Conference of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Armenian National Platform (EaP CSF) took place on 28 November.
“The signing of the new Armenia-EU agreement is an occasion for congratulations. And now we are considering how to make this agreement practical, how to get the expected benefits, so that ordinary citizens in Armenia feel that something new happens,” Head of the EU Delegation in Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski said.
He also noted that new opportunities are being opened with this agreement, which also play a big role in civil society. CSOs should exert social pressure and monitor the implementation of the agreement so that cooperation really work,” said the Ambassador.
He also urged them to be active and to raise the problems. “Let us use this chapter of our relationship to strengthen the bridge between Armenia and Europe and to strengthen the role of civil society and help ordinary Armenians to live according to European standards,” Piotr Świtalski said in conclusion.
Mr. Karen Zadoyan, President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association, “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” Project Manager introduced the project saying that this is a 36-month program funded by the EU and is implemented by six organizations.
“The project has specific objectives, including identification of problems in the targeted areas of the project and the development and implementation of evidence based public policies; capacity building of CSOs and CSO coalition networks; creation and development of coalitions; as well as the implementation and development of public monitoring of public budgets and policies in the targeted areas of the project; Development of CSO-Government and CSO-Local Government Dialogue, mutual operation and coordination of constructive and sustainable dislodge with the Local self government and Central Government Bodies in public policy development area,” Mr. Zadoyan said.
The project manager also mentioned that training on the development of evidence-based policies and creation of a sustainable and constructive dialogue with the government will be conducted for 120 organizations, which will be selected through competition. The courses will be held at the American University of Armenia.
Member of the CSF Steering Committee Ms Haykuhi Harutyunyan, President of the “Protection of Rights without Borders” NGO presented the results of the 9th EaP CSF Annual Assembly. “The internal reform and strategy of the forum’s activities was an important issue. Certain obstacles and problems arose for final agreements on these issues, and their approval or ratification by the entire forum was postponed in Tallinn.”
She also noted that the problem was left to the national platforms, and the results of the strategy should be summed up by the end of the year.
The first and most important problem is the development of clear mechanisms that should work under the conditions of state-civil society cooperation,
“The first and most important issue is the development of clear mechanisms that should work in government-civil society. These mechanisms are not formulated and we need to fill that idea in concrete formats and see how we can work, and one that we have worked on is the constructive dialogue,” said the President of the Yerevan Press Club Boris Navasardyan, National Coordinator of the EaP CSF Armenia said. According to him, thanks to the constructive dialogue with the government, working groups should be formed in the target areas where the platform members and the best representatives of the government circles will always be represented.