In this issue you can read about: Outcomes of the Black Sea NGO Forum: New Developments from ChildPact…………..……………….2 The Black Sea NGO Forum Represented by FOND at the Black Sea Stakeholders Conference ………..3
The Black Sea NGO Newsletter is part of the Black Sea NGO Forum’s follow-up activities. The newsletter is available every 3 months on www.blackseango.org and distributed to the participants at all the editions of the Black Sea NGO Forum or other relevant stakeholders in the region with the purpose of improving our common work, communication and engagement.
News: Countries in Focus…………………….…………….4 ARMENIA AZERBAIJAN BELARUS GEORGIA REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA RUSSIA TURKEY UKRAINE EU Resources………………………………………………………..11 Events and conferences……………………………………12 Funding opportunities…………………………………..…14
We encourage you to send your contributions on current and future activities, events, partnerships and funding opportunities that you would like to share to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 1st of July, 2014. The Secretariat of the Black Sea NGO Forum is currently coordinated by The Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND: www.fondromania.org. Contact person: Ms. Irina Lupu (email@example.com), Address: Calea 13 Septembrie, no. 85, bl. 77C, ap. 74, sector 5, Bucharest, Romania. This material was elaborated as a follow-up activity of the Black Sea NGO Forum 2013, supported by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from the ODA budget, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme Bratislava Regional Center. The Black Sea NGO Forum is an annual event organised by FOND, supported by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from the ODA budget, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme – Bratislava Regional Center and the European Commission. The Forum aims at increasing the level of dialogue and cooperation among NGOs in the wider Black Sea Region, strengthening the NGO capacity to influence regional and national policies and to increase the number and quality of regional partnerships and projects.
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 Outcomes of the Black Sea NGO Forum: New Developments from ChildPact
The Regional Coalition for Child Protection in the Wider Black Sea Area – ChildPact has new developments to share regarding its activities for promoting the establishment a coherent regional mechanism for child protection. Firstly, at the end of January 2014, a new project was launched aimed at building the capacity of national coalitions for child protection from the Black Sea region. The project, entitled “Together for Children: Stronger NGO Coalitions in the Black Sea Region” is implemented by The NGO Federation for the Child – FONPC Romania and financed by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the ODA budget. Secondly, Childpact has been very active in its advocacy efforts, by issuing two important papers: “Why Networks Encourage Innovation and Why Donors Should Invest in them” and “ChildPact Manifesto for Investing in Child Protection Networks”. Through these papers, ChildPact gives well researched arguments in favour of child protection networks, as agents of innovation and change, and underlines the advantages of investing in and systematically support such networks. According to the above-mentioned Manifesto, establishing a trust fund for child protection networks has clear advantages: cost-effectiveness, possibility of multiplication at global level, flexibility to adjust to a dynamic environment and a cross-regional approach that makes it possible to have a unitary and sustainable response to similar child protection issues affecting the region. ChildPact is an initiative crystallized and systematized at the 4th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum in 2011, a regional coalition in favour of child protection that
Photo credits Roxana Todea
brings together more than 600 NGOs working with more than 500.000 vulnerable children. With the occasion of the 2013 edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, ChildPact organised a special panel dedicated to child protection, which ended up adopting “The Bucharest Statement”, a declaration expressing the commitment of relevant stakeholders in taking action towards the strengthening regional cooperation for child protection. Useful resources: ChildPact Paper “Why Networks Encourage Innovation and Why Donors Should Invest in them”: http://www.childpact.org/wpcontent/uploads/2014/03/Invest.pdf ChildPact Manifesto for Investing in Child Protection Networks: http://www.childpact.org/wpcontent/uploads/2014/03/ChildPact-Manifesto1.pdf The Bucharest Statement: http://www.childpact.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/09/BucharestStatement_v3_26.09.2013.pdf ChildPact Petition: http://www.childpact.org/sign-our-petition/
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 The Black Sea NGO Forum Represented by FOND at the Black Sea Stakeholders Conference
Photo credits: Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The European Commission and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised on the 30th of January 2014, in Bucharest, Romania, the Black Sea Stakeholders Conference “Sustainable Development of the Blue Economy of the Black Sea”. The conference was designed as a forum of discussions, where stakeholders of all Black Sea countries had the opportunity to exchange views on the economic challenges and opportunities offered by the region. With the participants’ contribution, the event sought to assess the ways in which marine and maritime cooperation at the Black Sea could be maximized and transformed into practical advantages for the region’s stakeholders. In addition, the initiative aimed at encouraging cross-sector initiatives in order to stimulate maritime growth. The event benefited from the presence of high level governmental officials such as: Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Titus Corlățean; EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ms. Maria Damanaki; Secretary General of the Permanent International Secretariat of BSEC, Ambassador Dr. Victor Tvircun; Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, Mr. Iulian Groza; and Deputy Minister for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia, Mr. Shalva Amirejibi.
