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Dear readers, We are pleased to present you the winter edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum’s quarterly newsletter. To encourage interaction between participants and engagement in the region, we have transformed our newsletter into a hub of opportunities: call for proposals, trainings, conferences, events, requests for expression of interest etc. In an attempt to make your activity more visible and encourage the sharing of information between stakeholders from the region, we have a special section in the Black Sea NGO newsletter with news about initiatives and projects from the Black Sea Region. Should you like to share information about current and future activities, events, initiatives, potential partnerships and other opportunities, we kindly ask you send us the information/materials in English at firstname.lastname@example.org, until the 1st of March so we can include it in the next edition of the Black Sea NGO Newsletter. Best wishes, Black Sea NGO Forum Team
Black Sea NGO Forum Section
Follow-up Activities of the 8th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum (2nd – 3rd of November 2015, Tbilisi, Georgia);
The 9th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, 31st of October – 2nd of November 2016, Varna, Bulgaria;
Promoting development effectiveness at the IXth edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum (31st of October – 2nd of November 2016, Varna, Bulgaria);
The main conclusions of the Second High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
Special Section from our members
Black Sea Institute NGO Bulgaria – the 8th Annual International Workshop "The Sea – a door or a threshold", 02.12.2016;
The Regional Fund for the Support of the Entrepreneurship of Zaporizhzhya region (RFSE Ukraine) Projects and Activities;
GlobalFocus Center Romania– The launch of the the Romanian Expertise Database: an open database of Romanian experts and institutions, 24.11.2016; Local Democracy Agency (LDA Georgia) Projects and Activities.
Call for Proposals: Support for Your Youth eParticipation Project (Open until December 31, 2016);
CD-UNITED Call for Proposals: Democracy in Action (Ongoing until December 2016).
The launch of the CIVICUS Monitor Platform;
The 2016 Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, the 28th - 29th of November 2016, Brussels;
Civil Society. Dialogue for Progress E-Learning Courses are now available.
Black Sea NGO Forum Section
Follow-up Activities of the 8th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum (2nd – 3rd of November 2015, Tbilisi, Georgia) During the 2015 edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum (2nd – 3rd of November, Tbilisi, Georgia), participants have successfully identified five priority cooperation areas in the Black Sea Region (Knowledge Network, Anti-corruption, Civic Engagement, Youth, and Education and Culture)
development; YouthBank; Human rights; Networking; and Media & communication). Consequently, ten working groups have been established and throughout September and October 2016, as part of the follow-up activity from the last year’s edition of the Forum, five regional thematic meetigs have been organised: • Youth WG, 12th of September 2016, Tbilisi, Georgia; • Civic Engagement WG, 17th of September 2016, Odessa, Ukraine; • Education and Culture WG, 11th of October 2016, Kiev, Ukraine; • Anti-corruption WG, 13th of October 2016, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova; • Youthbanks WG, 15th – 16th of October 2016, Yerevan, Armenia. Another follow-up activity consisted of a Follow-up Report on enabling environment for CSOs in the Black Sea Region, realised by Ms. Angela Grămadă, FOND Research Associate for the 2015 Report „Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in the Black Sea Region: Towards a Regional Strategy for Cooperation” . The Follow-up Report aimed to monitor the transformation processes of the civil society from the eight countries in the Black Sea region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey) by taking into consideration freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly and the freedom of speech. Reaching primary conclusions and comparing them with the 2015 Report, participants learned how the freedom of association was still very limited in some countries (such as Azerbaijan, Russia and Belarus) and the situation of the freedom of assembly has not much improved either (as violent abuses of law enforcement units and intimidations are still taking place mostly in Armenia, Ukraine, Russia, and Republic of
Moldova). In what regards the freedom of speech, it has still remained a sensitive issue as limitations of mass media and even proofs of hatespeech have been also recorded. For more detailed information on the 2016 Follow-up Report on Enabling Environment
The 9th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, 31st of October – 2nd of November 2016, Varna, Bulgaria
The Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND organized between the 31st of October and 2nd of November 2016, in Varna, Bulgaria, the IXth edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, with the financial support of the European Commission, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in partnership with the UNDP Regional Centre for Europe and Central Asia, and CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness – CPDE, with the support of the local partner Black Sea NGO Network (BSNN). As part of the Black Sea NGO Forum’s “Strategic Framework for Civil Society Cooperation in the Black Sea Region”, the Forum continued its efforts in the process of monitoring enabling environment for CSOs in the region. Accordingly, a Follow-up Report on Enabling Environment for CSOs was presented by Ms. Angela Grămadă, FOND Research
Associate, gathering updates from all around the year from the region, with additional conclusions and recommendations, in continuation to the last year’s report – „Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in the Black Sea Region: Towards a Regional Strategy for Cooperation”. Around 130 participants (ranging from CSOs representatives, regional and international organisations, regional and international donors) attended the 3 days Forum and got actively involved in the thematic workshops and working groups sessions, interacted with donors, identifed best practices of developing further regional projects and expanding networks in the area. For more information about the event, as well as access to the official agenda, photos and powerpoint presentations, we kindly invite you to visit the following webpage: http://www.blackseango.org/the-ixthedition-of-the-black-sea-ngo-forum-31-october-2-november-2016varna-bulgaria-summary/ .
