the meeting by Eduard Mihalas of the National Youth Council of Moldova.

full story

15 Eastern Partnership Culture projects are about to take off

19 February 2012

The Eastern Partnership Culture Programme is pleased to announce the launch of 15 regional projects in the culture sector of the Eastern Partnership countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, with the total value of Euro 8.2 million financed by the European Union.

full story

Eastern Partnership Roadmap Consultative Meeting was held in Moldova

08 February 2012

On the 8th of February in Chisinau, the Republic of Moldova, a consultative meeting was held on the Eastern Partnership Roadmap. HE, Ambassador Dirk Schuebel and political officer Dirk Lorenz from the political and economic section of the EU Delegation to Moldova were in attendence.

full story

Poznan forum decisions and Forum reports

16 January 2012

The third meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum was held in Poznan, Poland on 28-30th of November 2011. The extended format (from 1,5 up to three days) of the EaP CSF has been made possible thanks to the European Commission/European External Action Service and the generous support of Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

full story

Moldova: National Decentralisation Strategy

09 January 2012

The National Decentralization Strategy (further – Strategy) is the main document of policies in the domain of local public administration, which determines the national mechanisms in the domain of decentralization and assurance of an authentic local autonomy for the local public administration authorities.

This Strategy establishes the objectives and tasks on an immediate and average term aiming at implementing the priority of decentralizing the power and assuring the local self-government, in line with the principles of the European Charter of Local Self- Government, which was ratified by the Republic of Moldova on July 16, 1997 and that came for our country into force on February 1, 1998.

full story

Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility 2011 Call on Public Finance Policy and Management

22 December 2011

The European Union Delegation to the Republic of Azerbaijan is seeking proposals for actions taking place in the Republic of Azerbaijan to be financially supported by the 2011 Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility. The priority of this Call for Proposals is the Public Finance Policy and Management (PFPM) sector.

full story

European Commission presents study on benefits of environment protection in the Neighbourhood Region and Russia

19 December 2011

European Commission has released results from an international study project on Socio-economic Benefits of Enhanced Environment Protection in the European Neighbourhood partner countries and the Russian Federation. According to the study, a partial, voluntary adoption of EU environment legislation could save between 50.000 and 150.000 lives per year in these countries, due to reduced air pollution alone.

full story

EU ministers set out cooperation priorities with eastern partners over justice and security

14 December 2011

The Council Conclusions underlined the importance of continuing and intensifying wide-ranging structured cooperation over migration, stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation within the Eastern Partnership aimedat strengthening security. The Council emphasised that in the area of justice, principles of the rule of law, including respect for fundamental rights and anindependent, impartial and effective judiciary, were “instrumental for the success of the Eastern Partnership countries’ democratic reforms and their progress towards closer association with the European Union.”

full story

Monitoring report on the human rights situation in the Eastern Partnership countries is published

12 December 2011

This monitoring report has been prepared by the representatives of civil society organizations in the EaP 6 countries and their international partners within the Human Rights Sub-working group of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.  The aim of the report is to ensure that detailed information regarding the actual situation on the ground in the Eastern Partnership states is available to the participants of intergovernmental meetings within the EaP, and to all other interested parties.

full story

Statement on the situation with press freedom in Georgia

08 December 2011

We, the members of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Media subgroup, express our concern regarding the recent developments infringing the press freedoms in Georgia.

In these days, some of the newspaper kiosks have been forced to seize their activities, under the pretext of holding a tender. These actions of Tbilisi local government have already negatively affected the outreach of Georgian print media outlets and created serious financial problems for the magazines and newspapers.

full story

EU announces substantial new funds under European Neighbourhood Instrument

07 December 2011

Building on the achievements of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), the new ENI will contribute to strengthening bilateral relations with partner countries and bring tangible benefits to both the EU and its partners in areas such as democracy and human rights, the rule of law, good governance and sustainable development. The proposed budget for the new ENI is €18.2 billion for the period 2014-2020.  This represents a significant increase compared to the budget of the previous ENPI instrument. This significant increase reflects the increased priority of the ENP in the overall foreign policy of the EU.

full story

EaP Culture Programme initiates discussions with the culture sector actors in EaP countries

06 December 2011

Six countries of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine - got a solid chance to effectively tap into culture priority issues and boost peer cultural ties between themselves and the EU during the course of the research visits of the Regional Monitoring and Capacity Building Unit (RMCBU) of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme

full story

Pilot edition of the European Integration Index for the EaP countries was presented

