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EaP CSF Newsletter 

For the newsletter in Russian, please click here

In this Newsletter

In March, the EaP CSF has started the selection procedure for participants in the Annual Assembly 2017. The grant agreements for 15 re-granting projects have been signed with the grantees. The EaP CSF representatives intervened at the joint meeting of the EURONEST PA Committees in Brussels.

In response to the violent repression of peaceful protesters in Belarus, the Forum and its Belarusian National Platform urged Belarusian authorities to open to dialogue with civil society and called on EU institutions and EU member States to take concrete measures in reaction to the latest events. The EaP CSF keeps following with concern the new wave of politically motivated arrests in Azerbaijan affecting human rights activists, journalists and members of opposition parties. 

Annual Assembly

List of Selected Attendees to be Published in May

The EaP CSF Annual Assembly and Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference will take place on 25-27 October in Tallinn, Estonia. By the deadline of 20 March 2017, the EaP Civil Society Forum received 469 applications for the Annual Assembly 2017 from the EaP region, EU Member States and the countries outside of the EU. Most of the CSOs applied for the membership within Working Group 1 (166) and Working Group 4 (115). The EaP CSF Steering Committee, in consultation with the EU Delegations will carry out the selection of the participants for the 9th EaP CSF Annual Assembly.  Applicants will be notified about the result of the selection process in May at the latest. To learn more about the selection procedure, click here.

Applications for Annual Assembly 2017 - infographics

Regranting

15 Projects Ready to Start Implementation in April 2017

The EaP CSF has signed the grant agreements with the 15 CSOs, whose projects will be funded through the EaP CSF re-granting scheme. The average duration of the projects focusing on a wide range of topics covering the Working Groups' priorities for 2017, is 8 months starting from April 2017. The total allocation for the 3rd round of the re-granting scheme is 292.845 EUR. The covered topics range from gender equality to waste management and social inclusion.

Regranting 2017 - infographics

Topics in Focus

Human Rights

Freedom of Assembly and Social Rights in Belarus

Statements

Civil Society Condemns Repressions of Citizens Protesting against "Parasite Law"

In reaction to the repressive measures by the Belarusian authorities adopted to counter protests throughout the country against the so-called "parasite law", the Belarusian National Platform published a statement, urging Belarusian authorities to unconditionally release those detained, open a dialogue with peaceful demonstrators and abolish Decree No. 3 as unconstitutional.

The Steering Committee Statement on the events drew attention to the fact that the violent repression of protesters by Belarusian authorities might put EU-Belarus cooperation on ice, and called on the EU institutions and EU Member States to act as mediators between Belarusian government and civil society.

Download the BNP Statement

Download the Steering Committee Statement

After Large-scale Detentions during Freedom Day, Civil Society Calls on EU to Reconsider Cooperation

In the aftermath of the large-scale detentions of peaceful protesters in Minsk and other cities of Belarus during the Freedom Day demonstrations on 25 March, the EaP CSFEuropean Youth Forum and International Partnership for Human Rights released a joint statement, urging Belarusian authorities to put an end to the prosecution of citizens and media workers acting within their constitutional rights, and calling on European institutions to make the future cooperation with Belarusian government conditional on the progress in the field of human rights.

In the Statement released on 27 March, the Belarusian National Platform suggested postponing the EU-Belarus Coordination Group meeting scheduled for 3-4 April in Minsk until the release and withdrawal of charges in relation to all those detained and revising the format of the Human Rights Dialogue between Belarus and the EU, by including in the agenda specific commitments with regard to the citizens’ rights and freedoms.

Download the Joint Statement

Download the BNP Statement

Freedom of Press in Azerbaijan

Statement

24 Major Human Rights NGOs and Civil Society Organizations Protest Against the Arrest of Prominent Blogger

A group of 24 major human rights NGOs and civil society organizations, including the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, co-signed a statement to protest against the arrest of the prominent multimedia journalist Mehman Huseynov on defamation charges on 3 March 2017. The undersigned organizations express deep concern about a new wave of politically motivated detentions that overwhelmed the country in the past months, in coincidence with the appointment of the first lady Mehriban Aliyeva to the post of the Vice President on 21 February.

