Interview with the representative of the new EaP CSF Support Group in Poland
What is the aim of the new initiative by the Polish CSOs and how did you come up with it?
Krzysztof Bobinski (Unia & Polska Foundation, EaP CSF member): Several activists in Poland concluded that the Civil Society Forum needs allies at the grass-roots level in the Member States, and decided to set up an informal EaP CSF country support group to lobby for the CSF initiatives. The idea is to build support in Poland for the pro-reform movement in the Eastern Partnership countries.
Which EaP CSF members are driving the process?
KB: The group includes local CSF members, such as the Institute of Public Affairs, Stefan Batory Foundation, Democratic Society East, as well as Unia & Polska Foundation and Eastbook.eu.
How can the EaP CSF members in other EU countries get involved?
KB: We are looking to other CSOs in the EU to follow this example, especially in the Member States, such as Hungary and Sweden, as well as Germany, whose activities would provide continuity for the CSF activities in the Member States between the Annual Assemblies and Working Group Meetings.
How do you work together with the Steering Committee and National Platforms?
KB: Our first initiative is to back the Steering Committee’s drive to secure continued Polish state funding for the Belsat TV channel, which broadcasts from Poland into Belarus, and to argue for Poland to maintain its support for human rights defenders in Belarus. Logistical support for the forthcoming Steering Committee mission to Poland to discuss the Belsat issue will be provided.
The group also plans to host a meeting with the participation of the Steering Committee member Boris Navasardian, at which he would present the report prepared in the framework of the EaP CSF re-granting project Joining Efforts and Skills to Confront Propaganda analysing the Russian media influence in the EaP countries.