Civil society and non-governmental organisations have a crucial role to play in society. They provide policy input, new initiatives and hold governments accountable. They can be active actors in promoting democratic and market-oriented reforms based on shared values, i.e. respect for democracy and human rights, the rule of law, good governance, principles of market economy and sustainable development. These are also the values and objectives of the Eastern Partnership.
In its Communication of December 2008 the European Commission proposed “to support the further development of Civil Society Organisations” (CSOs) and, in particular, “to establish an Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF) to promote contacts among CSOs and facilitate their dialogue with public authorities”.
To ensure transparency of the process leading to the establishment of the Forum, all interested parties were invited to provide their opinion. The consultation process ended in April 2008. Some 40 contributions were received, mainly from CSOs based in the Eastern Partner countries but also from several EU-based organisations. Analysis of the contributions: Results of consultations [20 KB] .
In May 2009, the proposal to establish a Civil Society Forum was endorsed by the Prague Summit, where the Eastern Partnership was launched. In a joint declaration, Summit "invited the European Commission to develop and propose modalities for the establishment of a Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership". In response to this, the European Commission proposed a Concept-paper [39 KB] .
On June 29, 2009, all interested parties were invited to submit their expressions of interest to participate in the first Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. The second Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum was held in Berlin on 18-19 November 2010.
To learn more about the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum activities, please visit the new CSF website: http://www.eap-csf.eu/