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IPA at the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and EU-Russia Civil Society Forum

Two very important events for the development of civil society in Eastern Europe took place this November – the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum from 20th–21th  of November in Batumi (Georgia) and the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum  from the 26th-29th  of November in  Tallinn (Estonia). 

Łukasz Wenerski, Analyst/Project Coordinator from the European Program represented  IPA in Batumi as well as in Tallinn. At the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum representatives of NGOs from different EU countries and the six Eastern Partnership countries were meeting each other. Due to the current events in Ukraine most of the meeting was dedicated to this country, but the situation in other Eastern Partnership states was also analyzed. The big differences among the Eastern Partnership states have been pointed out - Ukraine, Moldavia and Georgia signed the EU Association Agreement, while at the same time in Armenia, Belarus and Azerbaijan  the situation of civil society is not improving (or even deteriorates in the case of Azerbaijan). At the same time the participants underlined that despite the huge differences among the Eastern  Partnership states the EP initiative (with its support mechanism for the functioning of the civil society) must not only be continued, but even strengthened, because it consist an important accelerator for change in those countries. The participants discussed also the future development strategy of the Forum during the meeting in Batumi. One of the approved changes is the new shape of the Steering Committee of the Forum.
A big part of the meeting during the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum was dedicated to the worsening situation in Russia and the increasing problems with which the Russian NGOs have to deal with. Another topic of the meeting was the role of the  Russian Federation in the current conflict in Ukraine. During the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum  Łukasz Wenerski  has been elected to become the coordinator of the working group “Democratic structures and processes”.

Read more about  the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum: http://eap-csf.eu/
Read more about the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum: http://www.eu-russia-csf.org/
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