Brussels, 13 October 2020
Senior Officials Meeting: Speech by Sofia Strive, Co-chair of the EaP CSF Steering Committee
During the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), represented by Sofia Strive, highlighted civil society’s commitment to help end the violence in Belarus and Nagorno Karabakh, as well as the need of further progress in the Eastern Partnership countries in the areas of good governance, rule of law and democratic standards.
Sofia Strive, Co-chair of the EaP CSF Steering Committee, stressed that “the EaP post-2020 should offer more opportunities for deeper integration with the EU for those EaP countries that are ready and willing to proceed in this direction”.
During the Senior Officials Meeting, Strive expressed her admiration for the Belarusian people, who continue to fight for their basic political and human rights while facing a wave of violence from the illegitimate regime. During their peaceful protests, “the people of Belarus have given us all a remarkable lesson in commitment, innovation, and bravery”. In light of the current situation in Belarus, it is more important than ever that the upcoming elections in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are held in a democratic and transparent manner. Strive urged the EU to “monitor the elections and ensure that the vote of each citizen is protected and respected”.
She also voiced civil society’s concern on the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh, reminding that “genuine civil society sectors in Armenia and Azerbaijan have called for an end to the escalation of the conflict”.
Regarding the new EaP Deliverables, Strive stressed that many of the targets defined in the “20 Deliverables for 2020” have yet to be reached, particularly in the area of good governance, rule of law and democratic standards. To help realise them, a mechanism should be included in the new roadmap for “transferring EU funding from non-compliant governments to reform-oriented actors and civil society, beyond the established practice and in line with the ‘more for more’ principle”.
Lastly, she underlined the need for a greater coherence to the EaP policy priorities within the new roadmap.
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Speech delivered at Eastern Partnership Senior Official (SOM) meeting, by Co-chair of the EaP CSF Steering Committee Sofia Strive