IN THE SPOTLIGHT
CSF presentation at Informal Partnership Dialogue in Tbilisi
Krzysztof Bobinski, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the CSF, and Manana Kochladze, Coordinator of the Georgian National Platform of the CSF, met with Commissioner Füle and Foreign Ministers of Eastern Partnership countries during the Eastern Partnership Informal Dialogue in Tbilisi on 12-13 February 2013.
Ahead of the Meeting during a working lunch hosted by the Georgian Government, Commissioner Füle stressed the importance of the CSF to the Eastern Partnership process and especially emphasized the important role of the National Platforms. He saw the CSF as a major element of the "reshaping of the post soviet region" and welcomed the fact that the establishment of a Secretariat will provide further focus.
During his speech at the meeting Mr Bobinski thanked the European Commission and Commissioner Füle especially for the support given to the CSF. He saw the mission of the CSF to monitor, advise and advocate solutions about issues raised by the EaP process as well as to serve as a platform for the exchange of opinions. He underlined the need for civil society organizations to be genuinely independent and warned against tendencies in some countries that would weaken this independence.
The CSF is concerned to play a constructive role in the EaP process but success of this process depends on progress towards free and fair elections, media freedom and the fight against corruption, which are all issues of major concern to the CSF.
Mr Bobinski reminded of the call of the Steering Committee towards the Azerbaijani authorities to engage in a true dialogue with civil society and opposition in the wake of unrest in Ismayilli and reminded all participants that there should be no political prisoners or victims of "selective justice" in the partner countries.
Please find the full speech delivered by Mr Bobinski here.