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EU - Russia Civil Society Forum, 2012

 

DEMAS

The grant received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was aimed to support activities of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, a permanent common platform for cooperation and coordination of civil society organisations from Russia and the European Union founded on 28-29 March 2011 in Prague. In 2012, the platform realised a number of projects focusing on three goals: 1) Consolidating the platform; 2) Increasing the exchange of information and policy dialogue between EU and Russian non-state actors; 3) Strengthening the institutional capacity of involved non-governmental organisations. 

Results delivered in 2012 with respect to the project’s goals:

1) Internal consolidation of the platform was boosted by a kick-off meeting in St. Petersburg in June 2012, attended by the platform’s Steering Committee together with Working Group Coordinators and DEMAS representatives. In October 2012 the Forum organised its third General Assembly, attended by more than 100 participants and observers, including high-level representatives of the EU, Russia, as well as dozens of diplomats and journalists. Other significant events, which contributed to the external promotion of the platform, were First European Youth Forum “Pilorama Lab organised in Russian city Perm and international conference FINROSFORUM held in the Auditorium of the Finnish Parliament.

2) In the framework of its communication activities, the Forum provided regular updates for its websiteandFacebook page, published quarterly newsletters, and sent information via its email account. The Forum also reacted to the worsening situation for NGOs in Russia by a number of statements and held twoadvocacy visitsin Prague and Brussels. Furthermore, the platform has initiated projectssupporting NGOs at the European Court of Human Right, promoting their anti-xenophobia activities, and protecting human rights defenders.

3) The Forum regularly monitored various aspects of the EU-Russia dialogue in 2 policy papersand public debates in TomskandBrussels. Together with another international platform Visa-Free Europe Coalition, the Forum coordinated advocacy efforts in the field of visa facilitation and liberalisation. Election monitoring workshop held on August 16-17 in Prague followed by a policy paper contributed to the creation of theEuropean Election Observers Launch Platform, which was founded on December 12 in Warsaw by twelve civil society organisations. Furthermore, other activities launched in 2012 (Police Transparency in the EU Countries and Russia,    Ecological Initiatives, Community Development Activities, Video & Film for Awareness and Advocacy) are supposed to contribute to the multidimensional cooperation between civil society actors from the EU and Russia also in 2013.

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