The 11th Annual Assembly – “EaP4EU: Joining forces for a win-win partnership”, was held on December 4-6, 2019 in Brussels, hosting over 300 civil society representatives from the EaP region and the EU as well as international stakeholders, key decision makers and journalists.
Olivér Várhelyi, the newly appointed Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations opened the conference, stressing the importance of empowering civil society and strengthening its role at all levels of policy making in order to support better democratic processes and resilience in the Eastern Partnership countries. You can listen to Commissioner’s speech here.
More than 25 Brussels based stakeholders, think tankers and experts debated with EaP CSF representatives in a participatory World Café format the key ideas EaP CSF submitted to the structured consultation. This major issue became the focus of the high-level panel Future of the EaP: challenges ahead and enabling civil society, featuring the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Georgia – Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, Minister of Justice of Armenia – Rustam Badasyan, Director, Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, Regional cooperation and OSCE, EEAS – Luc Devigne and the Director Neighbourhood East and Institution Building, DG NEAR, European Commission – Lawrence Meredith. You can listen to the discussions here.
As the highest decision-making body of the EaP CSF, the General Assembly adopted the new Statute of the Forum, which will allow the Forum to make a next step in implementation of its ambitious internal reform focusing on ethical standards, transparency and accountability. The General Assembly also adopted the Forum’s 11th Annual Assembly Declaration (ENG, RU), with recommendations aimed at the future of the EaP policy and preparations of the sixth Eastern Partnership Summit coming up in 2020.
Annual Assembly Declaration
Photos and Videos
Day 1: Joining forces
Day 2: win-win partnership
“I firmly believe that an empowered civil society is key for strenghtening a democracy public accountability, advancement of human rights and resilience. Working with the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and the organisations it represents will be a key priority during my five year mandate.”
“We, as guards of democracy in our countries, stand for the basic principles and values together. Promoting and implementing rule of law, good governance and human rights in our countries, we would be able to raise new generation, which would easily implement European values and principles on the whole territory of Eastern Partnership “
“A great event at those turbulent, uneasy and very worrying times not only for the EaP countries but also for many European countries. There is still so much vibrancy, energy and hope in civil society. I really hope that this energy together with collective wisdom supported by smart use of digital tools will open a new path for democracy and development of democratic societies”
“It’s a decade of very strong and unanimous commitment of the 28 for the Eastern Partnership policy. We now have a strong and stable framework for cooperation, delivering also for the citizens.“
Annual Assembly in Numbers
Every year our Annual Assembly brings over 250 people from the EaP countries and the EU member states to debate on the achievements of the Forum and the EaP in general, as well as on civil society contribution to the reform process in the region. In various formats and sessions, we aim to bring international actors together with high-level decision-makers to work on the common priorities and improve the partnership between the EaP and the EU.
Cups Of Coffee
The agenda of the event offered a glance at the EaP policy after 2020 identifying the key elements for the next EaP roadmap and focusing on strengthening the win-win partnership between the EU, EaP governments and societies. During the event we focused on a crucial area for reform in the whole EaP region—good governance and the rule of law—and debated how it can be supported by new technologies and artificial intelligence looking also at the risks that digitalisation is posing.
The event discussed how to develop resilient societies with a particular focus on countering and neutralising hybrid threats—an area where the EaP countries and the EU can learn from each other. As reflected in its title “EaP4EU: Joining forces for a win-win partnership”, the event aimed to shape the post-2020 EaP policy into a mutually beneficial and equal partnership between the EU and EaP countries that contributes to the solution of regional and global issues.
The 11th Annual Assembly was conducted with financial support of our partners and donors. We would like to express our thank you for their contribution to our event. The content of the event are the sole responsibility of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.