|IN THE SPOTLIGHT|
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)
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). Submission of expressions of interest is a necessary step in the participants selection process.
The annual meeting of the EaP CSF is the key event conducted on an annual basis since 2009. It serves as a platform for a debate on the achievements of the Forum and the EaP in general and on civil society contribution to the reform process in the region. The event brings together over 200 civil society representatives from the EaP region and the EU and other stakeholders.
The meeting will be made possible thanks to the support of the EU and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
The online application form can be found here. It should be completed in English or Russian and submitted online before midnight CET, 8 June 2014.
Any questions concerning the call for applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
PROCEDURE FOR SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS AND OBSERVERS:
The Civil Society Forum is open to a wide range of CSOs: trade unions, employers' organisations, professional associations, NGOs, think-tanks, non-profit foundations, chambers of commerce, business associations, national and international CSOs/networks and other relevant civil society actors from EaP region, but also from EU Member States and international organisations/networks. All CSOs fitting within the above description are eligible to apply for participation.
The participants of up to 170 CSOs representatives from EaP countries and the EU will be funded by the European Commission. Up to 15 CSOs from third countries can attend the EaP CSF as observers. It should be noted that the European Commission does not cover the costs of the participation of observers in the Forum's activities. The participation of endowments/ grantmaking foundations cannot be funded.
Organisations seeking participant or observer status all need to apply using the online application form. Organisations that are able to fund their own participation also need to apply.
The CSF Steering Committee in consultation with the European External Action Service/European Commission will carry out the selection of the participants to the EaP CSF 2014. The selection procedure will be twofold:
I. Preparation of three shortlists:
(1) By EaP Country Facilitators elected by the CSF in 2013 and supported by CSF national platforms. In the case of CSOs from EU Member States and international organisations/networks as well as CSOs from third countries, the shortlist is prepared by the three EU coordinators elected by the CSF in 2013.
(2) By the thematic working group coordinators elected by the CSF in 2013.
(3) By EU delegations in the six EaP countries.
Shortlists are prepared on the basis of the following criteria:
II. The final decision is made by the CSF Steering Committee members from the shortlisted organisations on the basis of the following criteria:
The final list of CSOs invited to participate to the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum prepared by the CSF Steering Committee will be consulted with the European External Action Service/European Commission.
The European Union (EU) will be able to fund the travel and hotel accommodation during the Forum meeting only for the selected CSOs. It will be possible for the EU to cover the travel and accommodation of up to 170 CSO representatives – a maximum of 120 from the EaP countries and a maximum of 50 from EU member states.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE FORUM:
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), launched in 2009, is a platform for interaction between EaP civil society organisations and those from the EU aimed at facilitating reforms in the EU’s Eastern partners.
The Forum operates as an independent, transparent, and inclusive actor to secure policy changes on key policy areas across the four Eastern Partnership thematic platforms, where the Forum has a permanent participant status. On the national level, the Forum aims to strengthen diversity and plurality of public discourse and policy making in the EaP countries by holding governments accountable and protecting and promoting fundamental freedoms, participatory democracy and human rights.
The Forum works closely with the European Commission, the European External Action Service (EEAS), EU member governments, European Parliament and other EU institutions, and engages with Partner countries' governments, to:
Working Groups: WG1 Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance & Stability, WG2 Economic Integration and Convergence with EU legislation WG3 Environment, Climate Change & Energy Security, WG4 Contacts between People, WG5 Social & Labour Policies and Social Dialogue
 WG1 subgroups: 1. Public administration sub-group 2. Visa facilitation sub-group 3. Election monitoring reform sub-group 4. Human rights sub-group 5. Fight against corruption sub-group 6. Media freedom sub-group 7. Judiciary reform sub-group 8. Regional cooperation and confidence building; WG2 subgroups: 1. Environment & Climate Change 2. SME Policy 3. Agriculture & Rural Development 4. Transport 5. Trade and Trade Regulated Cooperation linked to DCFTAs 6. Territorial, regional and cross border cooperation 7. Integration of ICT infrastructure in the EU; WG3 subgroups: 1. Environmental Governance 2. Energy Security 3. Climate change 4. Biodiversity 5. Sustainable Development; WG4 subgroups: 1. Youth 2. Culture 3. Education 4. Contacts between seniors; WG5 subgroups: 1.Social and Labour Policies 2.Social Dialogue
 Those who have not participated in the previous annual meeting of the EaP CSF