Issue 96

Euronest Parliamentary Assembly

RA Parliamentary Delegation Takes Part in the Euronest PA Plenary Meeting

On April 1 the RA parliamentary delegation left for Baku to take part in the second plenary meeting of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly. NA deputies Vahan Hovhannisyan (Head of the Delegation), Artak Zakaryan, Naira Zohrabyan, Lilit Galstyan, Khachik Petrosyan, Styopa Safaryan, Hovhannes Sahakyan, Aram Safaryan, Manvel Badeyan, responsible secretary Karine Shimshiryan are in the delegation. The meetings of the Assembly will be held on April 1-4.

Before leaving for Baku the members of the RA NA delegation to the Euronest PA, representatives of the RA parliamentary parties joining the EPP Artak Zakaryan, Styopa Safaryan and Hovhannes Sahakyan in Tbilisi met the representatives of the European People’s Party on March 30-31. During the meeting preparatory discussions have been conducted on the works of the plenary meeting of the Euronest PA to be held in Baku.

The RA parliamentary delegation will return to Yerevan on April 5.


Euronest Parliamentary Assembly

Belarus needs more real help from the EU, Belarusian dissidents tell MEPs


The EU should provide more real help, not just “seminars and resolutions”, if it wants real change in Belarus, Belarusian dissidents told MEPs and their partners from Eastern countries in the Azerbaijani Parliament on Monday.

“What we expect from you is concrete action – proposals for your financial, technical and political support. A lot of things have been said from your side but obviously this is not a way to influence Alexander Lukashenko”, said Alexei Yanukevich, of the Belarusian People’s front.

Parliament’s moral support is highly appreciated, but that real instruments of change are missing, said Belarussian dissident Alexander Milinkevich, who won the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought in 2006. Other dissidents were even harsher: “The policy of the EU is very weak. The sanctions you are imposing are not real sanctions, only warnings. We need real plans, money and conditions, not just seminars and resolutions”.

MEPs agreed that, especially giventhe recent execution of two men –  despite calls from Parliament and other EU institutions for Mr Lukashenko to halt it – showed that the EU’s dual policy of openness to and sanctions against Belarus had failed, and that a “third way” must be found. Participants agreed that this third way should be a long-term investment for change in Belarusian society that could in turn stimulate political change, too.

MEPs and their counterparts from Eastern neighbourhood parliaments met the four Belarusian civil society and opposition representatives in a working group on Belarus, on the fringe of the the second ordinary session of Euronest inter-parliamentary assembly taking place from 2 to 4 April in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The ultimate aim of the Belarus working group is for the Belarusian parliament to join the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly as a fully fledged member. To be eligible, Belarus needs to hold free and fair elections recognized by the international organizations (OSCE). Current developments in Belarus suggest that this prospect is becoming less likely, rather than more so,  said group chair MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP, PL).

Mr Saryusz-Wolski admitted that it would also be premature to state today’s Euronest group meeting had brought Belarus a step closer to joining Euronest, as the Belarusian government had declined an invitation to take part. “We are now more aware of the complex situation in Belarusian society. Keeping this topic on the agenda displays our hope that one day; members of Belarusian parliament will fill their empty seats in Euronest”, he said.

The working group agreed to table a proposal in the Euronest plenary session  to extend the working group’s mandate until the Belarusian parliament becomes a full member of Euronest.

Two other representatives of Belarus who were invited were unable to attend because it had detained them. The movement of people across the EU-Belarusian border has proven difficult. At the end of last year,  two Euronest representatives – MEP Ivars Godmanis (LV, ALDE) and co-chair of the Belarus working group Dumitru Diacov (Moldova parliament), were denied Belarusian visas on the grounds that these could not be granted until the Belarusian parliament is granted the right to participate in Euronest.

Euronest is a working platform where MEPs meet their counterparts from five of the EU’s eastern neighbouring countries. Belarus has been denied the right to take part due to its failure to hold elections that are recognised by the international community as free and democratic.


