LDA SISAK: 15 YEARS TOWARDS EUROPE AND DEMOCRACY. THE CELEBRATION WITH AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AND THE 12 STAR LABEL ELDW TO THE CITY (4TH of Novembrer, Sisak, Croatia)

The celebration for the 15th anniversary of the LDA of Sisak (HR) coincides, for a not accidental case, with the eve of Croatian access in the big European family, and the awarding of the “12 stars label” to the Municipality for its efforts in ELDW, the European local democracy week, by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
The official celebration will take place the 4th of November, with an international conference on  “The Road of Croatia towards the EU: the role of Croatian Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs)”, organized in the framework of the ELDW, ) by the LDA of Sisak, in cooperation with ALDA, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the CoE and the Municipality of Sisak (9.00-13.30 City Hall Sisak).

The Conference will be attended by many national and international experts and representatives of European and national institutions as well. Among them Ms Barbara Toce, Member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and Vice Mayor of Pedaso (Italy), Ambassador Henrik Ofstad, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Zagreb, Ambassador Paul Vandoren, Head of the EU Delegation to Croatia, Mr Dinko Pintarić, Mayor of Sisak, Mr Per Vinther, President of ALDA.
In these 15 years, starting from the ruins of the conflict, the LDA has been a promoter of many initiatives whose aim was primarily to promote the participation of citizens and their associations and to strengthen the democratic debate with local authorities.
These are the values that Croatia has signed up to get access to the European community and some credit goes also to the work done by the ADL of Sisak.
During the last 15 years, LDA Sisak has implemented more than 100 projects that have directly involved over 15.000 people. Established in 1996 as a pilot project of Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Council of Europe and since 2006 working as a domestic organisation, Local Democracy Agency Sisak enforced itself as one of the key actors in civil society development in Sisak and Sisačko-Moslavačka County. From its very beginnings, LDA Sisak is implementing projects aiming to protect human rights and democratic society development and promotes values of tolerance and non-discrimination, multiculturalism, cooperation, partnership and active citizenship.
In addition to the international conference, Sisak was selected by ALDA to host the Annual LDAs Delegates meeting and the Annual Meeting of the Lead Partners Representatives of the LDAs (3 – 5 November).
The Association of LDAs is confident that the regular meetings and discussions among the Delegates and the Lead Partners of the LDAs could contribute to the development of all the network of the Agencies, in particular with regards to the concept of partnership in the framework of the multilateral decentralized cooperation and the area of intervention and interest of each LDA.

The celebration for the 15th anniversary of the LDA of Sisak (HR) coincides, for a not accidental case, with the eve of Croatian access in the big European family, and the awarding of the “12 stars label” to the Municipality for its efforts in ELDW, the European local democracy week, by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
The official celebration will take place the 4th of November, with an international conference on  “The Road of Croatia towards the EU: the role of Croatian Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs)”, organized in the framework of the ELDW, ) by the LDA of Sisak, in cooperation with ALDA, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the CoE and the Municipality of Sisak (9.00-13.30 City Hall Sisak).

The Conference will be attended by many national and international experts and representatives of European and national institutions as well. Among them Ms Barbara Toce, Member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and Vice Mayor of Pedaso (Italy), Ambassador Henrik Ofstad, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Zagreb, Ambassador Paul Vandoren, Head of the EU Delegation to Croatia, Mr Dinko Pintarić, Mayor of Sisak, Mr Per Vinther, President of ALDA.
In these 15 years, starting from the ruins of the conflict, the LDA has been a promoter of many initiatives whose aim was primarily to promote the participation of citizens and their associations and to strengthen the democratic debate with local authorities.
These are the values that Croatia has signed up to get access to the European community and some credit goes also to the work done by the ADL of Sisak.
During the last 15 years, LDA Sisak has implemented more than 100 projects that have directly involved over 15.000 people. Established in 1996 as a pilot project of Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Council of Europe and since 2006 working as a domestic organisation, Local Democracy Agency Sisak enforced itself as one of the key actors in civil society development in Sisak and Sisačko-Moslavačka County. From its very beginnings, LDA Sisak is implementing projects aiming to protect human rights and democratic society development and promotes values of tolerance and non-discrimination, multiculturalism, cooperation, partnership and active citizenship.
In addition to the international conference, Sisak was selected by ALDA to host the Annual LDAs Delegates meeting and the Annual Meeting of the Lead Partners Representatives of the LDAs (3 – 5 November).
The Association of LDAs is confident that the regular meetings and discussions among the Delegates and the Lead Partners of the LDAs could contribute to the development of all the network of the Agencies, in particular with regards to the concept of partnership in the framework of the multilateral decentralized cooperation and the area of intervention and interest of each LDA.


