European Neighbourhood Policy: More flexibility and regional involvement for putting down roots in the ground
Local and regional politicians across Europe adopted an opinion on the successful implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) at the December plenary of the Committee of the Regions (CoR).
The opinion, drafted by Olgierd Geblewicz (PL/EPP), Marshal of the West Pomerania region, calls for more flexibility, regional funding and an appropriate involvement of regional and local authorities.
The Communication issued by the European Commission in March 2014 points out the vital role that the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has to play in supporting the process of democratic changes and economic reforms in the partner countries. At the December plenary of the CoR local and regional politicians from across Europe made recommendations for a successful implementation of the ENP.
“The success of the ENP depends to a large extent on the ability and the commitment of governments to reform and deepen relations with the EU. For this, the involvement of the regional and local level both in the EU and in the ENP countries is urgently needed in order to improve the design, implementation and acceptance of the ENP on the ground. This is where the envisaged deeper relationships between the EU and the neighbourhood countries have to take root”, said Olgierd Geblewicz (PL/EPP), member of the CoR and Marshal of the West Pomerania region.
The CoR members recommended more flexible action, together with a customised, “tailor-made” approach to supporting democratic changes and economic reforms in the individual beneficiary countries, and easier access to funding for local and regional authorities (LRAs), as well as simplification of mechanisms and procedures.
“Regional development in partner countries should be a key goal for EU funding, with clearly defined criteria for its use based on defined and agreed regional development strategies. We are offering our expertise in designing such criteria and application procedures to ensure that the money given to European Neighbourhood countries is accessible and useful for local and regional authorities. They also have to be given responsibility for the organisation and the outcomes of their projects and need to be appropriately represented in the monitoring bodies”, explained Olgierd Geblewicz.
The CoR also highlighted the importance of democracy building and decentralisation of power for countries of the Eastern Partnership region and the Mediterranean basin. “The ENP is an excellent initiative to support those processes, and the conferences of ARLEM and CORLEAP, both set up by the CoR to bring local and regional representatives from the EU and the neighbouring countries together, offer a good platform for exchanging experiences and promoting the partnership as well as the process of democracy building”, said Olgierd Geblewicz. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Eastern Partnership Panel on Migration and Asylum: experts to discuss credibility assessments in asylum procedures
Practices and experience in conducting credibility assessments in asylum procedures will be on the agenda of an expert meeting of the Eastern Partnership Panel on Migration and Asylum that will take place on 8-9 December in The Hague in the Netherlands.
The topics will include:
- The concept of credibility and its theoretical basis of credibility assessment in the EU member states and EaP countries.
- Methods for establishing the credibility, role of country of origin information and document analysis.
- Credibility in different procedures.
The meeting will be hosted jointly by the Netherlands and Georgia and supported by the European Commission. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Eastern Partnership Panel on Migration and Asylum website
The Secretariat of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) is accepting applications for an internship. The Intern will assist the Director of the Secretariat and the Communications Manager in administrative, policy and communication related tasks.
Job location: Brussels, Belgium
Starting date: end of January 2015
Duration: 6 months
The Intern will:
- Have basic understanding of the workings of the EU, bilateral and multi-lateral tracks of the Eastern Partnership, and civil society involvement in the Eastern Partnership
- Be a recent graduate of European Studies, International Relations, Public relations or other related field
- Be fluent in English and able to interact verbally and in writing with professionalism; Russian as a native language is an advantage
- Be an independent, problem solver, team player
- Be flexible to perform a wide variety of tasks in a small office
- Support the organisation of various events and in particular Working Group meetings and advocacy events of the Forum
- Participation in events related to the Eastern Partnership in Brussels and minutes taking
- Prehss monitoring of important information on the Eastern Partnership and Partner countries
- Drafting articles for the EaP CSF website and posting them
- General assistance in administrative tasks, and logistics
- Working on the EaP CSF membership database, work with distribution platforms and mailing lists.
CV and motivation letter should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight CET 14 December with the reference: “Internship”. Only candidates selected for interview will be contacted. The interviews will be conducted in Brussels or via Skype.
Please note that this internship is unpaid.
About the Forum and the Secretariat
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) was established in 2009 and aims to support Eastern European countries’ sustainable reform process with a view to accelerating their political association and economic integration with the EU. The Forum strengthens the diversity and plurality of public discourse and policymaking by holding governments and public authorities accountable to the commitments made in the joint declaration of the Prague Eastern Partnership summit, signed by the EU and the governments of the six Partner countries. See www.eap-csf.eu for further details.
The Secretariat of the Forum was registered in 2012 as an international non-profit organisation in Brussels, Belgium. The Secretariat serves as an information, coordination and expertise hub for the participants of the Forum, the bodies of the Forum, and stakeholders in Brussels and Eastern Partnership countries. It works to support the activities of the Steering Committee and enhance the visibility of the Forum.