On June 6, 2012 the meeting of the Working Group 1: Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF) took place in Brussels with more than 60 representatives attending from of all six EaP countries, as well as from some EU member states. Konstantinos Vardakis welcomed the participants on behalf of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and spoke of the most recent assessment of the Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Programme. Monica Bucurenciu from the European Commission’s Development and Cooperation DG (DEVCO) updated the audience on the Civil Society Facility instrument. 191 concept notes were received in January, she said: 37 of them were pre-selected for the next round, 17 of which will be supported for projects in countries of the Eastern neighbourhood.
The coordinators of WG1 told the participants about the activities of working group, and discussed with fund-raising possibilities and accepted/declined project proposals. National coordinators then reported about the activities of the National Platforms in the six EaP countries.
In the second part of the meeting the participants worked in six thematic sub-groups and adopted a number of resolutions and prepared statements. The anti corruption sub group drew attention to political corruption during election campaigns and also drew attention to corruption in the energy sector and in disbursement of EU funds. At the same time the meeting produced a statement calling on the authorities in Georgia to deliver the conditions for a free and fair election this autumn. Also there was a resolution which was critical of the conduct by the authorities of the May 6 election in Armenia.
The local government sub group called for reforms including fiscal decentralization. The visa facilitation group outlined progress which being made as well as delays in visa policy. The judiciary sub group is working for judicial independence. The human rights sub group called on the EU to stand by its declared support for human rights in the EaP countries. The media sub group said it is working to prepare model media laws as well as to monitor media freedom with a methodology which would reflect the special conditions in the EaP countries. The meeting also called on the Azerbaijani government not to pass amendments to freedom of information laws which would limit access to data on private companies and make it more difficult to monitor corrupt practices. Finally the meeting appealed an end to growing cease fire violations on the Armenian-Azeri cease fire line.
You can find the full text of the report here.