Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Belarusian delegation participating in meeting of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

By Artsyom Shraybman, BelaPAN

A Belarusian delegation is participating in an annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, which began in Chisinau, Moldova, on Friday.

Attending the two-day meeting are more than 250 representatives of civil society groups in the six countries involved in the European Union`s Eastern Partnership program (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine) and also representatives of governments, European institutions and donor agencies, according to the press office of International Consortium EuroBelarus.

The Belarusian delegation includes representatives of the Consortium, the Liberal Club, the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the Movement for Freedom, the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions, and other organizations.

The meeting focuses on the role of civil society in signing association agreements between the EU and several Eastern Partnership participating countries, the press office said. The Forum will also discuss the progress of reform in those countries ahead of an Eastern Partnership summit to be held in Vilnius in November 2013, the press office said.

Stefan Fule, the EU`s commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood policy, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius and officials of the foreign ministries of Eastern Partnership countries spoke during the first panel discussion within the framework of the meeting, Andrey Yahoraw, a member of the Belarusian delegation who heads the Center for European Transformation, told BelaPAN.

The second panel discussion will deal with the state of civil society before and after the Eastern Partnership summit, Mr. Yahoraw said.

According to him, Belarus` national coordinator in the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum will be elected during the meeting.

Established in 2009, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum aims to coordinate civil society organizations’ efforts to democratize Eastern Partnership participating countries and bring them closer to European standards of democracy and human rights.