Tallinn Hosts Annual Meeting of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Baku / 25.10.17 / Turan: Within the framework of Estonia's Presidency of the European Union, the 9th annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum will be held in Tallinn along with the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference on October 25-27.

Within the framework of the three-day event, under the slogan Tangible Results for People: Envisioning the Eastern Partnership in 2020 and Beyond, the focus will be on the future of the Eastern Partnership policy and on the contribution of civil society to better governance in the countries participating in the program.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said: "Civil society representatives are the best sponsors and monitors of much-needed reforms in the Eastern Partnership countries. They are voices against corruption and for transparency and an essential force in our daily work on so many issues, from fighting violence against women, to improving the media environment. We are partners, and we need each other to reach our common goals and to make the Eastern Partnership deliver."

The Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, stressed: "We are delivering on our promise to follow social innovation trends in our broadened support to civil society. Partnerships with key civil society actors, strong leadership and more efficient tools to advance the governance role of civil society organisations are all part our revamped toolbox. Together with partner governments, civil society in the Eastern partner countries will bring us closer to citizens in areas that make most difference for their lives."

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Steering Committee Co-chair Hennadiy Maksak said: "Civil society believes in the European future of the Eastern partner countries, based on shared values, rule of law and respect for democratic principles and public accountability. It is of crucial importance to create an enabling environment for the civil society, allowing it to engage in the reform agenda."

The conference in Tallinn will provide a platform for discussions on better governance, dialogue between government and civil society, the use of technologies to increase government transparency and inclusive approaches to economic development.

A Civil Society Declaration will be adopted to identify and remove the main obstacles to democratic development, to make recommendations on measures that governments and civil society can jointly implement.

In 2014-2016 the EU identified over 600 Eastern Partnership organizations to finance 260 projects.

The Eastern Partnership Program includes Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. -03D-

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