Read more

Download the statement

Gender Equality

Speech

Gender Equality in the Eastern Partnership Countries: from Declaration to Implementation

During the Joint Meeting of EURONEST PA Committees on 23 MarchJulia Mickiewicz (Belarusian Organization of Working Women) focused on gender inequality in the EaP region. Despite formal commitments by public authorities to improve gender balance in all aspects of public life, implementation remains insufficient. Her speech emphasized what remains to be done in the field of women's rights and discussed the respective roles of CSOs and the state in addressing the issue.

Download the speech

Media Freedom

Speech

Freedom of Media in the EaP Countries

At the EURONEST PA Meeting on 23 MarchBoris Navasardian (Yerevan Press Club) provided an overview of the media landscape in the region and presented the activities of the EaP CSF Media and Security subgroup. The speech explored the common fundamental challenges in the field of media industry in the EaP countries: the prevalence of media monopolieslack of safety for journalists operating in the region; marginalisation and lack of funding for independent media outlets and the exposure to disinformation.

Download the speech

Publication

Propaganda: Deepening the Gap in Mutual Understanding. Monitoring of the Media of EaP Countries and Russia

The Yerevan Press Club, in cooperation with the Union of Journalists Yeni Nesil (Azerbaijan), Belarusian Association of Journalists, the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics, Independent Journalism Center (Moldova), MEMO 98 (Slovakia) and Internews Ukraine published a report within the framework of the re-granting project Joining Efforts and Skills to Confront Propaganda.  The paper presents the results of the media monitoring activity carried out in the EaP countries and Russia, and provides recommendations on how to counter Russian propaganda in the region. 

Read more

Full text of the paper

Bilateral Cooperation

EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement

Statement

Statement on the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement

The agreed text of EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement was initialled on 21 March in Yerevan by the Chief Negotiators of both parties. While expressing hope that the signature of the Agreement will improve cooperation with the EU and trigger a sound reform process in Armenia, the EaP CSF is concerned about the lack of consultations with the Armenian National Platform and other civil society actors during negotiations, which might put the actual implementation of the agreement at risk.

Read more

Download the Statement

Sustainable Development

Publications

The potential for paludiculture in the Eastern Partnership. Case studies from Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia

EaP CSF member Environment People Law (Ukraine) and its partners NGO Agricola (Ukraine), Cross-border Cooperation and European Integration Agency (Moldova) and Caucasus Green Area Union (Georgia) published the report “The potential for paludiculture in the Eastern Partnership,Case studies from Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia”. The publication is a part of the “Promotion of Paludiculture in Black Sea Region Wetlands for Carbon Sequestration, Sustainable Development and Community-Based Renewable Energy”, under the EaP CSF Re-granting Scheme.

Full text of the Paper

Read more

Members Corner

Opportunities

EaP Youth Forum to be held in Warsaw in June

The 3rd Eastern Partnership Youth Forum will be held in Warsaw on 22-23 June 2017. The Youth Forum is organized in the margins of the Eastern Partnership Summit and will gather 300 youth workers and youth policy makers from Erasmus+ Programme countries and the EaP countries to discuss and share their experience on topics related to active citizenship, youth enterpreneurship and the involvement of young people in the decision making process. Active young people, youth leaders, project managers and youth policy makers are encouraged to apply by 12 April.

To read the call, click here

Public consultation on the EU EFI

The European Commission has opened a public consultation in view of the submission of the mid-term review of the EU External Financing Instruments (EFI), as set in the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. Stakeholders from the EU and beneficiary countries - including NGOs, think tanks and private citizens - are invited to contribute by providing their feedback on the draft evaluation reports published on the Commissions' website by 3 May 2017. The mid term review will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council by the end of 2017. The consultation will allow the Commission to gather preliminary ideas on the future EFI after the current ones have expired by 31 December 2020.

To read the call, click here

Chatham House Academy Robert Bosch Fellowship

Chatham House invites applications for Academy Robert Bosch Fellowships (Russia and Eurasia) from September 2017 to June 2018.  Fellowships are open to citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. Selected candidates will work on a personal research project falling within one or more areas listed in the call, and they will have the opportunity to participate in the Academy's leadership programme and to contribute to the work of a Chatman House research team. The deadline for applications is 31 May 2017.

To read the call, click here

 

Upcoming Meetings

24-25 April: Steering Committee meeting, Tallinn and Helsinki

27 April: EaP Platform 1 on Democracy, Good Governance and Stability, Brussels

11-12 May: Working Group 1 meeting, 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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