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EaP CSF Newsletter 

For the newsletter in Russian, please click here

In this Newsletter

Spring is here and it comes with many updates from the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum! Indeed, we are already receiving applications for the 10th  EaP CSF Annual Assembly - to be held at the end of 2018. Join us!

In March, the Steering Committee members delivered the EaP CSF message at the launch event of the Eastern Partnership new architecture and the Senior Official Meeting. We also held an expert workshop on the 2020 cross-cutting deliverables and produced a document gathering feedback from our members on ensuring consistency between the Deliverables and the work programmes of the Platforms and Panels.

Last month our members addressed many developments in the region. In Armenia, the EaP CSF National Platform called on the EU institutions to resolve the freezing of their funding; the Steering Committee urged Ukraine and Interpol to guarantee the freedom and security of the Azerbaijani exiled journalist Fikret Huseynli; the Belarusian NP held its annual conference and adopted a resolution on the role of civil society in EU-Belarus relations; the Georgian NP condemned the death in custody of Archil Tatunashvili in South Ossetian de facto territory; and the Moldovan NP denounced the restrictions against the right of citizens to initiate national referenda.

Eastern Partnership Reviewed Structure

The Launch Event of the New Eastern Partnership Structure and Senior Official Meeting

On 12 March, the EaP CSF took part in the formal launch of the renewed Eastern Partnership architecture attended by high-level officials from the EaP countries and the EU.

At the event, the Forum was represented by six EaP CSF Steering Committee members from the EaP countries, two of whom addressed the participants of the launch event (Ina Coseru) and the Senior Official Meeting (Haykuhi Hartyunyan) conveying the position of the Steering Committee on the EaP achievements and challenges, and once again calling for the meaningful engagement with civil society.

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EaP CSF Address

Expert Workshop: Will the EaP Deliver on Schedule?

The high-level launch event was followed by the EaP CSF Expert Workshop on the three 2020 crosscutting deliverables – civil society, strategic communication, and gender equality. The event was attended by officials from the EaP and EU Member States, representatives of the EU institutions, while think tanks and CSOs presented the independent civil society expertise and views on the 2020 agenda.

Three Steering Committee members, Aleksandra Kalatozishvili, Mikalai Kvantaliani and Hennadiy Maksak, along with Sinziana Poiana from DG NEAR, led the discussion.

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Photo Gallery

EaP CSF Members Consultation on the Revised System of Multilateral Platforms and Panels

The EaP CSF, as a permanent observer and the only CSO platform represented at the formative intergovernmental meetings, called upon its members for feedback on ensuring consistency between the “20 Deliverables for 2020” and the draft work programmes.

The revised system, adopted at the November 2017 Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels, aims to refine the process of consultation among various actors, including civil society. The EaP CSF compiled a document, based on the expert feedback of more than 60 our members, encompassing the entire range of civil society activity in the Eastern neighbourhood.

2020 Deliverables Put to Work: the EaP CSF commentary on Work Plans of the Eastern Partnership Platforms and Panels

Topics in Focus

Human Rights and Freedom of Speech


EaP CSF Steering Committee Urged Ukraine and Interpol to Decline the Request to Extradite Exiled Azerbaijani Journalist

The EaP CSF Steering Committee demanded the Ukrainian authorities guarantee the freedom and security of Fikret Huseynli, a Dutch citizen of Azerbaijani origin currently staying in Kiev, and allow him to leave Ukraine for a destination of his own choice. They urged Ukraine not to allow informal groups supported by foreign agents to interfere with its legal procedures and, therefore, respect Mr Huseynli’s legal rights.

The Steering Committee members also asked Interpol to reject requests from member states who make false claims to secure extradition orders, especially in cases like Mr Huseynli’s when charges are clearly fabricated.

As of the date of this newsletter the extradition request has been rejected by the Ukrainian court, however Mr Huseynli cannot leave the country since his passport has been confiscated.

Download the Statement

Georgian National Platform Urged Handover of Georgian Citizen’s Body by Tskhinvali Authorities

The Georgian National Platform condemned the death of the Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili in custody in Tskhinvali on 23 February 2018. Our members denounced the alleged violence that led Mr Tatunashvili to death and urged the Russian Federation and the de facto South Ossetian authorities to hand over his body to his family. Tatunashvili was finally buried on 24 March, more than one month after his death. He was posthumously awarded with military honours.

Furthermore, the Georgian National Platform hopes the case will be discussed in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and calls on the international community to put pressure on the Russian Federation to resolve the crisis.

Download the Statement

Direct Democracy


Moldovan NP Urged Government to Reverse Limitations on the Right to Initiate National Referenda

The EaP CSF Moldovan National Platform called attention to the public authorities actions aimed at limiting the exercise of constitutional rights in the Republic of Moldova. Our members believe that referenda are instruments of direct democracy and regret the decision of the Central Electoral Commission to declare as unconstitutional a rule guaranteeing the rights of citizens to initiate any type of referendum.

