10 December 2018
Earlier this month, the NGO Monitor released a report assessing the work of the five Member Organizations of the European Partnership for the Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (EPNK). The EPNK consortium is the EU’s main initiative to promote dialogue between the populations affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The report, conducted by NGO Monitor and European Friends of Armenia (EuFoa), presents an in-depth analysis of the peacebuilding initiatives taken by the partnering organizations since the creation of the Partnership in 2010. It reveals that the project has delivered strikingly little for the €13 million invested so far. It also points to conflicts of interests and to a striking lack of financial accountability on the part of the EU-funded NGO consortium. Particularly serious allegations were made regarding London-based consortium member Links.
At a public presentation of the report in the European Parliament on December 4, hosted by MEP Rupert Matthews, Director of NGO Monitor’s Europe Desk Olga Deutsch explained that the findings detailed in the report were based on both research and field work carried out in 2017 and early 2018. She noted that the report detailed “issues about EPNK’s initiation and overall activities, highlighting concerns related to conflicts of interest and a lack of oversight, as well as the programme’s apparent failure to meet its objectives.”
The impossibility for anyone involved with EPNK projects, including the EU implementers of the programme itself, to actually set foot in Nagorno-Karabakh, is also stressed as a major obstacle to achieving any impact on the civil societies concerned.
O. Deutsch recommended that the EU sets up proper evaluation tools for EPNK’s activities, provides for sanctions for those organizations that fail to their commitments, and broaden the discussion to include more stakeholders.
Guest speaker Nicolas Tavitian, director of AGBU Europe, introduced the presentation with a background note on the conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh. He reflected on EPNK’s initiatives in peacebuilding and conflict prevention, noting that the EU should take the full measure of the grave shortfalls of the Partnership and address these issues now, before initiating the 4th phase of EPNK in 2019.
To download the full report, please click HERE.
For more information on NGO Monitor, visit their website at: https://www.ngo-monitor.org/