EaP CSF Monthly Newsletter

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For the newsletter in Russian, please click here

In this Newsletter

May was a very busy month at the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF). Our members from Working Group 2 and 5 gathered in Brussels for their Annual Meeting held under the new format including three parallel training sessions and a meeting with the EU stakeholders to deliver the tailored messages.

The Forum also had the opportunity to contribute to several meetings of the multilateral Platforms and Panels. Our representatives delivered recommendations on environment and energy at the EaP Platform 3 Meeting, attended a Workshop on Green Cities, and called for an intensified cooperation with civil society in countering disinformation at the Panel on Security, CSDP and Civil Protection. In addition, the EaP CSF participated in the CORLEAP debate on advancing participatory democracy at the local and regional level.

We celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Independence of Azerbaijan and released statements regretting further restrictions of freedom of assembly and the failure of Azerbaijani authorities to take meaningful steps to restore democracy in the country.

On the occasion of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Ministerial Conference in Paris, we launched a communications campaign calling on education ministers from the EHEA countries to support the civil society position on the Bologna Process in Belarus.

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Working Groups 2 and 5 Convene in Brussels

On 15-16 May, the EaP CSF Working Group 2 “Economic Integration & Convergence with EU Policies” and Working Group 5 “Social & Labour Policies and Social Dialogue” gathered in Brussels for their joint Annual Meeting.

The discussions focused on the need for alignment of the Forum's bodies with the EaP multilateral Platforms and Panels.

During the meeting, WGs members benefited from training sessions on successful messaging, the EU decision-making process, and writing project proposals. They also had the opportunity to deliver messages to the EU stakeholders Maxime Bablon from DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), and Frédérique Rychener from DG Employment (DG EMPL).

Read more
Meeting Report
Pictures
WG5 Statement
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Topics in Focus

Campaign on the Centenary of Azerbaijan

Statements and Letters

Authorities Fail to Take Meaningful Steps to Restore Democracy on the Occasion of the Anniversary

To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Declaration of Azerbaijan's Independence the EaP CSF Steering Committee adopted a statement on the failure of the Azerbaijani authorities to take any significant steps to restore the civil rights and freedoms in the country despite the President's recent signing of the pardon act. They also denounced the detention of three Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) activists, and noted the activities of the Azerbaijani authorities aimed at undermining democratic institutions in Europe.

In addition, the SC members supported a letter to Mr Ramil Usubov, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan, signed by 100 civil society activists, lawyers and politicians, protesting at the series of detentions and summons to police stations of those who took part in the celebration in Baku.

EaP CSF Statement on Azerbaijan 100th Anniversary
EaP CSF Supports Letter to the Minister of Internal Affairs

Ahead of the signature of the Comprehensive Agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan, there are many concerns on the EU civil society support in the ocuntry. On 9 May, the Steering Committee issued a statement calling for transparency on the allocation of EU financial support to projects conducted by CSOs in Azerbaijan.

EaP CSF Statement on the EU Financial Support to the Civil Society Organisations in Azerbaijan

Bologna Process in Belarus

EaP CSF Calls for the EHEA Support to Implement Bologna Process in Belarus

Ahead of the European High Education Area (EHEA) Ministerial Conference in Paris, on 8 May the EaP CSF urged the education ministers of the EHEA countries to make a strong commitment to support Belarus commitment to the EHEA principles. The civil society believes that the absence of a special mechanism for Belarus would effectively torpedo the reform effort for many years to come.

EaP CSF Address to the EHEA Ministerial Conference
Communiqué of the 2018 EHEA Ministerial Conference in Paris

In its resolution of 19 April 2018 the European Parliament publicly supported the position of the EaP CSF, having called for Belarus to be kept on the EHEA agenda and for the European Commission to provide adequate resources to implement the roadmap, accepting the logic and the recommendations of civil society.

