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This edition of EaP CSF Newsletter is dedicated to the 10 years of Eastern Partnership policy, launched in 2009 to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its member states and six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. This year, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum also celebrates its 10th anniversary. In the past decade, EaP CSF members have been advocating on a number of issues, both in the EaP countries and at the EU level. Annually, our members participate in more than 60 official meetings of the EaP architecture, consultations and EaP CSF events, at which we channel, on average, 800+ recommendations to stakeholders. Over the last 10 years, the Forum’s membership in five Working Groups grew to 700+ organisations. Since 2015, over 60 projects were implemented within the WG Re-granting scheme of the EaP CSF.

What impact has the EaP and its civil society had on the region, and what are the tangible outcomes we can see today? Take a minute to go through videos and interactive content we prepared for you – and reflect on both the EaP and EaP CSF's contributions in the last 10 years.

In the run-up to main high-level EaP anniversary event on 14 May, we are holding our EaP CSF public events series, which aims to assess the EaP policy achievements in various areas. Remember to scroll down for a full list of activities and events in the next few months.

Stay connected by following our hashtag: #10YearsTogether!

10 Years of EaP CSF – A glance into the history of the Forum

Raising the profile of the EaP CSF

The concept of EaP CSF was developed jointly by the civil society and the European Commission, and adopted in 2009. The first strategy, adopted at the Annual Assembly in Poznan in 2011, set the stone for the Forum’s further work. By the time of this Annual Assembly, National Platforms were in place in all six Partner countries. This enabled the Forum to monitor the implementation of reforms in each of the EaP countries and deliver the consolidated positon of the civil society at the European level. It was also the time, when the Forum was granted the observer status in the EaP intergovernmental meetings and thematic platforms. In 2013, EaP CSF members took part in 35 events under 4 EaP Platforms and Panels. By 2018, the participation of our members in the EaP official events has almost doubled and reached 60 events, for which our members developed written positions covering six EaP countries. EaP CSF is the only civil society organisation represented with an official status at the EaP Formal and Informal Ministerial meetings and EaP Platforms level, which allows us to contribute to the debates with a more balanced picture on reform implementation and to better serve as a watchdog of the reform process in EaP region.

In 2012, the Secretariat of the Steering Committee was registered as a legal entity in Brussels and the EaP CSF received the first grant for its institutional support via the Secretariat in 2013. In the following years the Forum expanded considerably: from 65 members in 2009 over 556 members in 2015 and up to 735 in 2018. Also in terms of the expertise of its members the Forum raised its profile. This allowed EaP CSF to ensure that it is aligned with the renewed EaP architecture, which was adopted in 2017. The current EaP CSF strategy, covering the period 2018-2020, puts a strong emphasis on the Forum’s contribution to the EaP architecture, and identifying the areas that should be included under it post-2020.


Expanding over time

As the Forum gained more and more expertise, and increased its role in the EaP architecture, we also grew in numbers.  Did you know that EaP CSF is made up of more than 700 organisations – spread across all six EaP countries and EU member states? Watch this short clip to learn how we grew since our first Assembly in Brussels in 2008.

10 Years of EaP – Delivering our expertise

Shaping EaP policy together

EaP CSF members provide its input at all the major junctures of the EaP policy development and revision. In March 2018, EaP CSF members took part in the formal launch of the renewed EaP architecture, attended by high-level officials from the EaP countries and EU. In 2017, EaP CSF actively contributed to the development of the renewed architecture and the newly-shaped 2020 Deliverables, gathering recommendations from more than 60 CSOs. The commentary, "2020 Deliverables Put to Work", has helped to shape all 4 EaP Platforms and Panels work programmes for 2018-2019, and cemented EaP CSF position as the EaP civil society stakeholder. Overall, over 100 specific recommendations were tabled and many of them taken on board by the EEAS and European Commission. In 2015, EaP CSF provided its recommendations for the European Neighbourhood Policy review process launched by EU institutions. Few years earlier, between 2010-2012, EaP CSF successfully pushed for the creation of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility within European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI).

The WG Re-granting scheme, the participation of  EaP CSF NPs in sectoral dialogue on national level, the development of the EaP Index publication, as well as active contributions to EU-initiated consultations and EaP Platforms and Panels, have served as solid instruments of influence for the Forum.

Amplifying civil society's voice and alerting international stakeholders

EaP CSF has conducted dozens of country-focused and regional advocacy campaigns in the last 10 years, using its strong position in the EaP architecture, presence on the ground, solid membership from the EaP and EU, growing expertise, and the political and financial support from the EU. Below are two examples of our campaigns, which started several years ago and on which we continue to work on now.