05 December 2011

Pilot edition of the European Integration Index for the EaP countries was presented during side-events of the EaP Civil Society Forum in Poznan 28-30 November 2011. The Index is a monitoring tool that is also intended to assist EU institutions in applying the ‘more for more’/‘less for less’ principle, announced by the EU in May 2011. Although the EU and independent civil society initiatives provide numerous regular assessments of the progress of EaP countries in European integration, few of these assessments have attempted to place the countries in a comparative perspective. 

full story

EaP Civil Society Forum elects new Steering Committee

01 December 2011
A new 17-member Steering Committee was elected at the annual meeting of the Civil Society Forum, which took place in Poznan, Poland, on 28-30 November 2011. The Steering Committee is elected for a one-year term.
Six country facilitators were elected (one from each of the six partner countries), eight working group co-ordinators (one EU and one partner country representative for each of the four working groups). Finally, in a plenary session, three EU co-ordinators were elected by the whole forum.
full story

EaP Civil Society Forum call EU to lead in preserving and promoting the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol

30 November 2011

At the third annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, a resolution was adopted towards the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Durban, South Africa. The calls on the European Union to take a leading role in preserving and promoting the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol on limiting green-house gas emissions until the adoption of a comprehensive legally binding agreement.

full story

Statement of the EaP Civil Society Forum on the sentencing of Ales Bialiatski in Belarus

30 November 2011

At the third annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, a resolution was adopted by the participants (more than 200 representatives of civil society from all six Eastern Partner countries and from EU member-states). In the statement, the Forum participants call upon EU institutions and member states to take measures toward the release of Ales Bialiatski and other political prisoners, as there should be no political prisoners in the countries that have signed the Eastern Partnership Declaration. The Forum participants demand the immediate and unconditional release and full rehabilitation of Ales Bialiatski. 

full story

EaP Civil Society Forum appeal on Ukraine: the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine should be initialled

29 November 2011

A letter to the President and Prime Minister of Ukraine, and to European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, was sent on behalf of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, calling upon the EU and Ukraine to conclude negotiations on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, to initial the Agreement, and make the text available to the public. The Forum participants  - more than 200 civil society representatives from Eastern Partner countries and from EU countries - argue that publication of the text of the Agreement would strengthen the leverage of civil society to deliver key messages to society in Ukraine and potentially other Eastern Partnership countries on how the Agreement can become an instrument of transformation and reform in Ukraine.

full story

Statement on the resumption meeting of the National Platform of the EaP Civil Society Forum in Armenia

28 November 2011

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum expresses its recognition of the meeting of Armenian participants of the Civil Society Forum assemblies of Brussels (2009), Berlin (2010) and Poznan (2011) that took place in Yerevan on 21 November 2011 and the resumption of the Armenian National platform of the Civil Society Forum.

full story

Concept paper for the EaP Civil Society Forum presented for discussion in Poznan

25 November 2011

AN ACTIVE PARTNER IN DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND EUROPEAN INTEGRATION: A Concept paper for the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum presented for discussion in Poznan. Зaper describes current stay of EaP CSF, short and medium term objectives for development, as well as challenges and policy dilemmas.

full story

Civil Society Forum in Poznan is coming

24 November 2011

The 3rd annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum “A partnership for democratic reforms and European integration” will be held in Poznan, Poland, on 28-30 November 2011. The Forum will gather around 300 participants and guests from civil society sector working in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and EU. During three days of intensive agenda participants will be able to discuss different question on civil society engagement in eastern partnership, challenges and prospects for further development of EaP Civil Society Forum.

full story

Work in progress: reports of EaP CSF working groups in 2011

23 November 2011

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) holds a conference once a year. Working groups (WG) of the EaP CSF holds activities between annual meetings of the Forum.  Coordinators of eash working group are elected during annual meeting of EaP CSF among participants presented on the meeting. Reports presented illustrate development of the Working groups and in some cases working sub-group in the period between Berlin (2010) and Poznan (2011) EaP CSF.

full story

The second meeting of the EaP CSF Moldova National Platform was held

13 November 2011

The second meeting of the EaP CSF Moldova National Platform was held on 11th of November 2011. It was attended by representatives of the EC Delegation in Moldova and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova (MFAEI). The representatives of the EC Delegation and MFAEI presented their views about the Warsaw Summit and the future development of the EaP.

full story

Call for applications for technical assistance missions: Strengthening the Governance of Culture in Developing Countries

12 November 2011

UNESCO is launching a new international call for applications for technical assistance missions in the framework of a project funded by the European Union, aimed at strengthening the system of governance for culture in developing countries.

full story

Commissioner stresses role of local and regional dimension in Eastern Partnership