“THE NEW LDA ARMENIA WILL BE A BRIDGE BUILDER”, ALDA PRESIDENT, PER VINTHER, SAID DURING THE OPENING CEREMONY

“The new LDA Armenia, like the others established in the past years,  will be a bridge builder! It will build bridges between the various stakeholders of the community, as local authorities, civil society, and the local business and educational sectors, in order to promote democracy and respect for human and minority right”.
Mr Per Vinther, ALDA President, in his speech on occasion of the opening of the new LDA Armenia, stressed that the objectives of this process are manifold.

“First and foremost – he said – is the aim to build a better and fairer community for all through dialogue between local authorities and civil society. A community where local government functions in a transparent and accountable way, where citizens enjoy the possibility of having their say not only on election day, in other words truly participatory democracy, where business and educational institutions contribute constructively towards an environment of peace, prosperity and dignity for all citizens”.
A second objective in the opinion of ALDA President, Per Vinther, is to contribute to the preparation of the host country for rapprochement to the European Union.
“With the opening of LDA Armenia one can begin to see the outline of an LDA network for South Caucasus. LDA Georgia has been the stepping stone, and based also on ALDA involvement in the EUs Eastern Partnership our intention is to establish in the foreseeable future an LDA Azerbaijan as well” stressed Mr. Vinther.
Being the 13th,this Agency will be able to draw on 18 years of experience of other agencies, established in the Western Balkans, and 5 years of experience of LDA Georgia, located in Kutaisi.
In conclusion of his speech, Alda President thanked all those who have contributed positively to making the opening of LDA Armenia possible: “From Rhône-Alpes Region who has accepted to be lead partner for the agency as well as all the other international and national partners who have joined in, over the Union of Communities of Armenia to the town of Gyumri which has agreed to host the Agency, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and – not least – the ALDA staff members who have worked tirelessly to keep all the balls in the air until this moment. I encourage them to continue to provide support for the new LDA Delegate who is facing a steep learning curve”

“The new LDA Armenia, like the others established in the past years,  will be a bridge builder! It will build bridges between the various stakeholders of the community, as local authorities, civil society, and the local business and educational sectors, in order to promote democracy and respect for human and minority right”.
Mr Per Vinther, ALDA President, in his speech on occasion of the opening of the new LDA Armenia, stressed that the objectives of this process are manifold.

“First and foremost – he said – is the aim to build a better and fairer community for all through dialogue between local authorities and civil society. A community where local government functions in a transparent and accountable way, where citizens enjoy the possibility of having their say not only on election day, in other words truly participatory democracy, where business and educational institutions contribute constructively towards an environment of peace, prosperity and dignity for all citizens”.
A second objective in the opinion of ALDA President, Per Vinther, is to contribute to the preparation of the host country for rapprochement to the European Union.
“With the opening of LDA Armenia one can begin to see the outline of an LDA network for South Caucasus. LDA Georgia has been the stepping stone, and based also on ALDA involvement in the EUs Eastern Partnership our intention is to establish in the foreseeable future an LDA Azerbaijan as well” stressed Mr. Vinther.
Being the 13th,this Agency will be able to draw on 18 years of experience of other agencies, established in the Western Balkans, and 5 years of experience of LDA Georgia, located in Kutaisi.
In conclusion of his speech, Alda President thanked all those who have contributed positively to making the opening of LDA Armenia possible: “From Rhône-Alpes Region who has accepted to be lead partner for the agency as well as all the other international and national partners who have joined in, over the Union of Communities of Armenia to the town of Gyumri which has agreed to host the Agency, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and – not least – the ALDA staff members who have worked tirelessly to keep all the balls in the air until this moment. I encourage them to continue to provide support for the new LDA Delegate who is facing a steep learning curve”