Promoting development effectiveness at the IXth edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum (31st of October – 2nd of November 2016, Varna, Bulgaria) The third and last day of the Forum took off with a plenary session dedicated to the international & regional trends on development effectiveness and sustainable development, moderated by Mr. Justin Kilcullen, CPDE Co-Chair. Ms. Izabella Toth, CPDE European Representative introduced updates regarding CPDE’s activity in the Second High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development
Sladkova, Policy Coordinator, CONCORD explained how CPDE is organised at global and regional levels, as well as highlighted the opportunities for CSOs to get more involved in the work of the CPDE European Region. Last but not least, Ms. Antonița Fonari, CPDE NonEU Sub-regional Representative, provided a concrete example of how the Moldovan CSOs are engaged in monitoring the global processes on sustainable development.
In the second half of the day, a smaller meeting was organised for CSOs from the Black Sea Region and the Balkans interested in finding out more about CPDE, how the European Region is structured and how they can contribute to CPDE activities. The meeting provided a great opportunity to gather input from the participants on ways to communicate effectively and raise awareness on CPDEâ€™s activity at regional level, while at the same time make the challenges and needs of CSOs in the Black Sea Region & the Balkans visible at global level. Based on this, the participants shaped up a list of concrete recommendations, that can be consulted here . During the meeting, two participants Ms. Haykuhi Harutyunyan ("Protection of rights without borders" Human Rights NGO) and Mr. Hovsep Khurshudyan ("Free Citizen" Civic Initiatives Support Center) initiated a Resolution concerning the situation of the civil society in the Black Sea Region. The Resolution was shared among all Black Sea NGO Forum participants, receiving more than 40 endorsements. The next step is to send it to the CPDE for dissemination within the wider membership for awareness raising and support.
The main conclusions of the Second High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation)
The Second High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (HLM2) took place between 28th of November – 1st of December 2016, in Nairobi, Kenya. The objectives of the meeting were to track progress, exchange best practices and renew commitments for an effective development co-operation in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Moreover, the meeting also had the purpose of renewing the mandate of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) and setting up the working arrangements in the new context. Civil society was represented at the HLM2 through the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness – CPDE – the only global coalition that unites civil society voices from around the world on the issue of development effectiveness. CPDE is the official CSO platform engaging in GPEDC, having a seat in the Steering Committee of the GPEDC. The European Region within CPDE had 23 delegates from both EU
member states and Black Sea Region & Balkans. The heads of the European CSO delegation were Izabella Toth as the European CPDE Representative and Justin Kilcullen as CPDE co-chair coming from the European region. The Black Sea Region and Balkans were represented by Antonita Fonari (CPDE Non-EU Sub-regional Representative/ National Council of NGOs from Moldova), Heghine Manasyan (Caucasus Research Resource Center-Armenia Foundation) and Simona Ognenovska (Macedonian Center for International Cooperation - MCIC). The Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND, currently holding the European Regional Secretariat of CPDE, together with the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development – CONCORD, provided support to the European CSO Delegates by disseminating discussions and negotiation updates, as well as the positions of CPDE to enable the delegates to advocate to their national governments in favour of civil society demands reflected in the document CSO Key Asks for a Stronger Global Partnership. We kindly invite you to read more about what what has happened at the Second High Level Meeting here. A list of useful resources and link can be also accessed here.
Special section for our members Black Sea Institute NGO Bulgaria – the 8th Annual International Workshop "The Sea – a door or a threshold", 02.12.2016 The Black Sea Institute NGO, Bulgaria organizes its 8-th Annual International Workshop "The Sea – a door or a threshold". The event will be held in city of Burgas, Bulgaria, on 2nd of December, under the subtitle – "The water and peoples – policies, technologies and cultural dimensions".
During the event University professors from Bulgaria and Ukraine, students, museum specialists and public officials from Bulgaria, will discuss the cultural and industrial interconnections in Western Black Sea Basin Area. The discussions will be directed into two different panels: Panel One: Water – policies and techologies; Panel Two: The water, the nations, the traditions and the civilizations. Youngsters and school students from Burgas region will also be awarded for their active contribution to a project "From the Black Sea synergy to EU Stategy for the Black Sea", a project dedicated to the International day of Black Sea, 31st of October 2016. The project "From the Black Sea Synergy to EU Stategy of the Black Sea" is a common initiative of the Black Sea Institute, Burgas Marine Association and Bulgarian Black Sea National Association, implemented in active assistance of Mr. Georgi Pirinski – Member of European Parliament. Each year Burgas – the fourth largest in Bulgaria and important Black Sea port celebrates its holiday on 6th of December with various culture and educational events.The Annual International Workshop "The Sea – a door or a threshold" is a Black Sea Institute NGO' s contribution to Burgas holiday schedule
The Regional Fund for the Support of the Entrepreneurship of Zaporizhzhya region (RFSE Ukraine) Projects and Activities The RFSE is non-profit and the main supporting tool for small and medium enterprises in Zaporozhye region. The main mission is to implement social and state policies on development and support of SMEs as a promising sector in the regional economy. Within the framework of the JOP Black Sea Basin Programme 2007 – 2013, the RFSE has Implemented the EU project "Quality Certification System in Agrotourism – CerTour Project" – with the aim of promoting the agrotourism in the partners' regions and to improve the quality of
the services provided, the EU project "Regional Business Incubators’ Network - “Black Sea BI-Net” – to accelerate the development of a productive and competitive economy and improve cooperation in the Black Sea region, as well as the "Business education for refugees and IDPs from Donetsk, Lugansk regions and AR Crimea" project. More details about the projects and activities implemented by the RFSE can be found here.
GlobalFocus Center Romania – The launch of the the Romanian Expertise Database: an open database of Romanian experts and institutions, 24.11.2016 On the 24th of November 2016, GlobalFocus Center launched a wideranging national project: The Romanian Expertise Database – an open database of Romanian experts and institutions with valuable know-how in ten main areas, each with its respective ramifications: • Good Governance and Rule of Law • Peace and Security • Economic reform and Private Sector Development • Sustainable Development • Reform of the Child Protection System • National Minorities and Inter-ethnic Reconciliation • Equal Rights and Anti-Discrimination • Civil Society Development • Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Response • Social Services. The first of its kind in Romania, the database capitalises on Romania’s experience throughout its democratic transition years by, first, cumulating the relevant expertise formed in the Romanian society in the aforementioned period of time, and second, sharing it with countries that are currently in that same process of transition that Romania has already undergone. More information about the project is available here.
Local Democracy Agency (LDA Georgia) Projects and Activities Local Democracy Agency (LDA) Georgia strengthens local democracy and civil society, supports democratic reforms in Georgia, and develops new and innovative approaches to local and national challenges by cooperating with local and international stakeholders. Currently, LDA is implementing the “Youth for Europe” project in partnership with Strasbourg and Kutaisi local governments. Twenty students competed to learn about European Union (EU) values and institutions, and will travel to Strasbourg to visit EU institutions, 19-23 December 2016. Moreover, the organisation is also making efforts towards the strengthening ofl ocal self-government and raising public awareness to increase citizens’ involvement in government decisionmaking processes through the “Participate in Management” project, funded by the USAID-EWMI-ACCESS Program. Apart from these, the project: “The way forward to reforms in the housing sector: Empowering grass-root homeowners’ associations in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine” is also under-going, aiming to support apartment resident-owners to organize an effective homeowners’ association. Those interested can find more information about Local Democracy Agency and its activities here.
