ArmInfo. The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) sent a message in connection with the start of the new architecture (format) of the EaP.
In particular, CSF EaP expressed its willingness to share ideas and present commitments as a civil society, and to participate in the implementation of a new format. The EaP CSF emphasizes that the participation of civil society is crucial in terms of government accountability, as well as for the protection of human rights, transparency and democratic governance. "The agenda for reform of partnership priorities 2020 can work only if they are supported by democratic changes in the political leadership of the Eastern Partnership countries, and if the EU member states and institutions are consistent in this matter," the statement says, and at the same time it is emphasized that in the three partner countries there are positive trends already being implemented by the relevant points of the Association Agreement, but there are a number of challenges in the region.
So, according to the EaP CSF, in Armenia, the EU should stimulate the structural involvement of civil society in the process of preparation and implementation of the road map of the Comprehensive and Extended Partnership Agreement: "The formation of a bilateral civil society platform envisaged by the agreement should be based on the inclusive principles and foundations of pro-European civil society organizations , such as, for example, the National Platform of Armenia-the EaP of the EaP In addition, the recently drafted bill "On structure and activities government "violates the principles of transparency and public accountability, and establishes that the government's sessions should be closed from the day the new Armenian president discharges his duties." Concern is the limitation of the independence of the judiciary, prosecutor's office and intelligence structures when the prerogative of making all decisions and all power are concentrated in the hands of the ruling In addition, political persecutions are still considered a reality in Armenia, for example, the arrest of opposition leader Andrias Ghukasian.
Touching upon the situation in Azerbaijan, the EaP of the EaP notes that today the rights of the Azerbaijani journalist, citizen of the Netherlands Fikret Huseynli, detained in Ukraine and violated by extradition to Azerbaijan, are violated. "We carefully follow this matter of concern - this is a test of the rule of law of the Ukrainian authorities: if they allow illegal groups that have received assistance from foreign agents to interfere in their legal processes, their credibility will be seriously damaged." We call on the authorities to take all necessary legal procedures and guarantee the protection of Huseynli's rights, as well as his freedom. " Meanwhile, in the EaP CS, in the part of Belarus, he pointed to the need for special indicators to measure the progress of the EU-Belarus bilateral agenda, while an independent civil society should have a full and equal right to participate in the meetings of the Coordination Group where the archiving should be carried out intermediate results.
In neighboring Georgia, CSFs are concerned about problems related to the independence of the judiciary, the lack of mechanisms for investigating violations by law enforcement agencies, and media pluralism, in particular with respect to Rustavi-2 television. The platform also condemned the incident that led to the death of Georgia's citizen Tatunashvili in South Ossetia.
The CSF also notes that Moldova lags behind the implementation of the agreement on a deep and comprehensive free trade zone (estimated at 66%), and reforms to combat corruption and justice are still incomplete, moreover, the indicators indicate a deterioration in the situation with media freedom , the number of attacks on representatives of civil society has increased.
In Ukraine, the government of the country, in cooperation with civil society and the European Union, should work to ensure freedom and independence of the media, the EaP CSF believes. "We see a new driving force in reforming such areas as public administration, fighting corruption and the judiciary, but we still have a long way to go. Civil society representatives should equally participate in policy-making processes." The EU should strengthen and expand its ties with Ukraine, providing benefits that will be combined with strong agreements, such as the liberalization of the visa regime, "the report says.