10 November 2011

The Commissioner reiterated the importance of the Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities of the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP) and touched upon the latest initiatives to promote regional development, namely Pilot Regional Development Programmes covering the EaP region, with a €70 million budget for 2012-13, which the Commission is developing in close cooperation with partner countries, as well as the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), due to be launched by the Commission.

full story

5th Call for Proposals within TEMPUS-IV

07 November 2011

The fourth phase of the Tempus programme covers the period from 2007 to 2013. The overall objective of the programme is to support the modernisation of higher education in the EU's surrounding area. The purpose of this call for proposals is to promote multilateral cooperation among higher education institutions, authorities and organisations from EU Member States and partner countries with the focus on the reform and modernisation of higher education.

full story

Call for Proposals: the Programme "Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development" and Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility

07 November 2011

More than €10 million have been earmarked by the European Commission for actions in the ENPI countries under a €25.9 million global Call for Proposals on Strengthening the Capacities of Non-State Actors, issued jointly under the thematic programme Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development and the new Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility.

full story

Steering Committee Statement on the situation of the National Platform of the EaP Civil Society Forum in Armenia

04 November 2011

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, meeting in Brussels on 17-18 October 2011, notes with concern the strong division that has developed between two groups involved in the activities of the EaP Civil Society Forum in Armenia.

full story

Statement on the situation of the National Platform of the EaP Civil Society Forum in Armenia*

04 November 2011

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, meeting in Brussels on 17-18 October 2011, notes with concern the strong division that has developed between two groups involved in the activities of the EaP Civil Society Forum in Armenia.

full story

Belarusian National Platform of the EaP CSF elected Interim Coordination Committee

03 November 2011

Last weekend, the Belarusian civil society representatives elected the Interim Coordination Committee. It includes 8 leaders of the Belarusian NGOs. 

The Interim Coordination Committee of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnerships Civil Society Forum was elected at a Conference "Civil society of Belarus: on the eve of the third annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum" held in Minsk on October 29. Uladzimir Matskevich, chief of the Council of the International Consortium EUROBELARUS, was elected as the head of the Interim Coordination Committee.

full story

Conference to discuss local and regional dimension of Eastern Partnership

28 October 2011

Two of the four thematic platforms of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), democracy, good governance and stability, as well as contacts between people,will be the focus of a conference Local and regional dimension of the Eastern Partnership, due to be held on 9 November in Brussels. A press release said the conference, co-organized by the EU’s Polish Presidency and the Committee of the Regions, would launch discussion on the expectations from the initiatives that fall under these two thematic platforms.

full story

Eastern Partnership Culture Congress took place in Lublin

23 October 2011

Eastern Partnership Culture Congress was held on 21-23 October 2011 in Lublin, Poland. The Congress is a part of a wider project entitled “Eastern partnership as a cultural project”, which is run by Lublin City Office in cooperation with The Centre for Culture in Lublin and Foundation Trans Culture.

full story

EaP CSF Statement on situation in Azerbaijan

13 October 2011

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum calls for:

- the respect of freedom of expression and assembly, and the immediate release of political prisoners, in Azerbaijan

The work of civil society - including those formally recognised within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum - continues to be obstructed by government authorities in Azerbaijan.

full story

The Eastern Partnership Journalistic Prize

12 October 2011

Reporters Foundation and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs cordially invite to participate in the "Eastern Partnership Journalist Award" for outstanding journalism in the countries of the Eastern Partnership.

full story

Conference "Civil society of Belarus: on the eve of the third annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum" will be held in Minsk

11 October 2011

Conference "Civil society of Belarus: on the eve of the third annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum" which will be held on 29th of October, 2011 in Minsk. The Conference of the National Platform will focus on the conceptual and strategic alternatives for development of the National Platform and its further institutionalization, as well as preparation of the Belarusian delegation for the third meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Poznan (November 28-30, 2011).

full story

The international conference entitled “The Eastern Partnership Conference: Towards a European Community of Democracy, Prosperity and a Stronger Civil Society” took place in Warsaw

03 October 2011

The international conference entitled “The Eastern Partnership Conference: Towards a European Community of Democracy, Prosperity and a Stronger Civil Society” took place in Warsaw on Thursday, 29 September, as an event accompanying the Eastern Partnership summit, which is one of the most important events of the Polish presidency.

The conference was organised by the Polish Institute of International Affairs, the Centre for Eastern Studies and the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.

full story

First Eastern Partnership Business Forum was held in Sopot

02 October 2011

The main objective of the Eastern Partnership Business Forum was to develop cooperation in business between EU states and Eastern Partnership countries through exchange of ideas and experience, discussions on investment opportunities and joint projects. A subsequent aim is for the business community to develop recommendations on further development of the Eastern Partnership and for these to be provided to participants at the Eastern Partnership Summit.

full story

Joint Declaration of the Warsaw Eastern Partnership Summit

30 September 2011

Second Eastern Partnership summit was held in Warsaw on 29-30 September. The summit was attended by heads of states and governments and representatives of the EU, the EU’s member states and the Eastern Partnership countries.

