Minutes of meeting Quintet – Commissioner Stefan Füle 15th September 2010, 16.00 – 17.15 Participants: Quintet: Jacqueline Hale (OSI), Nicolas Tavitian (AGBU), Sandrine Grenier (REMDH), Monika Matus (TRIALOG), Adrian Aupperle (TI) European Commission: Stefan Füle (Commissioner for Enlargement/ENP), Gilles Bertrand (Member of Cabinet), Egidio Canciani (Deputy Head of Unit, ENP General Coordination).
Introduction: o Members of Quintet presented the key points of the Memorandum that was sent to Commissioner Füle in advance of the meeting. The following sub-headings were presented:
ENP Political Conditionality (Jacqueline) Human Rights (Sandrine) CSO Participation in ENP and ENPI (Monika) ENPI efficiency/ENPI Civil Society Facility (Adrian)
Conflicts (Nicolas) o Füle thanked Quintet for having prepared the Memorandum.
o Füle further underlined that he sees this meeting as only the beginning of a long-term partnership and dialogue between him and Quintet. He envisages a regular exchange, suggesting meetings at a bi-annual basis as well as ad hoc additional meetings on a specific issue if we feel it necessary. o For Füle, CSO are an important partner in his work – both in the enlargement and ENP context. He is always eager to exchange with CSO – during in-country missions (wants to make a point of this) as well as at EU level. EC and CSO should work alongside, not in parallel.
Füle on Conditionality: o Conditionality clearly is the name of the game in the enlargement area. However, in the ENP context, Füle would not apply and speak about conditionality. o The approach should rather be guided by a shared ambition of the individual partner country and the EU. The higher this ambition, the higher the outcome of the partnership. o The challenge is thus to identify the best way of cooperation that achieves the highest outcome for both the EU and the partner country. o The approach should be changing the partner country through engaging it actively into an ambitious reform agenda. Again, the challenge is how to design this engagement. Some sort of engagement is always better than having to stop working with the partner country. Does not want to ostracise ENP countries.
o When visiting ENP countries, he always meets CSOs – this is also a message to the respective national authorities. (We insisted that he should also meet independent and non-recognized CSO)At the level of tools he does see that matrices could be a way forward (simple and transparent). This would be complementary to Action Plans. He wants these to be done in a way that is more translatable to the populations [He might be thinking of this also as part of some form of PR Strategy – making the EU criteria more relevant for ordinary people]. o Speaking later (on visa) the Commissioner said conditionality can and should be applied in visas (here the agenda is clearly to develop language that can get the Member States on board and move the issue forward),He stated that the mobility of people is important. Clearly sees CSOs as potential allies in approaching the member states on this issue.
Füle on ENPI efficiency/ENPI Civil Society Facility o They will look into the option of creating a Civil Society Facility. He is in principal open for it, although he said that he has no opinion on this yet. It needs to be examined how such a facility could be made consistent with the current operations. He also indicated that CSO capacity is crucial in this debate. o Regarding monitoring of ENPI implementation, he acknowledged the potential role that CSOs could play here. o He also indicated to look increasingly into ways to engage national parliaments in the partner countries in the implementation/monitoring. o He emphasised the need to have more and easier-to-understand information about the joint-programmes under the ENPI.
Füle on and up-coming ENP review and general issues: o ENP review is a completely open process.
o Fundamental questions can be put forward such as what perspective ENP countries will have regarding EU membership, etc.
Füle on conflicts in the European neighbourhood. o Füle agreed with the need for the EU to formulate clearer and more vocal views and positions. It should not only act as a support group for other organisations. At the political level he is waiting for EAS. But sees eventually that ENP needs to have a better hold on conflicts. o The EU would probably develop this new approach first in the Balkans, before moving to make its mark in other areas. o He agreed that much more needs to be done in terms of confidencebuilding, and mentioned the projects starting in Nagorno-Karabakh as a useful model. o Sees connection between conflict resolution and democratisation processes.
Füle on human rights:
o He only agreed that freedom of association and gender equality is important, but he didnâ€™t make any commitment.
FĂźle on the governance facility: o Does not like the governance facility. Clearly rethinking sanctions and rewards. He does not think governance facility is serious because it is not serious money. Money better leveraged through investment facility.
Egidio Canciani on up-coming consultations: o Consultation on 5th November will concern the general ENP review. Commission intends to invite 50-60 CSO representatives, allowing for participation of 2 representatives per ENP country. EC will communicate details in following weeks and is open to suggestions whom to invite from the countries. o Annual consultation for progress reports is a different process and will take place separately. EC will keep the design of this consultation meeting, i.e. it only aims at Brussels-based CSOs. Details to be communicated.
Published on Sep 30, 2010
European Commission: Stefan Füle (Commissioner for Enlargement/ENP), Gilles Bertrand (Member of Cabinet), Egidio Canciani (Deputy Head of Un...