Representatives of the European and Georgian Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs), set up under the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Georgia, held their first joint meeting in Tbilisi on 26 January 2016. The participants expressed their commitment to fulfil the mandate foreseen in the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the Association Agreement, namely to monitor the implementation of the Chapter and to provide advice to the Parties to the Agreement.
The EESC's activities concerning Eastern Neighbours involve Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The main objective of the EESC with regard to the European Eastern Neighbours is to enhance relations with civil society organisations in the region and to involve them in a dialogue with both their national policy makers and the EU organised civil society.
The main cooperation mechanisms with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are the Civil Society Platforms which complement the political bodies existing within the framework of the EU Association Agreements with these countries. The Platforms allow civil society organisations from both the EU and the partner country side to monitor the implementation process and prepare their recommendations to the relevant authorities.
On the EU side, these Platforms comprise members of the EESC as well as representatives from large European civil society networks. On the partner country side, they represent a broad spectrum of civil society organizations. The membership of the Platforms is based on balanced representation of all interest groups (employers' organizations, trade unions and various interests' groups).
Within the EESC, the Eastern Neighbours Follow-up Committee was established in 2004 as a dedicated body responsible for relations with civil society in the Eastern Neighbourhood countries. The Follow-up Committee usually meets four times a year and its members take active part in the Eastern Partnership activities such as EaP multilateral platforms and the EaP Civil Society Forum.
The EESC and the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum are organising their 3rd joint seminar, on 23 November 2016, in Versailles. The objective of the seminar is to discuss topics of common interest for European and Russian civil society. On the agenda this year will be questions such as the current situation in which civil society in Russia and in the EU are operating, and questions relating to migration, specifically focusing on good practices and experiences in integrating newcomers into host societies.
Article 376 of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement foresees that each Party would establish a domestic advisory group (DAG) on sustainable development, which would advise on issues relating to the Chapter of trade and sustainable development. A joint meeting is held annually. The first meeting was held in July 2015.
The first and inaugural meeting of the EU-Georgia Civil Society Platform (CSP) was held on 16 June 2016 in Tbilisi. The CSP complements the political bodies existing within the framework of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, and it allows civil society organisations from both sides to monitor the implementation process and prepare recommendations to the relevant authorities both in Georgia as well as in the European Union.
The CSP is made up of EESC members and representatives from large European civil society networks, on the one side, and representatives from Georgian civil society organisations, on the other side.
The first and inaugural meeting of the EU-Moldova Civil Society Platform (CSP) was held on 10 May 2016 at the EESC. The CSP complements the political bodies existing within the framework of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement, and it allows civil society organisations from both sides to monitor the implementation process and prepare recommendations to the relevant authorities both in the Republic of Moldova as well as in the European Union.
The CSP is made up of nine members from both Parties, representing the EESC and large European civil society networks, on the one side, and civil society organisations from Moldova, on the other side.