European Parliament Resolution of 19 April on Belarus
EP Resolution of 19 April on the Implementation of the Bologna Process

The EaP CSF appealed to the ministers to take into account the following recommendations:

  • Belarus should remain on the EHEA agenda as a special case
  • The development of a Draft Strategic Action Plan by the Belarusian Ministry of Education must be treated as a commitment of the Belarusian government
  • Provisions of the Roadmap for Belarus must be implemented.
  • The BFUG AG2 Mandate should be extended until 2020 or another similar procedure should be introduced
  • The EaP CSF Belarusian National Platform should be recognised as a stakeholder in the implementation of the Bologna process in Belarus

EaP CSF 6th Monitoring Report on Implementation of Bologna Process in Belarus

Energy and Environment

EaP Platforms and Panels

EaP CSF Delivers Recommendations on Environment and Energy at the EaP Platform 3 Meeting

On 29 May 2018, the Eastern Partnership Platform 3 “Connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change” gathered in Brussels to discuss the implementation of policies on transport and energy, focusing on investment priorities and sustainable connectivity. The EaP CSF representatives Ina Coseru, Working Group 3 Coordinator and member of the EaP CSF Steering Committee, and Ruslan Surugiu, President of AO Pro Energy (Moldova), delivered recommendations on energy and environment and presented two EaP CSF position papers on the mentioned topics.

The EaP CSF also participated in the Workshop on Green Cities in the Eastern PartnershipGiorgi Mukhigulishvili from World Experience for Georgia (WEG) shared the civil society representatives' enthusiasm towards initiatives encouraging decision-makers in the EaP countries to implement sustainable policies on the level of cities.

Read more
EaP CSF Position Paper on Environment
EaP CSF Position Paper on Energy

Security and Defence

EaP Platforms and Panels

EaP CSF Sends a Strong Message at the Multilateral Panel on Security, CSDP and Civil Protection

On 15 May, the EaP CSF contributed to the Panel on Security, CSDP and Civil Protection and discussion on the EEAS East Strategic Communications Task Force, the implementation of the Plan on Security and the Defence, and the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).

The Forum was represented by the SC member Hennadiy Maksak, and Andrei Trubceac, coordinator of the EaP CSF Working Group 4 ‘Contacts between people’. They called for intensified cooperation between the task force and local CSOs and stressed that ongoing and protracted conflicts in the EaP countries should be factored in the peace building training.

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Participatory Democracy

CORLEAP

EaP CSF Contributes to the Debate on Advancing Participatory Democracy at Local and Regional Level

On 29 May, the EaP CSF took part in a thematic debate on fostering participatory democracy at the local and regional level organised by the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP).

Speakers stressed the importance of decentralisation as a pre-condition for qualitative local engagement. On this issue, through its re-granting scheme the EaP CSF funded the study Public Administration and Local Governments Reforms In Eastern Partnership Countries analysing in a comparative way public administration reforms (PAR) and decentralisation in the Eastern Partnership countries. 

Read more
Download the study
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Members Corner

Opportunities

Call for Applications: "Alternative Economics", Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Fall Academy 2018

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Caucasus Office and the Berlin School of Economics and Law invites young economists and social scientists between 18 and 35 years from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to apply for the Fall Academy which will take place from 20th till 23rd of September 2018 in Kvareli, Georgia.

The Fall Academy will focus on Economic Development Strategies in the South Caucasus. Closing date for applications is 27 June 2018.

Find more information and apply here
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Upcoming Events and Meetings

  • 18 June: EaP Platform 2 Small Business Act (SBA) Regional Coordinators Meeting
  • 19 June: EaP Platform 4 Meeting (Brussels)
  • 19 June: EaP Panel on Structural Reforms, Financial Sector Architecture, Agrictulture and SMEs (Brussels)
  • 20 June: EaP Panel on Trade (Brussels)
  • 21-22 June: 10th Informal EaP Ministerial Dialogues (Minsk)
  • 26 June: EaP Panel on Rule of Law (Paris)
  • 5 July: EaP Panel on Education Culture and Youth (Brussels)
  • 17-18 July: EaP CSF Steering Committee meeting (Brussels)

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Secretariat of the EaP CSF Steering Committee 

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1000 Brussels
Belgium