The participants of the summit have adopted a joint declaration in which they recognised the achievements to date. The declaration also acknowledges the European aspirations of some partners and their commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy The representatives of the European Union and the EU’s member states have also adopted a Declaration on the situation in Belarus in which they expressed their concern at the deteriorating human rights and democracy and call for the release and rehabilitation of political prisoners.

full story

Declaration of the Civil Society Participants of the Eastern Partnership Conference

29 September 2011

The civil society participants of the Eastern Partnership Conference express their continuing concern about the ongoing human rights violations and the existence of political prisoners in some of the EaP countries. Of main concern are the recent arrest of the Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialiacki and the danger of live and health of other political prisoners in Belarus.

full story

Joint address of the Belarusian National Platform of EaP CSF to the participants of the Eastern Partnership Summit

28 September 2011

The Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership remains concerned with the human rights situation in Belarus, one of the Eastern Partnership states. We welcome the efforts of the European Union to raise these concerns at the Warsaw Summit and the firm position of the EU on the immediate release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners as a condition for political dialogue with Belarus. Existence of political prisoners and torture experienced by some of them while in jail, persecution for civil and political activities, serious shortages on the freedom of assembly, freedom of association and the freedom of media need to be addressed.

full story

POSITION PAPER OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM TO THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP SUMMIT

27 September 2011

The start-up phase of the Eastern Partnership is over. Today, it is essential to give Eastern Partnership new energy through actions based on common efforts and official cooperation linking the EU, Partner Countries and civil society stakeholders in all the spheres that have been identified for the Eastern Partnership. In order to develop and use the EaP to its full potential, it is necessary to offer the European neighbourhood countries a perspective in the EU such as sectorial integration. With this position paper, the EaP Civil Society Forum reiterates its role as a full-fledged participant in the development of the Eastern Partnership and suggests mechanisms contributing to its implementation.

full story

Communication from European Commission on Cooperation in the Area of Justice and Home Affairs within the Eastern Partnership

27 September 2011

The European Commission has put forward a set of proposals to firm up the existing framework for dialogue and cooperation with its Eastern Partners in the field of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), including work on thematic priorities. A Commission Communication said, “Continuous, trust-based cooperation within the Eastern Partnership, both at the strategic and operational levels, is essential for increasing mobility and promoting people-to-people contacts while addressing the challenges and threats that do not respect borders – such as terrorism, organised crime, corruption and trafficking in human beings.”

full story

PETITION OF THE MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS OF THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM GEORGIAN NATIONAL PLATFORM

22 September 2011

Member organizations of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Georgian National Platform express their concern over the illegal dispersal and detention of striking trade union members from Kutaisi metallurgical plant Herkulesi with some of them on hunger strike, which took place in the evening of September 15, 2011.

According to the information provided by the Trade Unions Confederation, a member of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Georgian National Platform, workers of Herkulesi Plant were exercising their right to strike guaranteed by Article 33 of the Constitution of Georgia, requesting improvement of unbearable working conditions at the factory and reinstatement of their 17 colleagues to work that have been fired for pursuing trade union activities. Full-scale strike that began on September 13 was preceded by a token strike on September 2, 2011.

full story

Letter of the EU Commissioner Štefan Füle to the EaP CSF on the arrest and detention of Ales Byalyatski

22 September 2011

Dear participants of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum,

Thank you for your letter of 29 August 2011 on the arrest and detention of Ales Byalyatski.

I'am well aware of the important work undertaken by Ales Byalyatski, who is a pivotal actor in civil society in Belarus and a prominent voice within the international human rights community. As both Chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" and Vice President of the International Federation of Human Rights, Ales Byalyatski is an internationally well known Belarusian human rights defender.

full story

EaP CSF Azerbaijan National Platform held a conference in Baku

20 September 2011

Delegation of the European Union in Azerbaijan, National Platform of EaP CSF and Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized meeting “Baku Civil Society Forum” on 16th September, 2011 with participation of representatives of civil society organizations and different governmental bodies.

full story

Member organizations of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Georgian National Platform declare solidarity to GYLA

20 September 2011

Member organizations of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Georgian National Platform declare their solidarity to the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association. As we consider expressed accusations against GYLA unfounded and view the negative campaign carried out by certain TV Companies as unacceptable

full story

Appeal of the visa free Coalition to EU and Eastern Partnership countries

19 September 2011

On 15 September, the international Coalition for the European Continent Undivided by Visa Barriers, called upon the leaders of the European Union and Eastern Partnership (EaP) states to reiterate their pledge to establish visa-free travel between the EU and the EaP countries. The members of the coalition believe that “visa liberalisation has a common win-win outcome.”

