The 13th EaP CSF Annual Assembly: The Way Forward
January 28, 2022

The 13th EaP CSF Annual Assembly: The Way Forward

Ahead of the 6th Eastern Partnership Summit, the 13th Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum was held online from November 30 to December 2. Its main focus was on finding the road to recovery from the crises which the European region faced in 2021. To implement the idea of having an international discussion, representatives of more than 200 civil society organizations, as well as today’s decision-makers were brought to the dialogue platform where they could strengthen their expertise and express their opinion on pressing issues. The event also provided a space for participants to try themselves in policymaking and efficient reforms based on the best world’s practices and their own experience. I was participating in the Assembly as a Young European Ambassador. It was a big honour for me to represent the YEAs initiative at such a huge international event. 

The Assembly impressed me significantly, exceeding all the expectations I had built before. Every day was bringing a new portion of discoveries and highlights. Before the start of the Assembly, every participant had the opportunity to build a specific schedule based on his/her own interests and expertise. For example, there was an option of choosing desirable thematic working groups:

  •  Democracy, human rights, good governance, and stability (WG1)
  •  Economic integration and convergence with EU policies (WG2)
  •  Environment, climate change and energy security (WG3)
  •  Contacts between people (WG4)
  •  Social and labour policies and social dialogue (WG5)

Other thematic panels, expert discussions, parallel country stakeholder sessions, and side events were also free to visit, which gave the online Assembly a special interactive element I have never seen at similar events before. There also were online chats where participants could get acquainted, share their experience and establish partnership relations for future cooperation. 

Referring to personal experience, my schedule was mostly filled with sessions tied to politics, economics, and entrepreneurship. The first day started with the Opening Ceremony of the 13th Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. It was a big honour to have Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, as a speaker. His words were highly inspiring to me, especially from the perspective of a young leader who is trying her best in furthering democratic values. 

The next three days, I spent listening to fantastic experts whose professional experience was a great indicator of their knowledge in the sphere they were giving their speech about. Besides, I adored the following sessions the most: 

  • Policy check ahead of the Eastern Partnership Summit
  • Local Economic Development Agency of Yavoriv District, Ukraine – Road to Climate Neutrality: Road for EaP Countries
  • Democratic governance in the EaP – Strengthening transparency, accountability, and monitoring for post-crisis transformation

They have structured and widened my previous knowledge in such an order that I could build a specific vision of actions our society has to undertake to achieve resilience and sustainability. 

The biggest highlights I’ve taken from the 13th EaP CSF Annual Assembly were:

  1. Practising democracy is the only way to further future betterments. It’s important to promote core democratic values, educate people about key benefits, and share access to effective instruments of using them. 
  2. Participation as an element of democracy is crucially important for European countries, especially for those where the political situation is not stable enough. Change for the better will not come without common efforts.
  3. Technologies are fundamental for modern society. They are instruments of current and future changes. Most outstanding present-time breakthroughs were made with their help. If a country wants to be prosperous, it should be oriented towards digitalization and make progressive investments. 
  4. Sustainable economy is a privilege of countries that are value-oriented. Free trade is effective in an independent society whose members have access to democratic institutions and can meet most of its needs.

All in all, the 13th EaP CSF Annual Assembly was a great international experience. I am truly delighted with being its participant and representing the Young European Ambassadors initiative. I will use all the knowledge I received in my future career and related projects, particularly as a YEA. I am highly grateful for the invitation and the opportunity to be a part of the event. I am looking forward to taking part in the Assembly in 2022!

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