The Moldovan NP also requested the Council of Europe's Venice Commission to issue an opinion on this issue and call on other international partners to monitor the limitation of such rights in Moldova.

Download the Statement

Civil Society Support


National Platform’s Work in Armenia is Brought to a Halt by the Funding Freeze

The Armenian National Platform called on the EU institutions to address the unintentional freezing of the funding for the National Platform for 2018.

Consistent funding of the National Platform is crucial for the civil society expertise in the process of implementing the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), especially in light of the overall increasing support to the CSO sector in Armenia by the European Union, both reflected in the EU-Armenia Partnership Priorities and the 2020 Deliverables.

Download the Statement

Steering Committee Reiterates Call for Repeal of Ukraine’s Legislation on Assets Declaration

One year ago, Ukraine introduced amendments to legislation requiring public officials to declare assets and extended obligations to civil society activists fighting corruption. Consequently, the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum adopted a statement calling on the authorities to repeal this legislation.

This request was not heeded and the  EaP CSF Steering Committee reiterates our legitimate call since the ability of civil society organisations to operate without undue interference by officials is a fundamental principle for our Civil Society Forum.

Download the Statement

Recent Events

Belarusian NP Held Annual Conference on Relations with the EU and Deliverables 2020

On 24 February 2018, the Belarusian National Platform held the annual conference  “Civil Society of Belarus as a Stakeholder of EU-Belarus Relations: Towards Deliverables 2020” in Minsk. Participants discussed the opportunities and limitations for the progress of the Eastern Partnership, as well as for Belarus and civil society at the current stage.

The NP also adopted a resolution, including a detailed analysis of the positive and negative steps by the Belarusian government in relations with the EU, as well as a number of concrete proposals for improving this cooperation in terms of the content, dynamics and openness towards the stakeholders within the Belarusian society.

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Implementation of European Standards


European Standardisation in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine

Within the EaP CSF Re-granting scheme, a project led by the Center for Innovation and Policies (Moldova) in partnership with Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GRASS), and that Strategic and Security Studies Group (Ukraine), produced a comparative report and three country policy papers on the role of civil society and SMEs from Eastern Partnership countries in the implementation of European standards. They also published a guide on facilitating the transition to European standards in the EaP countries.

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Comparative Report
Guide: Facilitating transition to European standards in EaP countries

Recent Events

Is Ukraine an Underachiever or a Victim of the EU Expectation Gap?

Following the official launch of the Eastern Partnership Index 2015-2016 on 23 JanuaryNew Europe Center, one of the partners in this EaP CSF flagship project, organised the Ukrainian launch of the Index report on 14 February in Kyiv. The roundtable discussion focused on analysing the factors preventing Ukraine from becoming the front-runner in the Eastern Partnership.

The index data was analysed in the context of six countries, while Veronica Movchan (Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting (IER)) and Hanna Golubovska-Onisimova (Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum) spoke about the hindrances to Ukraine attaining a higher score. Leonid Litra (New Europe Center) interpreted the factors leading to the Moldova’s top position in this edition of the Index.

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EaP Index 2015-2016

Members Corner


Call for Applications: 2018 EaP Civil Society Fellowships

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility calls for applications for the 2018 EaP Civil Society Fellowships. The programs aim to support young civil society leaders in Eastern Partnership countries by enhancing the development of their leadership skills.

Applications are accepted via the online application system or by email (Application Form – doc. file) sent to fellowships@eapcivilsociety.eu by 9 April.


Call for Candidates: Experts Council on NGO Law

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe is calling for qualified candidates to apply to serve as Members of the Expert Council on NGO Law from July 2018 to July 2021. They will contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for NGOs throughout Europe, by examining national legislation relating to NGOs and by promoting the respect of CoE norms and good practices in this area. Applications are accepted until 15 April.


Call for Civil Society Submissions on Hate Incidents that Happened in 2017

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) calls for civil society groups to report incidents that happened during 2017, in order to publish their annual hate crime data on 16 November. This provides an overview of hate crimes reported by governments, civil society and international organizations across the OSCE's 57 participating States. 

Submissions can be sent  to the e-mail tndinfo@odihr.pl. by 30 April.


Upcoming events and meetings

  • 12-13 April: Steering Committee Meeting, Minsk
  • 12 April: 6th Meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform, Brussels
  • 17 April: 14th Eastern Partnership Panel on Trade, Brussels
  • 21 April:  Meeting of the Eastern Partnership Platform 1 "Strengthening institutions and good governance", Brussels
  • 25 April: Panel discussion at the human rights film festival 'One World', Brussels

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Secretariat of the EaP CSF Steering Committee 

Rue de l'Industrie 10
1000 Brussels