The members of the coalition also called upon the Polish Presidency to take concrete steps towards accelerating the visa liberalisation process for the EaP countries. According to them, Ukraine and Moldova should move into the next phase of the Action Plan as soon as possible, Georgia's Action Plan should be launched, and Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements should be made a top priority with Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.

full story

The Eastern Partnership logo has been chosen

14 September 2011

The jury, headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski, selected the Portuguese art studio Imagina, established in 2010. The studio consists of three young designers, graduates from the University of Aveiro in 2005: Vasco Valentim, Gina Ferreira, Emidio Cardeira. The winning logo will be used for the first time at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Warsaw, which takes place on September 29-30, 2011.

full story

Open letter of Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and leading civil society networks concerning the Association Agreement initialing

13 September 2011

On behalf of the Ukrainian civil society we would like to address the European Union (EU) leaders with this appeal on the importance of timely finalization of the negotiations on the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

Ukrainian society, considering itself as an integral part of the European society, anticipates signing of the Association Agreement and its entering into force as a milestone on the way of further strengthening of the links between Ukraine and the EU.

full story

The Eastern Partnership Conference: towards a European Community of democracy, prosperity and a stronger civil society

06 September 2011

An international conference entitled, “The Eastern Partnership Conference: towards a European Community of democracy, prosperity and a stronger civil society”, will be held in Warsaw on 29 September 2011. The conference is being organised as a side event of the Eastern Partnership Summit (29-30 September 2011) by the Centre for Eastern Studies, the Polish Institute of International Affairs, and the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum with the EaPCommunity involved as a media partner.

full story

Inaugural meeting of the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities of the Eastern Partnership and the EU

05 September 2011

Inaugural meeting of the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities of the Eastern Partnership and the EU (CORLEAP). CORLEAP is a consultative body established by the Committee of the Regions as a consequence of the European Commission recommendation from 2008. Its mission is to organise the representation of local and regional authorities within the Eastern Partnership policy initiative. Its inaugural meeting will concentrate on the local and regional aspect of the Eastern Partnership and on projects of territorial and transnational cooperation in the frame of the EaP. 

full story

Letter of EaP Civil Society Forum for Ales Bialiacki addressed to EU Commissioner Štefan Füle

29 August 2011

We, the participants of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, many of whom personally know Mr. Ales Bialacki during many years of joint work as honest, dedicated human rights activist serving the ideals of human rights and democracy, would like to state:

  1. Ales Bialacki is innocent and therefore he must be immediately and unconditionally released...
full story

Public Administration Reform in EaP Countries: Position Paper of the Civil Society Forum

26 August 2011

A position paper on needs of Public Administration Reform al local and regional level en EaP Countries has been approved by the Public Administration subgroup of the Working Group 1 of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. The document will be presented at the occasion of the first session of the CORLEAP, the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities of the Eastern Partnership and the EU, organized by the CoR, Committee of the Region of the European Union that will take place in Poznań (Adam Mickiewicz University Grand Hall - 8th of September 2011).

full story

CSF EaP meeting the main NGOs networks of Europe in September

27 July 2011

Steering Committee of the CSF EaP is pleased to invite representatives of European networks of NGOs to participate in the Working Group 4, “People to People contacts”, and coordination meeting with Steering Committee in Brussels on the 16th of September 2011 in order to share our common experience in NGO networking and to help us to raise our impact on the European policies.

full story

Invitation to the Black Sea NGO Forum

26 July 2011

Recent developments in the EU neighborhood have revealed once more the essential role of civil society and its potential as a positive force for change. The 4th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum will explore the role and needs of civil society in the region, its vision(s) and solutions to the current local and regional problems.

full story

Contest "Development of the public component of the initiative"Eastern Partnership".

24 July 2011

The "East-East: partnership without borders" program and the European Program for the International Fund "Revival" re-announce the contest "Development of public initiatives component of the "Eastern Partnership" initiative.

full story

The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership met in Brussels on the 14th and 15th of July 2011

20 July 2011

The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum for Eastern Partnership met in Brussels on the 14th and 15th of July 2011 and had also a meeting with Commissioner Stefan Fuele (Enlargement and Neighbouring Policy Commissioner) to decide about further steps for cooperation.

