The SC launched a strategy discussion on the short- and long-term priorities of the Forum and its role in the EaP. Jeff Lovitt from PASOS and Hrant Kostanyan from CEPS provided input to the discussion. A Task-force to work on the questions raised during the discussion and the strategy was formed.
Furthermore, the SC discussed the Roadmap monitoring project and the project on Strengthening National Platforms with Victor Cotruta from REC Moldova. Working Groups will provide the project with concrete proposals for the use of their respective budget lines within the project by the end of June 2013.
The applications received for the Chisinau Forum on 4-5 October 2013 were discussed and participants as well as observers selected. The results of the selection will be made public as soon as the process has been finalised. The SC prepared a draft agenda for the CSF meeting in Chisinau and discussed organisational details of the event.
Philip Mikos, Head of Unit for Regional Programmes for the Neighbourhood East in DG DEVCO, updated the SC on regional calls for civil society and Martin Hagström from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign affairs informed on Sweden’s views on the EaP. Fraser Cameron from the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum discussed possible ways of cooperation between the two Fora with the SC.
Furthermore, the SC met with the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle, who reiterated his support for civil society at large and the CSF in particular. He informed the SC on his expectations for the Vilnius Summit and the developments within the Eastern Partnership after Vilnius.
Working Group 4 (WG4) on “Contacts between People” held its annual meeting on 14 June 2013 in Brussels in order discuss work done by the sub-groups of WG4 and discuss future activities and priorities of the WG. The meeting was chaired by the Coordinators of WG4 Yaryna Borenko and Nikolai Kvantaliani and gathered around 25 participants of civil society organisations from the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU.
The coordinators posed the following questions for discussion:
- inclusivity of the group
- activation of the work of sub-groups
- coverage of such spheres as research and innovations by the WG
- monitoring of Roadmap items related to the group’s activities
- diversity of the represented organisations and defining a common area of work
- cross cutting issues in the WG’s portfolio with WG1 and WG2
The WG also set the priorities for the year 2014 in the sub-groups on culture, education and youth and decided to improve internal communications.
Civil Society Dialogue inaugurated by “Good Governance and the EU Budget Support in Armenia: A possible involvement of Non – State Actors” meeting
Delegation of the European Union to Armenia
Yerevan, 21 June 2013
Civil Society Organizations, including the members of the Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership, took part in the meeting on Good Governance and the EU Budget Support organized by the EU Delegation to Armenia on 20 June 2013.
The meeting was opened by Traian Hristea, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia. “It is our firm intention to put the CSOs in centre of our dialogue and enhance policy participation of citizens through CSOs” – he said.
Alessandro Zanotta, Project Manager from the EU Delegation to Armenia, presented General Conditions and principles of the EU Budget Support in Armenia and areas that it covers. He underlined the role of the dialogue between all stakeholders in the process of oversight of the budget and explainedthe necessity of CSOs involvement in policy dialogue.
CSOs experience and activities in the area of Good Governance were shared during two presentations held on the behalf of the Working Group 1 of the Armenian National Platform. Varuzhan Hoktanyan, Executive Director of Transparency International tackled the issues of anti-corruption policies and bodies, elections, public procurement and public service. Larisa Minasyan, Executive Director of Open Society Institute AF Armenia, gave a presentation on ICT management and higher education and a specific case of Yerevan city budget formation.
The need of more institutionalized and systemic involvement of the Non-State Actors in policy dialogue around Budget Support eligibility criteria and at the sector level was highlighted during the discussion. The CSOs expressed a view that adoption of laws has to be followed by their implementation. Therefore a monitoring is essential in order to assess how it works in reality. It was agreed that a working group on Budget Support Operations should be created.
Through bi-monthly meetings focusing on a variety of topics and engaging different CSOs, the EU Delegation wishes to strengthen accessibility and quality of information on the EU agenda in Armenia.