FOND was represented at the Black Sea Stakeholders’ Conference by Ms. Olivia Baciu, FOND President. In her guest speech, Ms. Baciu mentioned the Black Sea NGO Forum, its longstanding tradition in bringing together civil society representatives from all the countries in the region and its results in terms of bilateral and regional projects developed or initiated by participating CSOs. Last but not least, Ms. Baciu expressed FOND’s openness for a broader cooperation in the region between the Black Sea NGO Forum and other initiatives such as this conference. Useful resources: The agenda of the conference is available at: http://www.amiando.com/eventResources/E/y/kjXVp89LF9o XhS/Final_programme_EN.pdf The minutes of the sessions, the presentations made throughout the event, as well as the participants’ list are available at: http://www.amiando.com/BlackSeaStakeholdersConference. html?page=1087423 The conference videos are available at: http://www.amiando.com/BlackSeaStakeholdersConference. html?page=1099372
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 News: Countries in Focus ARMENIA Armenia’s membership to the Russian-led Custom’s Union decided by the end of the month Armenia is likely to sign an agreement on its membership in the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan by the end of April 2014, according to a local newspaper. On April 29th the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is scheduled to attend the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Minsk. In all likelihood, this will be the time when the agreement will be signed by the presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia. Source: http://www.armenianow.com/news/53615/armenia_customs_union_agreement_minsk_april29
Armenia’s “Game of Thrones” For much of the last year, Armenian politics and foreign policy have been infused with an unusual degree of dynamic change and dramatic choices. In foreign policy, Armenia has faced a shift in alliance and strategic orientation, most evident in the surprise decision by the Armenian president to sacrifice nearly four years of negotiations with the European Union over a new Association Agreement. That unilateral decision firmly committed Armenia to pursue membership in the Russian-dominated Customs Union instead. Source: http://www.armenialiberty.org/content/blog/25333731.html
AZERBAIJAN Ashton and Füle concerned at changes in NGO law In a joint statement, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle expressed their concern over the newly amended NGO legislation. The current laws were described as “restricting the environment for an independent and critical civil society, especially in the field of human rights and democracy.” While acknowledging the recent efforts by the Azeri government to engage civil society on its proposals to amend NGO legislation, the European Union remains concerned by the overall impact of this legislation on civil society.