The 17 members of the Steering Committee also finalized the short list for the participants of the next Forum, which will be held on the 28th and 29th of November 2011, in Poznan. The NGOs selected are 250 and they come from the six Eastern Partnership Countries and from the European Union. The selection is the result of a call for interest launch this year and the shortlist proposed by the National Platforms and by the Working groups.

full story

63 New Projects Selected for Funding under the EU Tempus IV Programme

14 July 2011

The selection results of the fourth Call for Proposals to be funded from Tempus IV have now been finalised. 63 proposals have been recommended for funding from the Tempus budget. For more information, please click here;

http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/tempus/index_en.php

full story

Opportunities and options for promoting a green economy in the Eastern Partnership Countries

07 July 2011

A new report on ways and potential to promote a green economy in the Eastern Partnership countries has identified substantial opportunities for green growth in energy efficiency, as well as for greening the industrial sector. All countries in the region would need to improve legal and regulatory systems, upgrade capacity and infrastructure and raise public awareness, the report says, while the European Commission has an important role to play in knowledge transfer and policy support.

The EU-funded report was commissioned to provide information about the current situation and potential opportunities in the Eastern Partner countries to make progress towards a green economy and the introduction of eco-innovation policy instruments. It will serve as a basis for the Eastern Partnership thematic seminar on the green economy to be held in Brussels today, 7 July 2011.

full story

Conference of the National Platform of the Civil Society Forum of the EaP has taken place in Minsk on 5th of July

06 July 2011

Representatives of more than 100 civil society organizations of Belarus, trade-union organizations, and Belarusian mass media, as well as representatives of the European Commission, embassies, and foreign organizations, took part in the conference.

The conference of the National Platform accepted a list of 31 civil society organizations recommended for participation in the third Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership in Poznań.

full story

EU pledges €47 million to boost higher education cooperation with neighbours

05 July 2011

The European Commission revealed today, 5 July, that it would allocate €47 million to support higher education projects in the European Neighbourhood countries and Russia under the Tempus Programme, a rise of nearly €17 million compared to last year's programme.

full story

EC proposes 40 per cent rise in neighbourhood funding with €16.1 billion for 2014-2020

30 June 2011

A total of €16.1 billion will be allocated for the future European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), according to a Communication on the budget for the next financial framework 2014-2020, adopted by the European Commission.

full story

Annual meeting of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Working Group 3 “ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY” was held in Kyiv on 23rd June, 2011

27 June 2011

Annual meeting of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Working Group 3 “ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY” was held in Kyiv on 23rd June, 2011. It gathered Civil Society Organisations – members of EaP CSF WG3 from the EU and 6 partner countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, guests and observers. The meeting was hosted by Ukrainian National Environmental NGO “MAMA-86” and financed by the European Union and co-funded by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation

full story

On June 24-25, 2011 the Expert workshop “Eastern Partnership CSF Working Group 3 assessment of environmental policy reform in 6 partner countries” was conducted in Kyiv.

27 June 2011

On June 24-25, 2011 the Expert workshop “Eastern Partnership CSF Working Group 3 assessment of environmental policy reform in 6 partner countries” was conducted in Kyiv.

Participants from 6 EaP Partner countries together with the representatives from International NGOs discussed the key issues on the Environmental Policy Reform for sustainable development in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in the cooperation framework with the European Union.

Participants expressed a special interest to the reviews of independent experts from 6 countries on general situation with the environmental policy development taking into consideration both the EU priorities cooperation and the priorities of EaP Flagship initiative on Good Environmental Governance.

full story

Proposal on involvement of social partners in the forum

17 June 2011

In the course of the coming months, we will be sharing with the Forum participants for consideration and approval important proposals for the future development of the Forum, in particular a Strategic Concept for the Forum.

full story

EU Foreign Ministers discuss relations with Neighbours

16 June 2011

EU Foreign Ministers have agreed on the need to provide “greater support to Neighbourhood Partners engaged in building deep and sustainable democracy, to support inclusive economic development and to strengthen both the Eastern and the Southern dimensions of the ENP, in particular in the areas of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

full story

European Neighbourhood Policy: now is the time to bring our interests in line with our values

15 June 2011

The renewed European Neighbourhood Policy must reaffirm and strengthen the EU’s commitment to its founding values of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle has told a round table discussion organised by Members of the European Parliament.

