On October 4 and 5, 2013 the Black Sea Caspian Sea International Fund became a full participant, representing an EU member country, at the 5th General Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF) “Together for a European Future”, held in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. The BSCSIF delegation attending the CSF consisted of Alev Balgi, Julia Akhunova and Valentina Albu.
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is the main event in the EaP region which supports further development of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), promote contacts among them and facilitate dialogues with public authorities. Once a year this significant event brings together the representatives of civil society from the EU and Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The event was opened by EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Štefan Füle and Deputy Prime Minister Natalia Gherman. The forum was attended by Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius, Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, co-president of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Borys Tarasyuk and co-president of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Krzysztof Bobiński.
At the plenary session of the Fifth Eastern Partnership CSF more than 250 delegates of non-governmental organisations have agreed on the priority issues for the Forum by drawing resolutions. In the coming weeks the Forum based on discussions during the CSF in Chisinau has developed its recommendations to the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius.Mr. Štefan Füle emphasized that EU supports the idea of developing the Eastern Partnership and makes effort for the coming Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit to be a major accomplishment. The process of political association and economic integration of the partner countries with the EU requiring the involvement and more intense support of civil society. Thus, the EU encourages the authorities of the partner countries to continue and develop the cooperation and structured dialogue with civil society.BSCSIF participated in the 2nd EaP CSF Working Group “Economic Integration & Convergence with EU Policies” which dealt with the main issues on the agenda of EaP Thematic Platform 2. This Working Group tackled one of the biggest ambitions fixed at the Prague Summit which aimed at regional economic integration between Eastern Partner countries and opening negotiations on the deep and comprehensive free trade areas between the EU and the Eastern partner countries.