Photo credits: EU Neighbourhood Info Centre
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 Joint statement on the arrest of NGO leader in Azerbaijan Several NGOs released a joint statement condemning the detention, on alleged charges of hooliganism, of the head of the "Intelligent Citizen" Awareness Center, Hasan Huseynli and calling for his immediate release. As the head of the "Intelligent Citizen" Enlightenment Center, established in 2004, Huseynli has been known for promotion of open society, human rights and democracy ideas in the western part of Azerbaijan and implementation of programs on enlightenment of the youth and their participation in study abroad programs. Moreover the statement underlines that fact that throughout Azerbaijan, NGOs increasingly face multiple challenges in implementing their work, working with local people and even holding conferences, seminars or trainings. The arrest of NGO leader Hasan Huseynli happened less than two months before Azerbaijan will assume its first Chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers. Source: http://www.contact.az/docs/2014/Want%20to%20Say/040100074098en.htm#.UzxPtKIxjXR
BELARUS Belarusian Opposition Activists, Journalists Detained In Minsk Police in Belarus have detained eight activists, including the leader of the opposition United Civic Party, Anatol Lyabedzka, and two journalists. The activists were arrested at Minsk’s central Kamarouka marketplace on March 16 while campaigning for seats in the upcoming local elections. Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/belarus-lyabedzka-arrest-elections/25299728.html
REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA RFE/RL: “European Parliament Condemns Human Rights Abuses In Transdniester” The European Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning human rights violations in Moldova's breakaway region of Transdniester. The resolution, backed by all the main political groups, calls for an end to any form of pressure directed toward Romanian language-teaching institutions. Lawmakers also called on the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to address the right to Romanian language education in the mainly Russian-speaking region at the next round of 5+2 negotiations later this month on the settlement of the Transdniester conflict. The resolution urged the EU to play a stronger part in resolving the conflict, including the enhancement of the EU’s status from observer to that of a negotiating partner. It also says the presence of Russian troops in Transdniester leads to “a climate that endangers respect for and promotion of human rights in the region.” Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/transdniester-eu-parliament-rights-moldova/25255808.html
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 Liberalisation of visas Moldovan citizens holding biometric passports will be able to travel to and throughout the Schengen area without a visa, after the Council of the EU approved the amended legislation in this sense. According to the EU press release, the new regime will come into force in early May this year. This decision makes the Republic of Moldova the first Eastern Partnership country to meet all the requirements for visa-free travel laid down in the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan. The decision is based on the progress made by the country in implementing major reforms in areas such as: strengthening the rule of law, combating organised crime, corruption and illegal migration and improving the administrative capacity in border control and security of documents. Source: http://visa-free-europe.eu/2014/03/moldovans-granted-visa-free-travels-across-schengen-area/
EU Parliament: Moldova may apply to join EU Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine have the right to join the European Union if they comply with the conditions for the status of candidate. The statement, issued in a non-legislative resolution, was made last Thursday by the European Parliament. The resolution states that Moldova has the right to request joining the EU, recalling that the Association Agreement (AA) is not the final goal of the relations between Moldova and the EU. The resolution “points out in this connection that, pursuant to Article 49 of the TEU, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – like any other European state – have a European perspective and may apply to become members of the Photo credits: Moldova.org
Union provided that they adhere to the principles of democracy, respect fundamental freedoms and human and minority rights and ensure the
rule of law.” Read the full EP resolution here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=P7-RC-20140436&language=EN Source: http://www.moldova.org/eu-parliament-moldova-may-apply-join-eu/
GEORGIA AND THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA EU states to speed up the signing of Association Agreement with Moldova, Georgia Thirteen European Union (EU) member states have issued a joint paper called “20 points on the Eastern Partnership (EaP) post-Vilnius” after a meeting held in Brussels on the 10th of February 2014. The documents advocates in favour of: strengthening EaP visibility; speeding up EU’s internal procedures to help sign the Association Agreement with Moldova and Georgia before the end of August 2014; and encouraging the EaP frontrunners through financial support, increased mobility for citizens, including student exchanges, twinning projects and increased participation in EU programs. 6
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 Read the full paper here: http://blackseango.org/forum/home/articles/eu-states-to-speed-up-the-signing-of-associationagreement-with-moldova-georgia Source: http://www.moldova.org/eu-states-speed-signing-association-agreement-moldova-georgia/
RUSSIA Study Tour to Brussels offered to Russian journalist by the Media Neighbourhood project As part of the Media Neighbourhood project, a series of Study Tours t o Brussels for Russian journalists are being organised to give them an informed insight on the process of formulation of EU’s Policy regarding Russia.
Photo credits: Media Neighbourhood
Through a series of presentations and meetings with representatives of the EU institutions the participants will get inside knowledge of the EU foreign policy and decision making process and will identify and be able to work with the available information sources about the EU.
