Source: EU News, issue 5, July 2009.
In its Communication of December 2008 on the Eastern partnership, the Commission proposed “to support the further development of Civil Society Organisations” (CSOs) and, in particular, “to establish an Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum to promote contacts among CSOs and facilitate their dialogue with public authorities”.
To ensure transparency of the process leading to the establishment of the Civil Society Forum, all interested parties were invited to provide their opinion. The consultation process started on 25 March and was closed on 25 April. Some 40 contributions were received, mainly from civil society organisations based in the Eastern Partner countries but also from several EU-based organisations. A reasoned analysis of the contributions received can be found under Results of the consultations with CSOs and NGOs.
In the Eastern Partnership joint Prague Declaration, from 7 May 2009, “the participants of the Prague Summit invited the European Commission to develop and propose modalities for the establishment of a Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership”. The Commission proposed the following Concept-paper.
On June 29 the Commission invited all interested parties, i.e. grass roots organisations, trade unions, employers' organisations, professional associations, NGOs, think-tanks, non-profit foundations, national and international CSOs/networks and other relevant Civil Society actors, to submit their Expressions of interest to participate in the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, using the following form. Note that information and the form are also available in Russian here.
The deadline for submission of expressions of interest is set at 31 August 2009.
The European Commission, together with the EU Presidency and the European Economic and Social Committee, will organise the launch of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in mid-November 2009 in Brussels.
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