On October 30, 2014 assembly of the EaP CSF Armenian National platform was held in Hrazdan hotel, Yerevan. The main topic of the meeting was introduction of a number of new projects aimed at strengthening the CS field in Armenia and implemented in cooperation with Armenian CSOs. In particular, the project “Support to democratic governance in Armenia” implemented by the British Council was presented by John Wright, team leader at British Council in Armenia. The meeting further proceed with introduction of another project aimed at CS strengthening – “CSO DePo-CSO development” program by Eurasia Partnership Foundation, presented by Gayane Mkrtchyan. Finally Lilit Chitchyan from Oxfam Armenian office and Karine Harutyunyan from Economic development and Research centre presented their project “Dialogue for policy improvement and civil society participation”.
The participants further discussed the activities of the Armenian delegation in the upcoming CSF 6th forum in Batumi and nominations for the position of ANP National Coordinator who will be elected in Batumi forum.
Eastern Ukraine: EU deplores Russian support for ‘elections’ in self-proclaimed ‘republics’
The EU has deplored remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about “Russia’s forthcoming recognition of the elections ‘on the territory of the proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics’ in the context of the implementation of the Minsk Protocol”, saying such elections would actually run counter to the letter and spirit of the Minsk Protocol.
A statement by the spokesperson of the EU External Action Service said: “We recall that the Minsk Protocol, co-signed by representatives of the Russian Federation and the two self-proclaimed ‘republics’, foresees early local elections in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in accordance with the Ukrainian law on interim self-governance.”
It added: “The holding of ‘presidential’ and ‘parliamentary’ elections, called by the self-appointed authorities, would run counter to the letter and the spirit of the Minsk Protocol and disrupt progress towards finding a sustainable political solution in this framework.”
The EU would not recognise such elections the statement said, adding: “We urge Russia to use its influence to help pave the way towards local elections in accordance with the Ukrainian law. This would be a highly welcome contribution to the implementation of the Minsk Protocol.” (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Georgia has come one step closer towards the goal of a visa free regime with the European Union, after the European Commission today adopted its second progress report on the implementation by Georgia of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP).
The report concludes that Georgia meets the first-phase requirements of the visa dialogue. The second phase, where the Commission will be checking the implementation of all these benchmarks, can now be launched.
“I am pleased with the results of our assessment and would like to congratulate the Georgian authorities for their efforts. They have shown remarkable commitment by putting in place the required legislative changes. This is a significant achievement, an important step in the process that will bring Georgia closer to its goal of visa free regime with the EU”, said Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström.
Since the last Commission report issued in November 2013, Georgia has adopted laws in the fields of document security, asylum, anti-corruption and money laundering, as well as other measures in order to address the identified gaps. Important changes made to the legal framework for the protection of personal data during the summer of 2014 and the adoption and entry into force of an Anti-Discrimination Law in spring 2014 are also testimony to Georgia’s commitment to the Visa Liberalisation Dialogue.
A European Commission press release said the Georgian authorities would be expected to continue working on these areas, and that the implementation of the new provisions would be further monitored as part of the second-phase benchmarks.
“The Commission stands ready to provide assistance on the implementation of the legislative, policy and institutional framework,” it added.
The enhanced mobility of citizens in a secure and well-managed environment is one of the core objectives of the Eastern Partnership. To this end, the EU carries out Visa Liberalisation Dialogues with interested partner countries. The main tool of the dialogue is the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan which is tailor-made for each partner country and structured around four blocks concerning i) document security, including biometrics; ii) integrated border management, migration management, asylum; iii) public order and security; and iv) external relations and fundamental rights. (EU Neighbourhood Info)