The calls for participants will appear on the website: http://www.medianeighbourhood.eu/ and the projects’ Facebook page and Twitter account. Interested journalists are asked to check these sources regularly. Please note that you may only attend one Media Neighbourhood training course. Source: http://www.medianeighbourhood.eu/event/study-tour-brussels-3/
Vaclav Havel Journalism Felow, Ivan Baliaev’s radio programme dedicated to regional civil and political movements in Russia Mr. Ivan Beliaev, who is currently working with RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Radio Svoboda, created a weekly 30 minute radio broadcast called “Russia in Motion,” dedicated to regional civil and political movements in Russia. Every issue of the programme is about one single aspect of civil activity and special attention is paid to grassroots movements in small towns across the country. So far the topics presented were related to the Afghanistan and Chechnya veterans’ movement, communities of soccer fans, independent labor unions, prisoners’ rights, and internet usage in provincial Russia. Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/beliaev-russia-in-motion-promo/25294405.html
UK and Russia build bridges with Year of Culture ‘’As the political situation becomes increasingly tense, I believe that the role of cultural diplomacy will be even more important. The British Council and the Russian Embassy are carrying on with their respective programmes, the biggest exchange of arts events ever organized between our two countries.’’ Theodora Clarke, special correspondent to RBTH.
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines http://rbth.co.uk/opinion/2014/04/13/uk_and_russia_build_bridges_with_year_of_culture_35831.html?code=70e34da3b7a494a7 46cea59bb1ba3a25)
TURKEY EU criticizes Turkey's Internet law The EU has criticized the recent legislative measures took last week against internet freedom in Turkey. According to the new Internet legislation, the government can block websites without a court order and internet service providers are obliged to store up data for two years and present it to the authorities without notifying the user. These new legal provisions build on the 2007 law which has allowed temporary blockages of social media tools such as blogs or YouTube. The recent legislative measures triggered a negative Photo credits: Deutsche Welle response from the EU, augmenting the tension between the EU and Turkey which began with the protests last year and continued with the corruption allegations made against Prime Minister Erdogan. Opposition politicians say the new legislation is part of the government's censorship and restriction of the freedom of speech and access to information. Source: http://www.dw.de/eu-criticizes-turkeys-internet-law/a-17412668
Local elections in Turkey The local elections which took place in Turkey on the 30th of March were considered to be a test for democracy, as they took place in a tense climate given by the recent protests and the accusations of corruption and authoritarianism of Erdoganâ€™s government. The elections took place peacefully in most regions, but eight people were reportedly killed in two separate incidents involving supporters of rival candidates. Even though PM Erdogan was not standing for election, he campaigned for his Justice and Development Party (AKP). With over 60% of the votes counted, it was leading the main opposition party 47% to 27%. The prime minister has been eyeing a run for the presidency in August - the first time voters will directly elect the head of state - or may seek to change the rules to allow him to seek a fourth term in office. Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26807067
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 UKRAINE Tense situation in Ukraine The beginning of the year witnessed a tense situation in Ukraine, following the prolongued protests against the U-turn on the EU deal that ex-President Yanukovich made last November.
Photo credits: RFE/RL
After a series of bloody protests in January-February 2014, condemned worldwide, the EU Councilâ€™s Conclusions on the 20th of February 2014 called for all sides to engage in a meaningful dialogue, underlined the need for a constitutional reform and announced the introduction of targeted sanctions against those responsible for human right violations.
