IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Speech delivered by the EaP CSF Steering Committee at Eastern Partnership Informal Ministerial on Education in Yerevan
Today, the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum addressed Commissioner Füle and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Eastern Partnership countries at Eastern Partnership Informal Ministerial on Education in Yerevan.
‘We are all aware that we are meeting at an important time for the Partnership. The Vilnius summit will take place at the end of November this year and the Civil Society Forum will be holding its fifth annual meeting in Chisinau at the beginning of next month. Progress in the Eastern Partnership will be assessed at both meetings in an atmosphere of some uncertainty’, said Gevorg Ter-Gabrielyan, a representative from the Steering Committee. ‘But the future of the Partnership seems less clear with the sudden decision by Serj Sargasyan, President of the Republic of Armenia, to join the Russian sponsored Customs Union and constant political and economic pressure by Moscow on EaP states to abandon their pro-European policies’, he added.
He also talked about ‘reports of attacks by ‘unknown assailants’ as well as intimidation by police officers of civic activists who have been protesting about transportation price rises in Armenia. And stressed about the CSF support on the appeal by Armenian NGOs to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights to intervene and persuade the authorities to put an end to these incidents and to catch and punish the perpetrators.
On behalf of the Steering Committee Gevorg Ter-Gabrielyan wished Commissioner Stefan Füle, the European Commission and European External Action Service every success in their efforts to defend the Eastern Partnership against its enemies and to keep the policy on track in Armenia and elsewhere.
‘There is much more at stake than just signing free trade agreements. It is about building stable societies in which everyone feels they have a stake in their future and which are ruled through a process of dialogue and debate rather than the power of the fist. It is about the long term security of the societies which have emerged from the Soviet Union and which have earned the right to a happy future’.