Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

The third Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum took place in Poznan, Poland from 28 to 30 November. The president of AEGEE-Europe Alfredo Sellitti and the President of AEGEE-Yerevan Shushan Khachatryan participated in the forum for the first time on behalf of AEGEE.

The Civil Society Forum is an integral part of the Eastern Partnership programme. Every year it is held in a country currently presiding over the Council of the European Union. The main task of the event was to discuss problems of non-governmental organisations and civil societies in the Eastern Partnership countries.  The discussion was held in a large circle of activists, community workers, experts and politicians.

This year the speakers and participants highlighted the importance of the efforts the EU Polish Presidency invests in Eastern Partnership in general and the respective Civil Society Forum in particular. Over 300 delegates from 150 organisations assembled.

Four working groups currently exist in frames of the forum and they are:

WG 1. Democracy, human rights, good governance and stability

WG 2. Economic integration and convergence with EU policies

WG 3. Environment, climate change and energy security

WG 4. Contacts between people

AEGEE was involved in the forth Working Group. One of the progresses of this working group was the formation of Youth subgroup, where there have been many discussions about the future activities mainly addressing the cooperation of youth in Eastern Partnership Countries and EU member states.

The forum elected the new steering committee which would coordinate the forum until November 2012.

AEGEE emphasises the importance of participation in this forum as AEGEE locals in Eastern Partnership Countries are an integral part of our AEGEE network. Furthermore, AEGEE plans a number of activities to address young people in these countries of its focus area (Bridging Europe) and the new “Eastern Partnership Project” initiated by AEGEE members. Consequently, as a part of the forum we think that more youth NGO-s should be given the opportunity to be involved in the forum and contribute to the discussions of the working group both on local and European level.

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Written by Shushan Khachatryan, AEGEE-Yerevan

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