On the 22nd of February 2014, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to hold early presidential elections on the 25th of May 2014 arguing that Yanukovych failed in his duties as president. Oleksandr Turchynov was named interim President until the elections in May and a unity government was formed in order to ensure stability in the country. Meanwhile, after a positive vote in the Parliament, Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison and other series of changes were made in the goverment's structure at the level of the minister of interior, the parliament speaker, the Prosecutor- General. After the change in government, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton travelled to Kyiv to negotiate with the new leadership the offer of an international aid package to sustain Ukraine's medium and long-term economic difficulties. However, this political change sparked the opposition of the Russian Federation which since then, under the claim of protection of Russian citizens in Crimea, it annexed the autonomous region. Currently, Ukrainian authorities are confronted with violent incidents in its Eastern territory, after pro-Russian demonstrators occupied local authoritiesâ€™ establishments. Read more on the developments in Ukraine here: http://consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/141110.pdf http://www.dw.de/eu-to-offer-financial-aid-to-ukraine/a-17454804 http://www.rferl.org/section/ukraine/164.html
East and west divided over Ukraine Julian Bolger's excellent article (OSCE monitors face tough task, 19 April) highlights challenges faced by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe in monitoring the upcoming Ukrainian presidential elections. According to Bolger, the OSCE will likely be drawn into murky discussions about responsibility for incidents while struggling with security threats and layers of disinformation from all sides. Monitors will be consumed by daily minicrises as the region slips further from Kiev's control. Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/21/east-west-divided-ukraine
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 THE EUROPEAN UNION European Parliament Resolution on Russian pressure on Eastern Partnership countries and in particular destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine MEPs held a debate on the 16th of April 2014 on the recent developments in Ukraine, with an emphasis on the Russian pressure and destabilisation in Eastern Ukraine. At the end of the discussions, the European Parliament adopted a joint resolution through which it: strongly condemns the escalating situation in Eastern and Southern Ukraine; reiterates its support for the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine and all Eastern Partnership countries; calls for sanctions against Russian companies and also for the introduction of economic, trade and financial restrictions for Crimea; welcomes the ambitious economic and social reform agenda of the Ukrainian government and encourages its political reform. Moreover, the European Parliament reiterated the European Unionâ€™s commitment to further support the democratic development and European path of its Eastern partners, particularly Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. Source: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=P7-RC-20140436&format=XML&language=EN
Learning from the past: EU aid in the Eastern Partnership In an interesting article, Elzbieta Kaca analyses the European Union aid policy in the Eastern Partnership, having as starting point a research project carried out by the Polish Institute of International Affairs (Pism), which underlines that the EU has trouble spending money in this region. While in Moldova and Georgia, the EU managed to release around half the promised resources, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine had problems meeting the basic condition of transparency in public financial management, meaning the EU could not release the funds. Read the entire article here: http://euobserver.com/opinion/123852
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 Resources Armenian Foreign Policy Agenda for 2014-2015 This book is published by the Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC) with support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. This volume is the third collection of articles on the topic of Armenian foreign policy .The first two volumes entitled “Armenian foreign policy agenda for 2009-2010” and Armenian foreign policy agenda for 2011” had a remarkable feedback among Armenian as well as foreign experts and diplomats who urged us to continue publication of the present series. Source: http://issuu.com/oanaperju/docs/w-agenda_for_armenian-2014-2015__1_
Articles on human rights in the Transnistrian region During December 16, 2013 and February 25, 2014, Promo-LEX issued a series of 10 thematic articles on human rights in the Transnistrian region of Moldova. The articles focus on the right to education, liberty and security of person, freedom of movement, access to justice, the rights of conscripts, etc. A compilation of all articles in Romanian and English languages can be found at the section publications on www.promolex.md. Source: http://promolex.md/upload/publications/en/doc_1395657140.pdf Photo credits: Adevarul.ro
The World Press Freedom Index On February 12th 2014, the Paris-based group Reporters Without Borders published its annual "World Press Freedom Index," measuring the level of freedom of information in 180 countries. According to the report, the freedom of speech and access to information is getting worse every year in the ex-soviet space. Find the EaP countries' scores by accessing the entire report here: http://fr.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/classement_2013_gbbd.pdf. Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/rsf-bleak-media-situation-soviet-space/25260842.html
Launching of the Blacksea.eu A team of experienced and award-winning journalists, photographers, filmmakers, designers passionate about in-depth journalism created a multimedia publishing platform: http://www.theblacksea.eu/. The English language magazine showcases journalistic investigations and stories of daily life from the nations around the Black Sea. Photo credits: Petruț Călinescu
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 Events and conferences Student conference “Reporting the European Union” in Armenia The student conference “Reporting the European Union”, part of the EU funded “Journalist training and networking” project “Media Neighbourhood”, will take place in Yerevan on April 25th at the American University in Armenia. The conference, targeting students in journalism and political sciences, will be opened by the Delegation of the European Union in Armenia and will address topics such as: the role of the media in reporting the EU; the findings of the EU Neighbourhood Barometer project in Armenia; a presentation of the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre project. Among the speakers there will be experts from EU-funded projects, a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, and experienced journalists. Source: http://www.enpi-info.eu/eastportal/news/latest/36998/Student-conference-%E2%80%9CReporting-the-EuropeanUnion%E2%80%9D-in-Armenia
Model Organization of the Black Sea region Cooperation, 8-10 May 2014, Varna, Bulgaria The United Nations Association of Bulgaria invite youths from the UNAs from Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Serbia to take part of Bulgarian Model Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (MOBSEC) - Council of Ministers. The MOBSEC will take place during May 8-10, 2014. Source: http://www.wfuna.org/event/model-organization-of-the-black-sea-economic-cooperation
Danube - Black Sea Social-Economic Innovation Forum “Promoting a SMART Entrepreneurship in the context of INNOVATION for the Danube - Black Sea Region”, 22-23 May 2014, Bucharest, Romania The 4th edition of the Danube - Black Sea Innovation Forum will take place on the 22nd and the 23rd of May 2014, at the Romanian Parliament. The event is organised by EUROLINK-House of Europe Foundation, in close cooperation with its main partners: Romanian EUSDR Consultative Council, Romanian Academy, Union of Architects of Romania, GIEDD Foundation, PartNET Association, Professional Association for Quality in Training for Public Administration (CINAQ).
Photo credits: Houseofeurope.ro
Deadline for submitting participation requests: 9 May 2014. Source: http://www.houseofeurope.ro/Danube-BlackSea-Innovation/
Research and Innovation in the service of Economy and Society EU Neighborhood and the Black Sea Region, 29-30 May 2014, Thessaloniki, Greece The objective of the Conference is to highlight the important role of the International Cooperation/INCO for the EU itself by reinforcing the collaboration with the European Neighbourhood/EN and the Black Sea region (BS region) within the framework of the research and innovation exploiting its potential as an integral part of a comprehensive package of external action.
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 Source: http://www.gr2014.eu/events/parallel-events/research-and-innovation-service-economy-and-society-eu-neighborhoodand-black.
Investment conferences in Moldova and Georgia in 12-13 June 2014 Investment conferences in Moldova and Georgia will be held on the occasion of the visits of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to those countries on 12 and 13 June 2014 respectively. The European Union has confirmed its objective to further strengthen the political association and economic integration with both countries, and aims to sign the Association Agreements including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (AA/DCFTAs) no later than June 2014. The conferences will focus on business activity and investment in Moldova and Georgia, because experience in other countries in Europe shows that that's where the new agreements will bring the biggest long-term economic benefits. The detailed programmes for the conferences will be published in May. If you are interested in participating at either of the conferences, please send your contact details to European External Action Service's ENP Division at ENP@eeas.europa.eu no later than 30 May 2014. Source: http://eeas.europa.eu/enp/investment-conferences/index_en.htm
Tbilisi Transformational Leadership Forum, June 2014, Tbilisi, Georgia The program will bring together a group of 20 practitioners (young leaders) in law, politics, academia, government, private enterprise, civil society, and international development from the Eastern Partnership (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Armenia and Belarus) and Visegrad 4 (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) countries. Learn more about the forum here: http://tbilisileadersforum.com/
Call for Papers to CESD & KAS International Conference on WTO Accession The Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD) is pleased to invite all interested scholars to submit their abstracts to the CESD & KAS International Conference entitled “Azerbaijan’s Accession to the WTO in Context of the European Integration”. The conference will be taken place in Baku, Azerbaijan on the 1st of October 2014. The deadline for submitting abstracts is May 30, 2014 and working languages of the conference are English and Azerbaijani. You can download the full Call for Proposals announcement at: www.cesd.az.
