European Neighborhood Policy: Meeting with EU NGOs

15 September 2010

On 15 September 2010 in Brussels Nicolas Tavitian, AGBU Europe Board Member, participated in a meeting between Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and the Neighborhood Policy, and the representatives of a coalition of European civil society organizations. The meeting aimed to present to the Commissioner key NGO proposals or demands regarding EU policy in the countries targeted by the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy, including Armenia.

AGBU Europe is part of the “Quintet Group” which includes 17 organizations active in the area of human rights and democracy, conflict resolution, good governance, environment and development.

The group’s proposals regarding conflict resolution emphasized the need for the EU to develop a “clearer and more resolute political stance” regarding conflicts in the neighbourhood.

According to the memorandum submitted by the group, “the EU should in particular work consistently and assertively with all parties to identify and exploit opportunities for cooperation at all levels” and “non-recognised entities should be included in bridge-building and confidence-building. Regardless of their final status, they are actors in the conflict and must be involved in the search for solutions“.

The group also emphasized the need for the EU to develop a more thorough understanding of individual conflicts and to support civil society in responding to conflicts.
Additional proposals were made in each of the fields covered by the coalition.

Following this important meeting Nicolas Tavitian said: “It is important for Armenian organizations to work in close partnership with other organizations working for freedom, welfare and peace in Armenia and the other countries of the region. Armenia’s progress and European integration will require political commitment, but also the combined efforts of civil society both in Armenia and in the rest of the EU countries”.

AGBU Europe established its European representation in 2008. Its mission is to contribute to policy making at EU level on matters of interest to Armenians, an in particular with regards to Armenia’s European integration and to EU policy regarding Nagorno Karabakh.

Since 2009 AGBU Europe conducts an active campaign for Karabagh to press the European Union to provide humanitarian and development assistance to Nagorno Karabakh, to establish confidence building measures between Karabakh and Azerbaijan and to send observers to help monitor the cease-fire.

As part of the ENP review, further consultations in each 6 months with civil society are planned.