full story

Letter of Condolence

13 June 2011

It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of one of the brightest thinkers in Central Europe, Vitali Silitski

full story

Youth Eastern Partnership, Newsletter

10 June 2011

Keeping in mind the second anniversary of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), our group (Youth Eastern Partnership) decided to publish a special edition of the newsletter.  Two years of the EaP urge us to confront the promising plans with modest results, the expectations with the achievements. This issue is a unique collection of short, but exhausting analyses of the progress of the EaP. We take a look at every participating country. Finally, we consider the EaP from the perspective of Poland, the country which is the main initiator of the programme and the next leader of the Council of the European Un-ion. Finally we conclude with the perspective of the EU in general. This way we provide our readers with a special summary of the last two years.

full story

Feedback to the proposals for an ENPI Civil Society Facility From the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership

31 May 2011

The Steering Committee commends the EU for recognising the importance of civil society in the democratisation and European integration of the countries of the European neighbourhood.

full story

Progress in relations between the EU and five Eastern Neighbours: Commission releases new reports

27 May 2011

The individual reports on progress in relations between the European Union and five of its Neighbours in the East, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, have been released by the European Commission. These documents cover progress made on the implementation of each country’s ENP Action Plan (AP) between 1 January and 31 December 2010.

full story

Statement of the First Working Group of the EaP Civil Society Forum on events of 26th of May in Georgia

27 May 2011

We, participants of the First Working Group on Democracy, Good Governance and Stability...

full story

Invitation to submit expressions of interest

23 May 2011

Invitation to submit expressions of interest to participate in the third meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (Poznan, Poland, 28 - 30 November 2011)

full story

Agenda: Baku Conference “EaP after 2 years; successes and challenges”

18 May 2011

Landmark Rotunda (Nizami Street 96, Baku)Baku, Azerbaijan   May 18, 2011 9.00-9.30 Reg...

full story

Baku Conference Eastern Partnership in 2 years Successes and Challenges

18 May 2011

Today, The National Platform of Azerbaijan on Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) held a conference entitled “EaP after 2 years; successes and challenges” to celebrate the past two years of the EAP. In co-operation with the European Delegation to Baku and support from Freidrich Ebert Stiftung, representatives from the government of Azerbaijan, civil society, international community, embassies and mass-media attended the one-day conference.

full story

The Second Meeting of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum took place in Belgium

10 May 2011

Meetings of two out of four working groups of the Civil Society Forum will take place in the forthcoming weeks.

full story

Alert - Monitoring report on human rights in Eastern Partnership countries

04 May 2011

Based on the initiative and input from the Human Rights Sub-Working Group of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum´s Working Group 1, we are pleased to present the attached monitoring report.

full story

Conference "The role and place of civil society in the strategy of the future" has been held in Minsk

11 April 2011

On 11-12 April 2011, in Minsk, on the basis of the National Platform of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership, the Conference «Role and place of civil society in the strategy of...

full story

Eastern Partnership Statement

05 April 2011

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum calls for: human rights, freedom of expression, and reforms towards democracy to be given top priority in EU relations with Azerbaijan and Belarus

full story

EU-Russia Civil Society Forum Seeks Permanent Dialogue with Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

29 March 2011

EU and Russian civil society representatives gathered in Prague for the founding meeting of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum on 28-29th March.

full story

EU-Russia NGO Forum starts in Prague

28 March 2011

More than 60 representatives of Russian and EU civil society organizations gathered in the Czech Foreign Ministry...

full story

EaP CSF National Platform Established in Moldova

25 March 2011

Moldova's National Platform for the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum was established at The National Conference on the 25th of March 2011.

full story

Civil Society Forum out of bounds by Minsk

15 March 2011

The National Platform of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership (CSF EaP) has been denied a location in which to hold its Conference...

full story

Statement of Support from EaP Civil Society to Southern Mediterranean Countries

11 March 2011

On behalf of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership, we would like to unanimously proclaim our support and solidarity with the civil societies of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya...

full story

Media-Related Issues of Eastern Partnership Countries Debated in Istanbul

21 February 2011

On February 21-24 in Istanbul an off-schedule meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum...

full story

The First Meeting of the new Steering Committee of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

10 February 2011

All 17 members of the Committee were present at the meeting, nine of them were newly elected...

full story

Joint Statement of the representatives of the National Platforms of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

17 January 2011

We, Representatives of the National Platforms of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum,

full story

Joint Address of the Belarusian National Platform of The EaP CSF

06 January 2011

Consider savage crackdown of the peaceful protest action that took place on December 19...

full story

Sincerest sympathies at the unexpected passing of Abgar Yeghoyan

24 December 2010

Yerevan – Abgar Yeghoyan, President of the Protection of Consumers Rights NGO died on the 24th December 2010 at the age of 46 from complications related to surgery.

full story

Statement of the Steering Committee on the Belarus Elections

21 December 2010

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum calls for full access to detainees to be accorded to EU representation in Minsk, for release of...

