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EaP CSF Newsletter 

For the newsletter in Russian, please click here

In January the EaP CSF activity focused on media freedom and combating propaganda. The event entitled Eastern Partnership: Battleground of Russia's Disinformation War was organised at the European Parliament. The Belarusian National Platform expressed to the Polish Foreign Minister their concern over the possible funding cuts to Belsat TV, while the Stefan Bathory Foundation analysed the impact of this move in the framework of Poland's foreign policy towards its neighbouring countries, in particular Belarus and Ukraine.

Higher education reform in the Eastern Partnership was also in the spotlight in January with the release of the 4th Monitoring Report on Belarus Roadmap for Higher Education Reform and a number of research papers prepared by our members within the EaP CSF Re-granting Scheme projects.

Topics in Focus

Media Freedom

Events

Eastern Partnership: Battleground of Russia’s Disinformation War

On 31 January the EaP CSF organized a discussion Eastern Partnership: Battleground of Russia’s Disinformation War hosted by MEP Jaromír Štětina (EPP, CZ) at the European Parliament. The Eastern Partnership media landscape and capacity of the EU Eastern neighbours to monitor and confront propaganda were in the focus of the debate. Boris Navasardian, Member of the EaP CSF Steering Committee, President of the Yerevan Press Club presented the results of the EaP CSF re-granting project Joining Efforts and Skills to Confront Propaganda analysing the frequency of appearance of “travelling” propaganda messages in the media in the EaP countries and Russia, as well as the way the messages are presented by their authors and media outlets.

EaP CSF Recommendations on Combating Disinformation and Propaganda

Presentation - Joining Efforts and Skills to Confront Propaganda

Picture Gallery

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Statements

Belarusian National Platform Concerned over the Future of Belsat TV

The Belarusian National Platform for the EaP CSF addressed the Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski expressing their concern over the future of the independent channel Belsat TV. The Polish government intends to significantly cut the funding for the TV channel and stop broadcasting in Belarusian language. Belarusian civil society is open to and interested in discussing the future of Belsat TV and also hopes a wide range of Belarusian partners will be involved into this process.

Address by the Coordination Committee of the EaP CSF Belarusian National Platform

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Publications

Is There a Shift in Poland’s Foreign Policy towards Eastern Neighbours?

In her latest research paper, Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz from Stefan Batory Foundation offers an in-depth analysis of Poland’s policy and actions towards its Eastern neighbours (Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania), following the possible funding cuts for Belsat TV, a Polish-funded Belarusian-language TV channel, which has been an independent information source for Belarusian audience in the conditions of state censorship. Polish officials argued that the purpose of cutting the funds for Belsat TV is to make room for a Polish-language TV channel, which will air in Belarus as well.

Text of the Paper

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Higher Education Reform

Belarus Roadmap for Higher Education Reform – 4th Monitoring Report (October 2016 - January 2017)

The Belarusian Independent Bologna Committee and Ad Hoc Commission of the EaP CSF Belarusian National Platform released the 4th Monitoring Report on the implementation of the Roadmap for Higher Education Reform in Belarus for the period of October 2016 - January 2017. The document analyses the progress made by the Belarusian authorities in implementing the Roadmap provisions.

Implementation of Belarus Roadmap for Higher Education Reform - 4th Monitoring Report

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Higher Education Reform in light of Bologna Process: Opportunities, Obstacles, and Context

The policy paper Higher Education Reform in light of Bologna Process: Opportunities, Obstacles, and Context was produced within the project Higher Education Reforms Reinforcement in Eastern Partnership countries supported by the EaP CSF Re-granting scheme.

Text of the Paper

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The Quality of Higher Education: National Endeavours in the European Context

The policy paper The Quality of Higher Education: National Endeavours in the European Context was produced in the framework of the project EaP Countries Cooperation to Ensure the Quality Assurance in Higher Education supported by the EaP CSF Re-granting scheme.

Text of the Paper

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Members Corner

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. 

Opportunities for cooperation

The Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Poland) acting under its flagship brand Culture.plthe European Solidarity Centre in partnership with Armenian Progressive Youth (Armenia), Gallery TUT.BY (Belarus) and Port Creative Hub (Ukraine) are pleased to invite young cultural managers from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine to participate in the second edition of the international project Culture for Local Development

In March 2017, the first stage of the project will take place in Kyiv, Yerevan and Minsk. Selected candidates will take part in a series of intense workshops led by an experienced mentor. The authors of the most promising project proposals will be invited to take part in the second stage of the project - the Summer School. The Summer School will take place in Poland (Lublin and Gdansk) from 29 July to 7 August 2017.

Deadline for submitting the applications: 16 February. Selection results will be announced by 18 February (e-mails will be sent to each applicant).

Text of the Call

Upcoming Events

February 2017: Call for applications for the Annual Assembly to be launched

16 February 2017: EU-Georgia Association Agreement Platform Meeting, Brussels

20 February 2017: Meeting of the Regranting Selection Committee, Brussels

2-3 March 2017: 5th Meeting of the Eastern Partnership Panel on Environment and Climate Change, 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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