CENN: Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum 2012 – Highlights and

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Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum 2012 – Highlights and Key Outcomes


The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum has issued a report
outlining the highlights and outcomes of its recent assembly, held in
Stockholm on 29-30 November.

The fourth assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum
gathered over 200 civil society activists from Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine as well as representatives of
EU-based NGOs active in the region.

The Forum was opened with an address by European Commissioner for
Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Å tefan Füle, who
stressed that the process of political association and economic
integration of partner countries with the EU required strong involvement
and support from civil society. The EU encouraged governments to
establish a regular structured dialogue with representatives of civil
society, he told the forum.

The Commissioner also informed his audience of the smooth implementation
of the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility, which offers increased
financial opportunities for CSOs and the establishment of the European
Endowment for Democracy, which will also provide additional support for
those who fight for democratic causes in neighbouring countries.

Demonstrating the European Commission’s support to the civil society of
the region, Commissioner Füle led the signing of an agreement in
the amount of almost =82¬1 million to strengthen capacities of the
Civil Society Forum’s national platforms, which have been
established in all six partner countries, and announced a decision to
offer financial support to the newly established permanent secretariat,
which will assist the work of the Forum.

Füle said it was important that the Forum become more sustainable.
Aside from using the support that the EU has offered it, he recommended
that the Forum seek support from other donors to fund `concrete
actions on the ground which would contribute to the implementation of
Eastern Partnership’s goals, step up people’s support for necessary
reforms and help your governments to design and put them into

The Co-Chairs of the outgoing Steering Committee of the Forum, Jeff
Lovitt and Ihor Kogut, shared with participants the results of the
Forum’s work in the previous year, which included:

* the permanent participant status of the Forum in thematic platform
* registration of the Secretariat of the Forum;
* successful fund-raising efforts of the Steering Committee;
* establishment of a working group on social dialogue;
* crucial steps on the preparation of the next Forum.
* For the first time in its history, the Forum will next year be
organised in one of the partner countries – Moldova.

Participants also had the opportunity to take part in one of three
parallel thematic panel sessions.

* Choosing the Leaders, Elections in the EaP Countries
* Media in a Free and Democratic Society
* Combating Corruption
* The Forum also offered a number of civil society development workshops
on a broad variety of topics, from Anti-Corruption and Road-Map
Monitoring to Visa Facilitation and Liberalisation and Female
Participation in Civil Society.

The Forum also saw the election of six Country Facilitators, ten Working
Group Coordinators, and three EU Coordinators, who will act as members
of the Steering
Committee of the Forum for a year. The
newly-elected Committee will lead the Forum in the year to come and will
work to achieve the goals identified at the Forum, the most important of
which is stepping up the civil society engagement in the practical
implementation of the Eastern Partnership. (EU Neighbourhood Info


Election of new Steering Committee – full
list of names

EU Neighbourhood Info Centre – Commissioner
maps out future of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in
Stockholm (29-11-12)

Civil Society Forum

Civil Society Forum – Facebook page

EU Neighbourhood Info Centre – Eastern

Partnership Civil Society Forum takes stock of achievements and maps
future (27-11-12)