IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Working Group 4 Annual Meeting Report
Taking place in Brussels on 16-17 June 2015, the meeting brought together 40 working group participants and EU officials from the European Commission and EU organisations (European Seniors Union, Age Platform Europe, European Association for the Education of Adults).
The objectives of the meeting were to:
The first part of the meeting focused on updates on policies and projects/actions happening in EaP on Platform 4 areas. Priorities and future plans as well as EaP countries’ participation in EU Programmes and Instruments were also on the agenda. The rest of the conference involved a mix of inputs from EaP National Platforms, and EU institutions and CSO representatives, focusing on finding ways to best communicate the benefits of the Eastern Partnership and ensure the approximation of policies to the EU acquis. The conference concluded with the final messages of the subgroups coordinators as well as discussion on joint projects and activities.
During the panel on communication strategy of the Eastern Partnership Dearbhla Doyle from EEAS commented: “The civil society could help with raising awareness among the population in terms of developing critical thinking”.
“It is useful to communicate with the authorities and the government, however, we must be aware that GONGOs destroy the system and the work of the civil society,” underlined Tatiana Poshevalova (Belarusian NP) commenting on the youth policy approximation to the EU acquis in the EaP countries.
A number of challenges were identified during the panel on creating a cultural shift in the EaP societies while Ihor Savchak (Ukrainian NP) stressed: “60% of the population in the EaP countries identify themselves with Russian culture and this highlights how big a role cultural association and background plays in people’s political choices.”
Addressing the participants during the panel on strengthening platforms of seniors and the value of adult learning Tatiana Zialko (Belarusian NP) highlighted: “It is highly important to have a platform of cooperation between EU and EaP as people who have lived for 70 years in the Soviet Union share different values than the young generations.”
WG4 Meeting Presentations: