Issue 101

EU cooperation for a successful Eastern Partnership’: new publication to mark third anniversary of key policy launch

07-05-2012

A new publication “EU cooperation for a successful Eastern Partnership” has been published today to mark the third anniversary of the Prague Summit that officially launched the Eastern Partnership initiative (7 May 2009).

Produced by DG Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, this publication gives an overview of the EU cooperation with its Eastern neighbours in the framework of the Eastern Partnership. It describes the main elements of the initiative and gives concrete examples of the ongoing bilateral and regional cooperation programmes.

An electronic version is available for download at the Eastern Partnership page of the EuropeAid website. (EU Neighbourhood Info)

Read more:  EU cooperation for a successful Eastern Partnership

 

Ashton condemns deadly terror attack in Dagestan

04-05-2012

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has condemned the deadly terrorist attacks that struck the outskirts of Makhachkala, capital of the Russian region of Dagestan, late on Thursday.

A statement issued by the spokesperson of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs today said: “The High Representative condemns in the strongest possible terms the heinous terrorist attacks that took many lives and injured more than a hundred people last night in Dagestan. There can be no justification for such criminal acts.”

The High Representative expressed her condolences to the victims and their families and friends, as well as the people of the Russian Federation. (EU Neighbourhood Info)

 

OPEN LETTER

 To  National Platforms and participants past and present of the  Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, independent Civil Society Organisations and election monitors in Eastern Partnership countries

03.05.2012

Democratic legitimacy is the basis of good government. Fair elections guarantee the success of lasting reform. Reform is impossible without fair democratic procedures as reforms will not succeed unless they are introduced by fairly elected legitimate legislatures and governments. The Eastern Partnership programme of which the Civil Society Forum (CSF) is a part, advocates reforms aimed at having partner countries base their political systems on the principles of democracy, a market economy and the rule of law. None of this can be achieved without free and fair elections.

The Steering Committee of the CSF elected in Poznan in November 2011 has agreed that the subject of elections as well as the fight against corruption and struggle for a free media should be flagship issues for the CSF. These three subjects will enjoy special prominence at the CSF meeting in November of this year. Free elections and the development of a pluralistic political system are impossible without a free media. A pluralistic political system and a free media are impossible in a system where state structures have been captured by corrupt elites. These elites receive material benefits thanks to being in a position of power and use those material benefits to maintain themselves in power.

A meeting of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly in Baku in April (where the CSF has observer status) composed of members of the European parliament and members of parliament from the Partnership Countries except for Belarus overwhelmingly called on the Eastern Partnership Countries to “ensure that forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, which are on the way, prove to be free, fair, democratic as conducted to the standards of the OSCE”. The assembly also condemned corruption and called for the development of free and independent media in the Partnership Countries.

This year will see such elections in four of the six Eastern Partnership Countries – Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.  The CSF calls on its members and other independent organizations to pay special attention to these elections with a view to ensuring that they are free and fair. We urge our members to draw up reports on how far the elections adhered to democratic standards. Such reports could be the subject of workshops and seminars at the national level. The seminars would examine how far democratic standards were respected and to look for ways of ensuring that these standards should be respected in the future. A workshop on elections in the four countries is planned to take place in Brussels on June 6 2012 on the fringe of the working group 1 meeting there.  Observations and conclusions from these meetings will be brought together at a special session, which would examine the differences and similarities in the four elections and draw conclusions at the CSF at the end of November. The session would also look forward to elections due to take place in 2013and make recommendations on shaping future EU support to civil society and public administration and identify continuing obstacles to the conduct of free and fair elections.

The Steering Committee

Civil Society Forum, Eastern Partnership

The Euronest standards are standards I am sure you would want to adhere to.

We reserve the right to assess the democratic process together with our colleagues.

Democracy lies at the very basis of the EaP process.

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