Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Co-Chair of EaP CSF Steering Committee delivers speech at EaP Ministerial in Baku

Co-chair of the Steering Committee of the EaP CSF, Vugar Bayramov, delivered a speech in Baku today at the informal ministerial meeting  of foreign affairs and energy ministers of the EU and Partner Countries, in which he addressed the high officials on the importance of the EU engagement in the regional security, human rights and common approach to EU-EaP energy security. He also stressed the importance of civil society in driving democratic reforms and promoting government accountability as well as prospects for the EU’s relations with the Eastern neighbourhood. 

“Civil society organizations are drivers of democratic reforms and hold governments accountable to their promises and we welcome the increased engagement with both EU and Eastern Partnership governments in the governmental platforms and ministerial meetings” said Mr. Bayramov in his speech to the ministers.

Along with re-affirming the important role of civil society, Mr. Bayramov’s speech on behalf of the Steering Committee of the EaP CSF, called for:

  • International and humanitarian aid and political support  to stop the loss of human life and emerging refugee crisis on the EU’s doorstep in Ukraine
  • Greater prominence to regional security, stability and democracy as shared priorities for EU member states and the partner countries during Latvian EU Council Presidency in 2015.
  • Partner countries in the Eastern neighbourhood to sign a Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms – enshrining promotion and protection of human rights, freedoms of association, assembly and speech, and free and fair elections
  • New impetus to the multilateral track of the Eastern Partnership, including agreement on more economic incentives
  • Enhanced integration of Eastern partner governments into the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CDSP)
  • Increased EU engagement in the resolution of frozen conflicts (Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia)
  • A common approach for joint energy security policy in the format of EU+EaP to decrease Russia’s political leverage on Eastern Partners and EU members
  • Consideration on the creation of an EU investment fund for Eastern Partners

The meeting in Baku was attended by ministers from the Eastern Partnership countries, as well as EU Commissioner for Enlargement and EU neighbourhood policy,  Štefan Füle and Deputy Secretary-General for the European External Action Service, Helga Schmid.

Full speech

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