Across the region, civil society continues to perform monitoring, or “watchdog” function, which is why it needs EU’s support. In this light, it is encouraging to see the inclusion of civil society in EU-Belarus Dialogue on Human Rights. In Armenia, civil society also hopes to have a more active role in Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), and has already expressed interest in shaping its outcomes through a dedicated civil society platform. In Georgia or Ukraine, it has shown to be a resilient partner in the reform process, while calling for and ensuring greater transparency.
Overall, the EaP policy has contributed to greater integration – resulting in “tighter economic, political and personal connections”. Here it is worth mentioning the successes in people-to-people contacts, particularly student and youth mobility, which is great part ensured by EU programmes, such as Erasmus+. But looking beyond year 2020, the policy will have to address new or growing challenges – such as mitigation of hybrid threats or harmonisation of digital markets. We see a need for a more flexible approach, which could be provided by re-establishing European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), concluded Akbar. The Eastern Partnership Ministerial (Foreign Affairs) Meeting took place on 13 May 2019 in Brussels. EaP CSF is the only civil society organisation to have a permanent observer status, to be represented at the Ministerial meetings.