full story

Meeting with Stakeholders from Civil Society European Neighbourhood Policy

13 December 2010

The EaP Civil Society Forum (CSF) Steering Committee was ably represented by Antonella Valmorbida (Director of ALDA). Ms Valmorbida presented the recommendations of the EaP Working Groups and the Memorandum to the Directorate-General for the External Relations (DG Relex), the unit responsible for reviewing the ENP programmes.

full story

CSF Present Results & Recommendations of Second CSF at the EaP Ministerial Meeting

13 December 2010

On 13 December, 2010 the Eastern Partnership Ministerial meeting took place in Brussels. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the present state of play...

full story

First Business to Business Meeting of the Eastern Partnership Trade Panel

25 November 2010

When the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Trade Panel was set up, one of the agreed items in its working plan was to hold Business to Business meetings.

full story

Trade Civil Society Dialogue Get Update on EU Trade Policies

24 November 2010

The Trade Civil Society dialogue of EaP was held with the WG 2 coordinators and several other members of the WG 2 on 24 November 2010. The dialogue is a regular platform used by the EU Directorates Generale of Trade (DG Trade) to inform the civil society organizations about the recent developments in EU trade policy and to discuss with the stakeholders their comments and remarks.

full story

Civil Society Forum Coordinators Invited to Visit Stockholm

08 November 2010

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited the 6 country facilitators to visit Stockholm to discuss the formulation and anchoring of initiatives and organisation of civil society input. The meetings were held with  government officials and representatives of Swedish civil society organisations.

full story

Finnish Seminar on Civil Society Forum Deemed a Success

08 October 2010

The first formal initiative by an EU Government focusing on the Civil Society Forum (CSF) was extended by the Finish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

full story

Launch of the Civil Society Forum Meeting at the Council of Europe

05 October 2010

M. Ulad Vialichka, representing the Civil Society Forum (CSF) Steering Committee, was invited to present to the Commission on Democracy and Civil Society at the Conference of the International Non Governmental Organizations on the 5th of October 2010.

full story

Final Plans Set for Civil Society Forum in Berlin

24 September 2010

In the last Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Steering Committee meeting prior to the second CSF, final plans were put in place for the November event.

full story

Heated Discussion at CSF WG3: Environment, Energy & Climate Change

10 September 2010

As the Environment, Energy & Climate Change are determining factors of human well-being and the economy, the EaP WG3 invited interested members of WG2: Economic Integration to it's meeting, held on 10th September in Brussels, Belgium.  

full story

Non-formal education: Ukraine in the context of regional democratic transformation

01 January 1970

Non-formal education: Ukraine in the context of regional democratic transformation Non-formal edu...

full story

The Swedish Institute

01 January 1970

The Swedish Institute offers seed-funding for cooperation between Swedish organizations and partner...

full story

Call on the Need for More Effective Anti-Corruption Policies

01 January 1970

Call of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum to national governments of Eastern Partnership...

full story

CSF Armenian National Platform Statement On CSF ANP’s Strategic Approaches post September 3, 2013

01 January 1970

The Armenian National Platform (ANP) of the Civil Society Forum (CSF) reconfirms its disagreement (expressed in the September 17, 2013 statement) to the RA President’s September 3, 2013 declaration on membership to the Customs Unions and participation in the formation of the Eurasian Union. ANP evaluates the following failure to pre-sign the Association Agreement with the European Union as a serious blow to democratic development and reforms in various fields in Armenia. Remaining faithful to its mission, established in the ANP Founding Assembly and its Organizational Principles, and in the light of a newly-emerged situation in Armenia, CSF ANP has initiated some modernization of the priorities and practices in its Operational Strategy. The changes seen in the political sphere, public opinion and orientations assume the revaluation of the principles, adopted by ANP, particularly regarding the dialogue with the authorities and ANP member’s inclusiveness. Besides, the dialogue with the RA authorities will be implemented from the positions, dictated by the ANP agenda and its priorities. The ANP agenda will remain aligned with the EU-Armenia relations, the directions established in the Eastern Partnership Road map, and Armenia’s policy for association to the European Union. CSF Armenian National Platform, as a platform of free, unrestrained and multi-lateral discussions and debates, will hereafter be more consistent and vigilant in applying the ANP organizational principles, implementing its aims and priorities and selecting/mandating its representatives.

full story

EaP CSF Expresses Condolences Over the Death of Mikael Danielyan

01 January 1970

We are deeply saddened by premature death of our dear friend and colleague, head of Armenian Helsinki Association Mikael Danielyan. Mikael was one of the most profound Armenian human rights professionals with his roots in Soviet decedent movement.

full story

Project funded by the European UnionEU