Support and solidarity with citizens of southern Mediterranean Countries is proclaimed unanimously by the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership in a letter to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, Baroness Catherine Margaret Ashton.
On behalf of the CSF, the co-chair of the Steering Committee, Ulad Vialichka and Antonella Valmorbida, proclaimed support and solidarity with civil societies of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and other countries of the Southern Neighborhood, which are striving for democracy and better life.
The statement is the expression of the deep grieve about all victims of the violent confrontation with the forces opposing the democratic changes, and the particular concern about the people in disgrace and immigrants in great need.
The Civil Society Forum calls the EU to provide them with necessary support in order to confirm the real values of solidarity on which the EU is funded.
The respect for the fundamental human rights and democracy are considered by the CSV among the fundamental basis for prosperity and welfare of all countries all over the world.
Ulad Vialichka and Antonella Valmorbida welcomed the changes in the North Africa region with a hope for a better future for this region.
“Therefore – says the statement – it is so important for the EU to find a proper balance between its engagement in the East and in the South. Both directions are equally important for the future security of the EU borders and Europe as a continent even though they are facing different challenges and problems. However, we would like to strongly recommend having a look at the two great political dimensions of the European neighborhood policy – the East and the South – as a two sides of the same coin, that need to be treated equally in terms of political and financial attention. All actions undertaken by the European Union in regard to the Mediterranean Region should not be made on the account of the Eastern Partnership. This would be in contradiction with the goals of the European neighborhood policy”.
The reference is to the letter by the Foreign Ministers of France, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Slovenia that suggests shifting funds from the East to the South.
“We understand – the statement says – that the dynamics and scale of the North African developments need an appropriate and fast reaction of the EU. At the same time we recommend that the decisions on how to support the democratic changes in the concerned countries must take into consideration wider aspects of the European Neighborhood Policy and should not undermine the commitments already made by the Union in the Eastern Partnership policy. We, at the Civil Society Forum, a community of hundreds of civil society organisations from the EU member states and EaP partner countries, express our readiness to share existing experience with civil society organisations from Northern Africa and Middle East and to contribute to the discussion about the lessons learnt from the implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy”.
In this respect, the Civil Society Forum of EaP will take the contact with the Civil Society organisations and coordination in the South and recommend inviting some of their representatives to take part in the future CSF meeting which will take place in Poznan this year.
The statement also recommends the European Union to take in due count the role of civil society in the next actions in the future Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean.