Eastern Partnership forum to strengthen trust among civil societies of member countries: Commissioner for External Relations
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 17 / Trend E.Ostapenko /
Civil society forum of the Eastern Partnership has a crucial role to play in holding governments to their reform programmes. The Forum will be important in helping to build confidence among civil society organisations in partner countries, by providing a platform to exchange experience, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner said, the EC reported.
"This civil society dialogue adds a new dimension to the Eastern Partnership, which will enrich in particular our multilateral activities in the program," Ferrero-Waldner said. "The Forum will provide fresh ideas as we work to address the challenges of our partner countries".
More than 200 Civil Society representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, the EU Member States, international organizations and networks as well as third countries are gathering in Brussels on 16-17 November for the first Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.
Altogether 141 organisations from Eastern Partnership countries and 79 from EU Member States and other countries have been invited.
The Forum demonstrates the EU's commitment to take on board the views and ideas of people of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. The Forum will work on recommendations to EaP ministers who will be holding their first working meeting on 8 th December, in particular on priorities for work next year in the EaP multilateral platforms.
The Civil Society Forum will be hosted by the European Commission, the EU Presidency and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). It responds to the need for more direct exchange between civil society actors from EaP countries and EU Member States in order to achieve the goals of the EaP: to promote democracy and good governance, economic integration and convergence with EU policies, energy security and contacts between people.
By supporting civil society dialogue, the EU aims to encourage increased contacts between organizations, and dialogue with national authorities in the partner countries.
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