On 15 May, the EaP CSF was represented at the Eastern Partnership Panel on Security, CSDP and Civil Protection within Platform 1 ‘Strengthening institutions and good governance’ by the SC member Hennadiy Maksak, and Andrei Trubceac, coordinator of the EaP CSF Working Group 4 ‘Contacts between people’.)
The panel covered a wide range of issues, ranging from the activities of the EEAS East Strategic Communications Task Force, the implementation of the Plan on Security and the Defence, the status of implementation of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and other security and defence issues, including civilian CSDP and CSDP training programmes.
The discussion started with a presentation of the work conducted by the East StratCom Task Force to counter the Russian disinformation. In this respect, Hennadiy Maksak praised the activities of the task force stressing its importance for the EaP region. He noted that there is a number of already existing counter-disinformation initiatives in the EaP region and called for intensified cooperation between the task force and local CSOs countering disinformation campaigns.
“When it comes to fighting disinformation in the EaP region, the EU East StratCom should pay more attention to the expertise generated by civil society organisations in the EaP region.”
When the work of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC) was presented, Hennadiy Maksak suggested to open up the participation in ESDC CSDP trainings to the EaP Civil Society representatives, noting that this would increase CSOs’ expertise in the security field and provide a valuable opportunity for networking with officials. Jochen Rehrl, Director of the Emergency Management Directorate of DG ECHO, replied that ESDC trainings are currently open only to the Member States and the EU institutions personnel, but a possibility could exist to allow the participation of CSOs once made clear how civil society can contribute.
Finally, Andrei Trubceac stressed that ongoing and protracted conflicts in the EaP countries should be factored in peace building trainings, and put forward the idea to create Civil Peace Services based on the German model. Set up in 1999, the German Civil Peace Service (CPS) was established as an instrument for civil society peacebuilding aiming at strengthening non-violent conflict resolution and promoting peaceful approaches to conflict potentials. Local CSOs working in the peace building field could be involved at the forefront of such an initiative.
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