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EaP CSF Newsletter 

For the newsletter in Russian, please click here

In this Newsletter

In February, several of the EaP CSF structural processes were in their active phase. The Steering Committee held its first meeting this year. The call for applications for the 9th Annual Assembly to be held in Tallinn was launched. Last but not least, the selection of the projects to be funded under the EaP CSF Re-granting Scheme was finalised.

The EaP CSF advocacy focused on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan and Crimea and the latest developments in the conflict in the Donbas region of Ukraine. A joint letter was co-signed together with 75 other NGOs and an event at the European Parliament was organised on the day of the Azerbaijani President's visit to Brussels. The Steering Committee released two statement - on the security situation in Ukraine and human rights in Crimea. The SC mission also visited Warsaw to discuss with the Polish MFA the funding of Belsat TV and countering propaganda.

Those interested in anti-corruption measures can get acquainted with the policy paper on party and campaign financing in the EaP prepared within the EaP CSF Re-granting Scheme.

Annual Assembly 2017

Call for Applications Launched

The Steering Committee invites all interested parties to submit their applications to participate in the 9th Annual Assembly of the Forum taking place in the week of 23 October 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia. This year, the EaP CSF Annual Assembly and the biennial Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference conducted in the margins of the EaP Summit are merged into one event with a common agenda. The event is organised jointly by the EaP CSF and the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The deadline for the applications is 23:59 CET, 20 March 2017.

Infographics - Evaluation of the Annual Assembly 2016 by Attendees

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Steering Committee

Steering Committee Discussed the 2017 Priorities and Future EaP CSF Strategy

The Steering Committee members met in Brussels on 1-2 February for their first meeting of 2017 to define the priorities of the Forum and to adopt the annual plan for 2017. Dovile Sukyte (Eastern Europe Study Centre) and Hennadyi Maksak (Ukrainian Prism) were elected the SC Co-Chairs. Among other issues, the Steering Committee also discussed the timeline and selection procedure for the 9th Annual Assembly of the Forum.

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Infographics - Evaluation of the Forum Activities in 2016

Re-granting 2017

Projects Selected for Funding under the Re-granting Scheme

This year in the framework of the EaP CSF re-granting scheme the Secretariat received 60 proposals, out of which 52 passed the eligibility screening. The Selection Committee decided to provide funding for 16 projects conditional on the implementation of specific recommendations communicated to the applicants. Not all proposals are fully funded. The grant agreements are expected to be signed in the coming weeks. The majority of the selected proposals were submitted under the priorities of the Working Group 1 “Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance & Stability”, Working Group 3 “Environment, climate change and energy security” and Working Group 4 “Contacts between People” and cover at least three Eastern Partnership countries.

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Topics in Focus

Human Rights

President Aliyev's visit to Brussels

Events

EU / Azerbaijan Partnership: Human Rights Under the Red Carpet?

In the context of the Azerbaijani President's visit to Brussels, the event organised in cooperation with the Human Rights Watch, Human Rights House Foundation and International Partnership for Human Rights highlighted the continued human rights violations in Azerbaijan, detention of activists and journalists, severe restrictions imposed on CSOs and their access to funding. The speakers included Emin Milli, Azerbaijani writer, human rights activist, managing director at Meydan TV, living in exile in Germany; Khadija Ismayilova, Azerbaijani investigative journalist; MEP Kati Piri, (S&D, Netherlands) and MEP Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/EFA, Austria). The panel discussion addressed the crucial role of the EU in insisting on clear human rights improvements in Azerbaijan needed for negotiating a partnership agreement with Azerbaijan’s government.

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Campaigns and Statements

Joint NGO Letter to the European Union Officials

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum together with 75 other NGOs signed a letter urging the Presidents of the European Council and European Commission, and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to use the high-level visit of Ilham Aliyev to insist that Azerbaijan commits to concrete, lasting human rights reforms in Azerbaijan.

Read the Joint NGO letter

Situation in Crimea

Statements

Steering Committee Calls for an Adequate Reaction to the Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in Crimea

The Steering Committee released a statement in order to express its concerns regarding the deterioration of the situation of human rights defenders and those opposing Russia’s policies in Crimea following the arrest of two Crimean attorneys: Emil Kurbedinov and Nikolai Polozov.

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Security

Statements

Statement on the Escalation of the Conflict in the Donbas region of Ukraine by the Russian Federation

The Steering Committee expressed its deep concern with regard to the escalation of the conflict in the Donbas region of Ukraine by the Russian sponsored separatist forces and urged international community not to remain silent.

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Anti-corruption measures

Publications

Political parties and election campaign financing in the EaP countries

Promo-LEX Association (Moldova) together with their partners from Georgia and Ukraine released a policy paper on the comparative assessment of the potential of the legal framework of political campaign financing to combat political corruption in the EaP countries. The paper was produced within the EaP CSF Re-granting project Consolidating the Efforts of the Civil Society Organisations in Fighting the Political Corruption.

Download the Paper

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Members' Corner

Belsat TV and Combatting Disinformation in the Focus of the Advocacy Visit to Warsaw

In December 2016, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski announced the decision to significantly cut the funding for Belsat TV channel broadcasting from Poland to Belarus. Belsat TV has been an essential tool for countering Kremlin's propaganda in Belarus. Concerned about the situation, the EaP CSF organised a meeting with the Polish MFA representatives in Warsaw as a follow up to the previous advocacy actions. The Steering Committee members Ulad Vialichka and Boris Navasardian also had a discussion with the members of the EaP CSF support group in Poland and the Belsat TV team.

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Opportunities for cooperation

Would you like to contribute to the work of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD)? The PFD is a consultative body advising DG DEVCO on development issues, which meets once a year and represents CSOs and local authorities worldwide. It counts around 70 participants, mostly networks of organizations. The EaP CSF is currently represented by Krzysztof Bobinski from Unia & Polska Foundation. Next PFD meeting will be held in Brussels on 21-23 March.

Please contact the EaP CSF representative if you are interested in contributing to the PFD.

Letter from the EaP CSF Representative at the PFD

Upcoming Meetings and Deadlines

14 March: 12th EaP Transport Panel, Brussels

16-17 March: EaP Public Administration Reform Panel, Kyiv

20 March 2017: Deadline: Applications for the Annual Assembly 2017

21-23 March: Policy Forum for Development, Brussels

22-24 March: EU-Ukraine Civil Society Seminar on Human Rights within the Human Rights Dialogue, Brussels

23 March: Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, Brussels

31 March: CSDP Panel, Brussels

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Secretariat of the EaP CSF Steering Committee 

Rue de l'Industrie 10
1000 Brussels
Belgium

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