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 Funding opportunities Research and innovation funding in Black Sea region now available through Horizon 2020 Horizon 2020, the New EU Framework Programme launched in 2013 and running until 2020, provides a wide array of funding opportunities in the research and innovation domain. Its first work programme (2014-2015) includes a targeted call for the Black Sea region. The main objectives of the call are:
To stimulate and enhance the cooperation between researchers from the Union and those of the regional partners in question, including and in particular through Horizon 2020 and the partner's funding programmes; To eliminate remaining obstacles to cooperation between researchers from the Union and its international regional partners.
Deadline for applications: 29 April 2014. Source: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/cf/mare/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=14534
The New Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Romania – Ukraine – Republic of Moldova The new Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Romania - Ukraine – Republic of Moldova will be administrated by the Romanian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration. For the period 2014 – 2020, the programme will comprise new elements such as:
The possible extension of the geographical area to adjacent regions, beyond the border counties; however the budget will remain the same; The possibility of using a maximum of 20% of the funds to finance beneficiaries and activities outside the area of the programme (justification is needed); Large infrastructure programmes could comprise up to 30% of the total funds dedicated to the programme ; Funding will be concentrated on specific domains, which will be established following a series of consultations organised in all the three countries; The people to people activities becomes a horizontal priority; The programme’s strategic objectives are: the promotion of economic and social development; environment and health; ensuring the mobility of people, goods and capital.
You can read the first draft of the programme here: http://www.mdrap.ro/userfiles/ROBG_program_final.pdf
ViabilityNet 2.0 – International Programme for Community Leaders The Prague-based Via Foundation is launching ViabilityNet 2.0, a new international program for 2014-2016. It will offer community leaders from Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe space to reflect, connect and grow together, along with financial resources for projects that focus on building the power of the their communities. The overall aim of the program is to promote engagement within communities through support of inspiring & inclusive leadership. The program is destined for participants from the following countries, which all share a legacy of a communist regime and are historically part of the same geographic space: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, 14
Black Sea NGO Newsletter, Spring 2014 Estonia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Ukraine, and Moldova. Deadline for the submission of applications is 28th of April 2014, 23:00 CET. Read more about the application procedure here: http://www.viabilitynet.org/the-call
Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility: call for proposals for regional actions east and south / DL: 4th of June 2014 The European Commission has launched a call for proposals for regional actions under the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility, aimed at the European Neighbourhood partner countries, east and south. The overall objective of the call for proposals is to support active and inclusive civil society organisations, which contribute to the social and economic development of partner countries. The specific objective is to strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations from the European Neighbourhood partner countries, allowing them to improve their engagement in policy-making processes and policy dialogue, their role as watchdog and monitoring players, and their representativeness and links with their constituencies. The overall budget available under this Call for Proposals is â‚Ź9,900,000, divided into three lots. As regards partnership conditions, the projects must include organisations from at least three eligible countries (EU member states or Neighbourhood partner countries), of which at least two different Neighbourhood countries covered by the lot. The deadline for submission of concept notes is 4th of June 2014. For more details related to the application guidelines, please visit EuropeAid's official website here: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/onlineservices/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome&nbPubliList=15&orderby=upd&orderbyad=Desc&searchtype=RS&aofr=135811. Source: http://www.enpi-info.eu/eastportal/news/latest/36934/Neighbourhood-Civil-Society-Facility:-call-for-proposals-forregional-actions-east-and-south
Supporting Freedom of Expression in Eurasia Permanent surveillance, threats, imprisonment, and working in conflict environments are just a few of the hurdles to free expression faced by journalists in Eurasia. The S.A.F.E. (Securing Access to Freedom of Expression) Initiativeâ€™s Georgian Center staff are helping to mitigate these challenges by training journalists from Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus in safety techniques, identity and risk management. Since the center was established in 2013, 45 full-time journalists, freelancers, and bloggers who were threatened or at high risk (due to working on human rights, corruption, politics, conflicts and investigations) have received S.A.F.E. training and access to individual risk mitigation plans. Implemented by IREX and funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), S.A.F.E. provides journalists with psychosocial care, addresses the challenge of changing habits in digital and physical safety, and provides coping strategies for stress. Learn more about the project and its opportunities here: http://www.irex.org/news/supporting-freedom-expression-eurasia