Sustainable changes in transition societies
The EU, its Member States and its civil society are an incredibly rich source of transition experience which should be used better to achieve stability and contribute to sustainable change in transition societies.
Democratic change, sustainable development, inclusive economic growth and a stable market, together with improved welfare and employment, can best be underpinned by good governance and a strong rights-based approach. Practice shows that a strong civil society, in particular when organised, is the best guarantee of success.
An Action Plan on the use of transition experience in the programming process shall be designed and The European Transition Compendium as well as other suggestions from recent EU documents should be operationalized without delay.
The EESC believes that the external policy of the EU must become stronger, more participatory and open, effective and coherent. The policy should be geared towards promoting human rights, fundamental freedoms the rule of law and help to create an enabling and democratic environment allowing individuals and CSOs’ to participate in policy formulation and monitoring of the implementation. In the current UN debates on the post-2015 development agenda the EU must advocate concrete steps forward, based on solidarity and coherent policies.
Civil and political society of the EU and its partner countries must play a key role in designing partnership agreements, support programmes and grants via structured dialogue and in line with the EU partnership principle. Particular emphasis should be placed on dialogue with, and inclusion of, different social groups in partner countries, including minorities and inhabitants of remote regions.
Currently, many potential promoters of sustainable development are banned from receiving EU support due to discriminatory administrative and other rules. Positive discrimination (not allowing any room for manipulation) and a requirement that partners with recent transition experience should be involved in development projects are needed to place players with backgrounds scoring lower in current evaluations on an equal footing. The quality of projects and results must come first.
Actors affiliated with authoritarian regimes and/or non-democratic practices (e.g. GoNGOs, Yellow Unions, etc.) should be excluded from support.