Proposals of the EaP Civil Society Forum Steering Committee to the Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting in Brussels
The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in the presentation held by Leila Alieva during the EaP Ministerial Meeting in Brussels yesterday wishes to reiterate its support for the Eastern Partnership as an effective mechanism of promoting democratic reforms, including the establishment of the rule of law and sustainable market mechanisms, in the six Eastern Partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine) and conveys a number of proposals.
Stressing that closer economic integration must go hand in hand with strategic focus on human rights, civil liberties and joint security in next phase of Eastern Partnership and hoping that the EU member states and EU Council will build on the sanctions imposed to date to send a clear, consistent and united signal to the Russian government that its military interference in Ukraine, both its annexation of Crimea and arming of separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, is illegal and unacceptable,
Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum proposes:
- appointment of European Commissioner for Civil Society and Human Rights,
- immediate release of all political prisoners in Partner countries,
- strong support for unity of Ukraine against Russian interference and aggression,
- greater defence and security co-operation, including joint energy security policy, between EU and Partner countries
In order for reforms in Eastern Partnership countries to be successful, a stronger participation of civil society is needed so as to enhance the oversight of public services and strengthen public confidence in those services. The European Union has been consistent in supporting civil society organizations in partner countries, in both political and financial terms. A new press pack from the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre highlights cooperation between the EU and its Eastern Neighbours to support civil society and provides examples of programmes on the ground.
The press pack brings together the main facts and figures, and includes links to success stories, publications, photos and videos, and useful links and documents.
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre webpage – Civil Society and Local Authorities
EuropeAid – Civil Society and Local Authorities