4th CSF Annual Event to Be Held in Sweden, 29-30 November 2012 – call for participants to be launched second week of May
The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, working to increase the transparency and information flow throughout the work of the Forum, is publishing and sharing with Forum participants the decisions of the first two Steering Committee meetings of 2012, which took place on 26-27 January in Brussels, and 4-5 April in Baku, respectively.
Key decisions included registration of the Secretariat of the Forum, finalisation of the Strategy Concept of the Forum – both as decided by a vote of participants at the Poznan Forum in November 2011, the election of two co-Chairs, Igor Kohut and Jeff Lovitt, and the decision to hold the 4th annual Forum in Sweden on 29-30 November 2012.
Sub-groups of the Steering Committee will comprise: (a) country facilitators; (b) working group co-ordinators; (c) EU co-ordinators/communications group; (e) Sweden Forum event group. Sub-groups would consider a framework for development of guidelines and procedures for the work of the Forum and its constituent parts, building on the existing rules and procedures. CSF flagship initiatives would be another focus (flagship initiatives to include: elections; anti-corruption; media freedom; visa liberalisation; monitoring of bilateral agreements).
Submissions were to be formulated towards the consultation on the Eastern Partnership Roadmap, and to be encouraged from the national platforms, under preparation by the European Commission. The Steering Committee would focus on key external relations partners, including Euronest, and would submit two proposals – partners to be chosen through consultation with the national platforms – to the European Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility.
The procedures for selection of participants in the 2012 Forum annual event were finalised, pending approval of the European Commission, and the call for applications will be launched in the second week of May 2012.
A summary of the decisions of each meeting is downloadable here:
31 May 2012: Platform 2 intergovernmental meeting: Brussels
6 June 2012: WG1 CSF meeting: Brussels
7 June 2012: Platform 1 intergovernmental meeting: Brussels
18 June 2012: Platform 3 intergovernmental meeting: Brussels
21 June 2012: Platform 4 intergovernmental meeting: Brussels
9 July 2012: WG2 CSF meeting: Brussels
17-18 July 2012: EAP CSF Steering Committee meeting, Brussels
The EU has welcomed efforts by the Armenian authorities to hold the recent parliamentary elections “in a way which represents progress towards more transparent and competitive elections”, while saying a number of issues remained to be addressed.
In a joint statement today, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton,and Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, said: “The European Union takes note of the preliminary results of the parliamentary elections held on 6 May and welcomes the statement of preliminary findings and conclusions of the International Election Observation Mission on the conduct of elections.”
They added: “We welcome the efforts by the Armenian authorities to hold these parliamentary elections in a way which represents progress towards more transparent and competitive elections. However, the elections also demonstrated the need to address a number of issues in order to fully meet internationally recognized democratic standards.”They urged the Armenian authorities to address the shortcomings identified by the OSCE/ODIHR as a matter of priority, ahead of the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for 2013.
“At the same time,” the joint statement added, “we welcome that six political parties will be represented in the National Assembly. This is a positive step towards the development of a pluralistic and democratic political culture in Armenia.”
“The EU urges all political forces to refrain from unlawful acts and pursue political dialogue. The constructive dialogue between authorities and the opposition is very important for the consolidation of stability in the country,” Ashton and Füle concluded. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Europe Day celebrated in Yerevan
On the sidelines of the celebrations the cultural diversity of Europe – Polish and Greek dances, Lithuanian hand-made works were presented.
Some of the present participated in a quiz the winners of which tasted different European dishes.
“Europe Day is an important event for the EU countries. It marks not only the start of the European integration process but symbolizes the general European values. We mark this Day in Armenia and are full of hope that all the participants of the celebrations and especially the young people will get new information about the European Union and Armenia-EU relations”, head of the EU delegation to Armenia Traian Hristea said.
Works implemented in different spheres with the assistance of the EU delegation were presented in a form of books, studies on human rights, nature protection, education, etc.
The guests of the event communicated with the ambassadors of the European countries and addressed questions about the EU-Armenia relations.
In Europe, Europe Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe. There are two separate designations of Europe Day: 5 May for the Council of Europe, and 9 May for the European Union (EU). For the EU, the day is also known as Schuman Day, commemorating the historical declaration by French foreign minister Robert Schuman.
The Council of Europe’s day reflects its own establishment in 1949, while the European Union’s day celebrates the day the EU’s predecessor was proposed in 1950. Europe Day is one of a number of European symbols designed to foster unity among Europeans.
Creation of large-scale paintings by young artists reflecting Europe dedicated to Europe Day
© PanARMENIAN Photo / Hrant Khachatryan