Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

EaP CSF Statement on the Joint Principles for establishment of the civil society platforms between EU and Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum welcomes the launch of the process of the establishment of bilateral civil society platforms (CSPs) under the Association Agreements (AAs) between the EU on the one side and Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia on the other side. EaP CSF notes that the provisions of the three Association Agreements with regards to the CSPs lack clarity concerning the basis of establishment of the CSPs, and that this omission needs to be resolved to ensure their effective and accountable implementation. Resolution of the format of the CSPs is needed to resolve the growing dispute over its composition in Ukraine, and to ensure that such disagreements will not be replicated in the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. The AAs envisage that the members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the CSF National Platforms will be responsible for the composition of the CSPs, but do not stipulate the rules governing the CSPs’ composition. The existing provisions of the AAs between the EU and Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia do not give any exclusive rights to the EESC to determine the way in which the partner country composition of CSPs is established nor does it pre-determine their proportional composition. The AAs’ provisions do not stipulate that trade unions, employers’ associations or any other non-governmental actors have the exclusive right to obtain specific quotas in the CSPs. The EESC, however, insists that such quotas must be in place.  The lack of legal clarity and the growing difference in interpretation of the AAs’ provisions might lead to a long-running stalemate that could undermine the establishment of the CSPs and jeopardise the institutional setup of the AAs between the EU and respectively Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia.

Full statement

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