IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Working Groups of the EaP CSF launch their projects
The EC-funded project “Strengthening the capacities of the National Platforms (NP) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF)”, which aims to strengthen and promote civil society organisations’ role in reforms and democratic changes in the EaP countries, is supporting small projects of EaP CSF’s Working Groups. Most of the Working groups have finalised the development of their projects and their implementation has already started.
Three initiatives to be carried out by the participants of Working Group 1 ‘Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability’ will focus on improving the execution of European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) judgements in the EaP countries, monitoring of the EU budget support and on the election monitoring in the EaP countries.
The project to improve execution of ECHR judgements in the EaP will strengthen the capacities of NGOs and human rights lawyers on the execution of the ECHR judgments both nationally and internationally; and will engage in joint advocacy and contribute to a better execution of ECHR judgments on common issues in the EaP countries. The project will be implemented by Legal Education Society (Azerbaijan), Human Rights Embassy (Moldova), Helsinki Citizens Assembly Vanadzor (Armenia), Human Rights House Tbilisi, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.
Eleven human rights lawyers and NGO representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have already been trained to engage in the execution process of judgments of the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR). The training has been organized by the Legal Education Society (Azerbaijan), in cooperation with the Human Rights House Tbilisi. The participants have improved their knowledge on how civil society can follow up on ECHR judgments internationally before the Committee of Ministers (CoM) of the Council of Europe (CoE). With the CoE reforms in 2010, the dialogue of CoM with governments on the ECHR execution process became much more transparent and civil society was given a possibility to provide its input on the steps taken by respective governments training participants have also discussed the best strategies to foster the execution of judgements on a national level. The activities of the project will also include training for human rights lawyers and NGOs nationally, as well as consultations with lawyers and NGOs preparing individual communications. Finally, there will be a training for journalists on ECHR judgments.
Lead by Open Society Foundation NGO, Ukraine “EU Budget Support to Eastern Partnership Countries: Civil Monitoring and Evaluation” project will monitor the quantity and effectiveness of the EU Development and Cooperation Instrument (DCI) thematic programme ‘Non-state actors – Local authorities’ and focus on indirect state budget support to the EaP countries and, where necessary, describe the state of play, amounts provided and policy impact achieved. It also seeks to inspire further civil society activities aimed at a more transparent, efficient and accountable use of budget support by beneficiaries.
“Comparative elections observation” project implemented by the European Initiative Liberal Academy from Tbilisi, Georgia aims to provide a comparative analysis of 2013-2014 elections in selected EaP countries, including a comparative assessment of the extent of their freedom and fairness. This initiative has proven to be successfully implemented previously by the sub-group of Election Monitoring within the Working Group.
Working Group 2 ‘Economic Integration and Convergence with EU legislation’ projects will focus on the opportunities and challenges facing exploring expectations of SMEs in EaP countries before and after DCFTA signing and bringing to stakeholders recommendations for policy improvement.
Working Group 3 Environment, Climate Change & Energy Security has approved two projects: the first focuses on the monitoring of energy sector policies and will be implemented by the Sustainable Development Society (Azerbaijan) while the second involves Eco - Team from Armenia, which will mainstream its activities on the topics of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The projects and their respective implementing organisations will present their activities and results at the sixth Annual Assembly in Batumi, Georgia. The overall budget of the small projects, implemented by Working Groups, amounts to over 120.000 euros.