Financial opportunities Call for Proposals: Support for Your Youth eParticipation Project (Open until December 31, 2016) In the framework of the EUth project, the European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (ERYICA) will support 10 project proposals with €10.000 to implement youth eParticipation processes using
OPIN.me, a digital European toolbox for youth eParticipation projects. Those eligible to submit a project proposal are all legally established youth (work) or citizen organisations or public administrations of any size and level working in one of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe, Belarus and Kosovo. Interested participants have the opportunity to request a feasibility check before October 31, 2016 to find out whether their project is technically compatible with â€œOPINâ€?. For more details on application procedure, please visit the following link: http://www.euth.net/open-call .
CD-UNITED Call for Proposals: Democracy in Action (Ongoing until 31st of December 2016) The Community of Democracies invites organizations to apply for funding through its CD-UNITED program, which provides financial support to projects that support and strengthen democracy. With a total budget of $272,000, CD-UNITED will provide co-financing to applicants who propose ways to expand the space for civil society. Applicants are responsible for securing co-funding from other donors before they submit an application. More details on the call for proposals and application procedure can be found here.
The launch of the CIVICUS Monitor Platform
The CIVICUS Monitor is the world’s first online platform that provides near real-time updates on human rights violations and the status of civic space for every country in the world. The Platform a trusted source for the latest news and analysis from local civil society sources and researchers from around the world, allowing activists, citizens, media, academics and decision-makers to track trends and find out if our fundamental freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression are being realised or threatened. It represents a simple, interactive world map that allows you to: ● Compare country ratings: closed, repressed, obstructed, narrowed or open; ● Access detailed country information and issue analysis from our researchers; ● Get updates from local people and civil society organisations whose voices may not otherwise be heard. Find out more about the initiative at: https://monitor.civicus.org/ .
The 2016 Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, the 28th - 29th of November 2016, Brussels On 28-29 November Brussels hosted the EaP CSF Annual Assembly for the first time in 7 years since the meeting that marked the beginning of the Forum’s work. The 8th Annual Assembly was held under the title “Building a Common Secure and Democratic Future” and brought together around 200 representatives of CSOs, the EU Institutions and EaP governments for vibrant discussions at over 15
sessions. Commissioner Johannes Hahn, along with the Co-Chairs of the EaP CSF Steering Committee, Ulad Vialichka and Krzysztof Bobinski, delivered opening addresses which gave the start to the discussions of this years’ EaP CSF Annual Assembly. This year’s Annual Assembly also included high-level panels which, focused on the role of the Eastern Neighbourhood in the EU policies, whether as a reliable partner or a source of mounting concerns, as well as on the status quo of the Eastern Partnership initiative prior the next EaP Summit. Throughout parallel panels the participants debated on topics related to the EaP CSF priorities such as energy security, youth development and transparency of EU funding in the region. For more details, please visit: http://beta.eap-csf.eu/index.php/annualassembly-2016/ .
Civil Society. Dialogue for Progress E-Learning Courses are now available The overall objective of the e-learning courses development is to provide an open-access on-line resource to share skills and knowledge offered by the face-to-face trainings and seminars carried out by the "Civil Society. Dialogue for Progress" project, making them available to wider audiences and for a longer period of time. Three E-Learning Courses have thus been launched: • The “EU Project Preparation and Management for CSOs” course is designed to increase skills of CSOs to develop quality project proposals for EU funding and to enhance their capacities for professional project management.
• The “Organisational Development for CSOs” course focuses on developing organisational skills of CSOs, including in the areas of strategic
management. • The “Skills for Policy Dialogue for CSOs” course contributes to strengthening the capacity of CSOs to effectively represent interests of their constituencies and make local authorities more accountable to civil society.
The courses are free of charge and can be found here.
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