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New ENP and Civil Society’s Place in Focus of the 7th EaP CSF Annual Assembly

7th assambThe 7th EaP CSF Annual Assembly was held in Kyiv on 19-21 November attracting around 300 participants, observers and guests who attended more than 20 sessions and a Networking Fair in the framework of the Assembly. The event was opened by the Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk and Steering Committee Member Mikayel Hovhannisyan.

Nine resolutions were adopted by the General Assembly as the highest decision-making body of the Forum. This year, the topics of major concern for the EaP CSF were conditions for civil society in Azerbaijan, constitutional reform in Armenia, political situation in Moldova, students’ rights in Belarus, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, food safety, climate change, reopening Erasmus+ EaP Youth Window and UK’s participation in the European Convention on Human Rights.

At the end of the 3-day event the participants elected the new EaP CSF Steering Committee 2015-2016with a mandate from civil society of the EaP countries and EU member states to serve as the governing board of the Forum during a one-year term.

During the opening ceremony the co-chair Krzysztof Bobiński on behalf of the Steering Committee presented a special award to the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel in recognition of her contribution to the European Union’s Eastern Partnership policy. The award was received by the German Ambassador to Ukraine Dr Christof Weil.

“Everyone benefits when civil society is strong, proactive and independent. Democratic governments know they are stronger when they listen to you,” said Commissioner Hahn during the opening session, adding that the EU had substantially increased its financial support through the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility, benefiting more than 200 organisations across the region.

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