New ENP and role of civil society in focus at EaP CSF Annual Assembly

The 7th Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (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 European Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk.

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

Yatsenyuk stressed that Ukrainian civil society was strong: “The role of the civil society is determinant for the activity of the Ukrainian authorities.” The Prime Minister emphasized the importance for civil society to maintain dialogue with government. “We need the help of civil society when the Government takes difficult decisions. And I am asking for such help,” he said.

The main panel discussion “Eastern Partnership between a Fixed Formula and Menu a la Carte” was dedicated to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) review, with the Deputy Director-General of DG NEAR Katarína Mathernová highlighting the major points of the ENP review.