In a truly regional spirit, our members from Moldova and Ukraine are conducting a number of actions as part of the “No more Dams” campaign on Dniester River, to ensure the continued access to the drinking water by the Moldovan and part of the Ukrainian population.

Together with the Ad Hoc Belarusian National Platform Committee and Belarusian Independent Bologna Committee (BIBC), EaP CSF has been instrumental in facilitating civil society monitoring of the Bologna Process implementation in Belarus – issuing six reports, looking at its Roadmap for 2016-2018. The campaign continues to push for more transparency in Belarusian higher education, pointing to faults in official reporting and interpretation of international commitments.

Reaching out and supporting partners on the ground

The EaP CSF Re-granting scheme supported 61 projects of the EaP CSF members on the course of 2015-2018. In 2019 another 13 projects received our support. The projects, distributed in five Working Groups of the EaP CSF, strengthened the regional dimension, connecting the civil society with the interest and needs of wider public in the EaP countries. They delivered substantial policy input, contributing to the policy implementation under the EaP multilateral roof and to the process of reforms in the EaP countries. They continue to bridge the emerging gaps among the EaP countries, while acknowledging their different paths and contractual relations with the EU. Have a look at the list of the funded projects here.

Celebrating 10 years of EaP CSF

Looking towards the future: EaP CSF 10th Annual Assembly

We have launched the 10 years anniversary campaign at our 10th Annual Assembly in Tbilisi last December that brought together in dialogue more than 300 civil society representatives – as well as EaP and EU stakeholders. Watch our post Annual Assembly video as part of the #10YearsTogether online campaign, launched to celebrate EaP CSF 10th anniversary.

The civil society perspective: Taking stock of 10 years of the EaP policy and strategizing for after 2020

The annual meetings of EaP CSF Working Groups in the spring of 2019 will serve as a springboard for a series of EaP CSF public events in Brussels – each focusing on different policy areas of EaP. What is to be learnt from the successes and failures of the EaP policy implementation? The first event, “The civil society perspective: Taking stocks of achievements and looking beyond 2020 – People-to-People Contacts”, hosted by the Czech Permanent Representation to the EU, already took place on 28 March 2019. More investment in training of educational staff is needed according to the experts’ corner. Civil society urged to pay more attention to grass roots initiatives. In their turn, European stakeholders outlined that blending various finance resources will become essential to all CSOs in the future. Click here to read the report and view the pictures from the event!

The second event of the series, which took place on 11 April 2019, looked closely at the achievements and challenges in the field of environment? civil society experts pledged for the need of establishing regulations and better Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in the region. Stakeholders encouraged Civil Society to continue the dialogue with their governments and stressed the need for more capacity building projects for environmental actors in the region.

The third event of the series will be happening already on 14 May. It will focus on the assessment of the EaP policy within the 10 years period, giving a special attention to chronic problems in the region including corruption, respect to human rights, rule of law and state of judiciary. The registration will start soon.

Upcoming Events

  • 9 April: Platform 4 Meeting (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 10 April: Platform 2 Meeting (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 10 April: Panel on Transport (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 10-11 April: Working Group 3 Meeting (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 11 April: EaP CSF Public Event: Environment, Climate Change and Energy Security (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 11 April: Senior Official Meeting (SOM) (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 25-26 April: Panel on Organic Agriculture (Tartu, Estonia)
  • 30 April: Panel on Rule of Law (Brussels, Belgium
  • 13 May: Foreign Affairs Ministerial (Brussels, Belgium) 
  • 14 May: EaP CSF Public Event: Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 14 May: 10th Anniversary of EaP Policy Initiative (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 14-15 May: Working Group 1 Meeting (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 16-17 May: Panel on Trade (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 17 May: Panel on Security, CSDP and Civil Protection (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 17 May: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Workshop (Klaipeda, Lithuania)
  • 20-21 May: Informal AA/DCFTA Trade Ministerial (Kyiv, Ukraine)
  • 21 May: EU-Moldova Civil Society Platform (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 21-22 May: EaP Energy Regulatory Bodies' Workshop (Minsk, Belarus)
  • 22-24 May: Seminar on CSDP (Tbilisi, Georgia)
  • 27-28 May: Panel on Environment and Climate Change (Vienna, Austria)
  • 29 May: EU4Digital Innovation Workshop (Baku, Azerbaijan)

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF)

Secretariat of the EaP CSF Steering Committee 

Rue de l'Industrie 10
1000 Brussels

*This Newsletter was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.