IN THE SPOTLIGHT
EaP CSF Azerbaijan National Platform held a conference in Baku
Delegation of the European Union in Azerbaijan, National Platform of EaP CSF and Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized meeting “Baku Civil Society Forum” on 16th September, 2011 with participation of representatives of civil society organizations and different governmental bodies. The aim if the conference was to discuss proposals position to be presented in the side event of EaP Summit – “The Eastern Partnership Conference: towards a European Community of democracy, prosperity and a stronger civil society”, will be held in Warsaw on 29 September 2011.
“Democratic reforms can not be held without the involvement of civil society. The European Union is ready to support these reforms,” said the Polish Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Michal Labenda.
Head of the EU mission to Azerbaijan, Roland Kobia, said that the development of cooperation with both the government and civil society is significant for the EU. He called upon civil society representatives to make their inputs and proposals for the EaP Summit in Warsaw.
The head of the league of protection of labor rights Sahib Mammadov, speaking on “Human Rights and Democracy” said that civil society proposed to strengthen the guarantees of freedom of association, supporting the simplification of NGO registration and the introduction of a notification system instead of permits. He also emphasized that restrictions to freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and freedom of religion must be eliminated.
The head of the Center for Economic and Social Development, Vugar Bayramov proposed liberalizing economic relations in the country, adopting the Code of Competition and a new Customs Code, simplifying bureaucratic customs procedures in foreign trade, protecting property rights, facilitating access by small businesses to financial resources and increasing transparency in the allocation of credit in the National Endowment for Entrepreneurs.
A report on “Environment and Energy Security” was presented by the head of the Centre for Economic Reforms, Gubad Ibadoglu. Open Society Institute representative Jahangir Salimkhanov emphasized the importance of simplifying visa regime for students, civil society activists, journalists, athletes, and employees working in scientific and cultural areas.