IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Steering Committee meets in Brussels
On 4-5 February, the Steering Committee of the EaP CSF met in Brussels for its first meeting since being elected. The agenda was dominated by key political issues and moments in the EU – EaP cooperation process, including review of the European Neighbourhood Policy, upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit and events involving civil society as well as key political issues, especially the continuing war in Ukraine.
Emma Udwin, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Hahn and Andrei Yahorau, Co-chair of the Steering Committee
The Steering Committee planned the activities of 2015 for the National Platform regional initiatives and the work of the Working Groups. They also discussed EaP CSF contributions to the current policy agenda for the first half of the year, running up to the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit and beyond. National Platform coordinators shared updates on the priorities in their countries and discussed at length the type of solidarity support that can be offered to Ukrainian people and to the civil society there. In short, the Armenian NP is focusing on mobilising public opinion and CSO support for a pro-EU reform agenda, the Azeri NP is coping with the pressure on civil society organisations, the Georgian NP is reaching out to regional and grassroots organisations outside the capital and has opened an office in the national Parliament to facilitate policy and advocacy work on the country’s AA and DCFTA implementation, the Moldovan NP is keeping the pressure on the Parliamentary parties to create a pro-EU government and to put political commitment to continuing the AA and DCFTA implementation, and finally the Ukrainian NP is highly mobilised on a wide range of issues dealing with the war with Russia and the big reform agenda.
Heidi Hautala and Petras Austrevicius, Members of European Parliment
The agenda also involved several meetings with representatives of EEAS, DG Near and with Members of European parliament, including Richard Tibbles from EaP, Regional Cooperation and OSCE Division at EEAS, Frederic Schwandt (EEAS; ENP Division), Emma Udwin (Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Hahn) as well as with MEPs Heidi Hautala (Greens and European Free Alliance) and Petras Auštrevičius (ALDE). The exchange of views covered all aspects of EU-EaP cooperation on regional and bilateral level as well as the war in Ukraine.
Finally, the Steering Committee decided to hold its next meeting in Riga, prior to the Eastern Partnership Summit and the Civil Society Events, to ensure active engagement with that key political forum.
Richard Tibbels, Head of the Division, European Neighbourhood Policy, EEAS
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