Book Platform project in Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine launched


The Book Platform, a new EU-funded project to support the book sectors in Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine, was launched at the end of March. The project is being carried out as part of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme.Over the next two and a half years the book sectors in Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine will be getting a helping hand in overcoming the challenges that publishing, writing and translating face today.

According to a press release, the project is for everybody that is professionally involved and concerned about the future of books: publishers, writers, translators, booksellers, librarians and their associations, but also for public bodies in the cultural sphere and for cultural organisations. In a long-term perspective the project is about the readers who have the right to access to high quality books, in their own languages and at affordable prices.

The activities of the project target three crucial themes for any publishing sector:

  • The industry or how publishers can continue playing their role of providing high quality books while remaining commercially viable;
  • The readership or what happens to reading audiences in the 21st century and how they can be attracted to books;
  • International dialogue or how readers and writers communicate across cultures via translations and how to open-up literatures for more translations.

The project kicked off on 26-27 March in Tbilisi with a first training session on strategic planning and fundraising for non-governmental organisations and associations. The training session brought together 21 participants from Georgia, Armenia and Ukraine and was moderated by the British expert in cultural management Sue Kay.

In the next few years the project will offer Georgian, Armenian and Ukrainian book professionals the possibility to increase their skills and knowledge, to get involved in international networks with colleagues abroad and to acquire key data that will help them take decisions about the future.

The €12 million Eastern Partnership Culture Programme aims at assisting the Partner Countries in their cultural policy reform at government level, as well as capacity building and improving professionalism of cultural operators in the region. It seeks to strengthen regional cultural links and dialogue within the Eastern Partnership region, and between the EU and ENP Eastern countries’ cultural networks and actors. (ENPI Info Centre)


Call for Applications

June 11-15, 2012 Yerevan, Armenia


Directors Across Borders (DAB) is currently accepting applications for a Story Development Workshop for feature films which will take place in Yerevan, Armenia June 11-15, 2012. The Workshop will focus on the creative aspects of story development and will help to provide emerging scriptwriters, producers and directors the fundamental skills to create more engaging cinematic stories and package them in ways that will make them more competitive in the global film market.

The Story Development Workshop is part of the DAB Eastern Partnership Program which is supported by the European Union and implemented by GOLDEN APRICOT Fund for Cinema Development in Armenia and its partners – MAIA (Italy), INTERFILM (Ukraine), Cinema Art Center Prometheus (Georgia) and INTERNEWS (Armenia). The Workshop will be composed of lectures, case studies, group work and one-to-one meetings.

Who can apply?

The Workshop is limited to filmmakers from the European Union Eastern Partnership countries which include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • applicants should have completed a university education in a related cinema discipline or have some practical experience in the film development and production;
  • applicant must have a treatment (script at least in the first draft) which they are seeking to improve and refine;
  • if the Applicant is not the scriptwriter, they must be working actively in the development of the story either as a producer or director;
  • the minimum length of the project shouldn’t exceed 70 minutes.

How can I apply?

Applicants must submit all the following documents to Directors Across Borders by the email below no later than 15 April 2012:

  • duly compiled application form (see attached);
  • CV of the candidate, including language skills;
  • a brief presentation of the company for which the candidate works (if applicable);
  • a letter of motivation, including expected benefits from attending the workshop;
  • two letters of recommendation from active professionals in the film industry;
  • one page synopsis of the project that the applicant is currently working on;
  • description of the stage of development, including estimated production budget and tentative financing plan.

You can download the Application Form and detailed announcement just over HERE and HERE.
Please, note that the deadline is 15 April 2012.

For more information regarding other workshops, trainings and networking opportunities, please visit (coming soon) or contact
Tatevik Manoukyan, Coordinator of DAB Project E-mail:

Source: The Golden Apricot International Film Festival

More information about the Project on the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme website







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