Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Our History

Our History

The Prague Eastern Partnership Summit of 2009 endorsed the idea of establishing an Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum which would promote contacts among civil society organisations of the Eastern Partnership and facilitate dialogue with public authorities. The aim of the Forum was to facilitate the sharing of information and experience on the partner countries' paths towards transition, reform and modernisation.

Following the European Commission Communication on the Eastern Partnership from December 2008, a Concept Paper on the Civil Society Forum was drafted that favoured a comprehensive approach allowing for the participation of a wide range of CSOs: trade unions, employers' organisations, professional associations, NGOs, think-tanks, non-profit foundations, national and international CSOs/networks, and other relevant civil society actors from Eastern Partnership countries, but also from EU Member States as well as international organisations and networks.

The European Commission underlined that "ongoing reforms [in Eastern Partner countries] require stronger participation of civil society to enhance oversight of public services and strengthen public confidence in them".

It also 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."

In June 2009, all interested parties were invited to submit their expressions of interest to participate in the first EaP CSF Annual Meeting, later renamed General Assembly, in Brussels. Over 200 CSOs attended the first General Assembly on 16-17 November 2009. During the meeting, participants elected the EaP CSF Steering Committee to serve as its governing body.

Since then, the EaP CSF holds an Annual Assembly every autumn and  the Steering Committee meets four times a year. In order to support the work of the Steering Committee, a Secretariat was set up in Brussels, Belgium in August 2012 and has been fully operational since December 2012

EaP CSF at a glance

December 2008

Communication from the European Commission on the Eastern Partnership

March 2009

Consultation process on the creation of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF)

May 2009

Prague Eastern Partnership Summit


Concept paper on the EaP CSF

November 2009

1st EaP CSF General Assembly, Brussels, Belgium

November 2010

2nd EaP CSF General Assembly, Berlin, Germany

November 2011

3rd EaP CSF General Assembly, Poznan, Poland

August 2012

Registration of the EaP CSF Secretariat as a Belgian non-profit organization

November 2012

4th EaP CSF General Assembly, Stockholm, Sweden

December 2012

Start of EaP CSF Secretariat

October 2013

5th EaP CSF General Assembly, Chisinau, Moldova

November 2014

6th EaP CSF General Assembly, Batumi, Georgia

November 2015 7th EaP CSF General Assembly, Kyiv, Ukraine

Project funded by the European UnionEU