THE LOCAL DEMOCRACY AGENCY ARMENIA WAS OPENED TODAY IN GYUMRI. A TOOL FOR LOCAL DEMOCRACY AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION. (28TH of October)

The new Local Democracy Agency Armenia was opened on 28th of October in Gyumri. It is the second LDA in the South Caucasus area and the thirteenth LDA opened by the Association of Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA) with the support of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
With the signature of the memorandum of understanding by the partners of the LDA, officially is started the work of this important tool for the local democracy and citizen participation.

The Armenian local authorities and the civil society have very high expectations on the contribution of the ADL to the growth of local democracy in Armenia.
It has been demonstrated by the participation at the opening ceremony of a large number of citizens but also of representatives of the Armenian Government and local authorities.
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, represented by Vice-President Fabio Pellegrini, strongly believes in the possibility to further the process of democratization in this country that is part of the Council.
Attended to the opening ceremony, with the Mayor of Gyumri, Mr. Vardan Ghukasyan, the, First deputy minister of the RA ministry of Territorial Administration, Mr. Vache Terteryan, the President of the Union of Communities of Armenia, Mr. Emin Yeritsyan, the Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Mr. Fabio Pellegrini.
Mr. Per Vinther, President of ALDA, AND Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA, attended too to the ceremony.
Mrs. Véronique Moreira, Vice-president of Region Rhone-Alpes responsible for development cooperation stressed the full involvement of the France Region, that will be partner leader of the LDA, by a video contribution.
After the opening ceremony took place a conference on Cooperation between local authorities and civil society and European cooperation in Armenia, with the participation of Mrs. Armine Tukhikyan, Urban Foundation For Sustainable development (Armenia), Mrs. Raffaella Viviani, Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Italy, Mr. Levon Barseghyan, President of the Journalists’ Club Asparez, Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA and Mr. Ioseb Khakhaleishvili, Delegate and Executive Director LDA Georgia.
Partners of LDA Armenia are the Rhône-Alpes Region (France), the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (Italy), the International Committee For The Development of Peoples CISP (Italy), the Union of Communities of Armenia, the Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development (Armenia), the Journalists’ Club Asparez (Armenia), and the Armenian Municipalities of Gyumri, the host city, and Ijevan.
The Councillor for International Relations of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Elio De Anna, stressed in a message that “The accession of the FVG Region  in the LDA Armenia is in line with the strategic choices of international policy set by President Renzo Tondo, that see in the Caucasian territory an area of economic and social interest for the region. The action of the FVG, as a partner of the LDA Armenian, shall be aimed at achieving the objectives of respect for democratic values in line with what is established by the European Community. “

Mr. Fabio Pellegrini speech on the new ADL Armenia
Mr. Fabio Pellegrini speech on the South Caucasus

Video
Mr. Levon Barseghyan
Mr. Emin Yeritsyan
Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida
Mr. Per Vinther
Mr. Fabio Pellegrini

The new Local Democracy Agency Armenia was opened on 28th of October in Gyumri. It is the second LDA in the South Caucasus area and the thirteenth LDA opened by the Association of Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA) with the support of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
With the signature of the memorandum of understanding by the partners of the LDA, officially is started the work of this important tool for the local democracy and citizen participation.

The Armenian local authorities and the civil society have very high expectations on the contribution of the ADL to the growth of local democracy in Armenia.
It has been demonstrated by the participation at the opening ceremony of a large number of citizens but also of representatives of the Armenian Government and local authorities.
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, represented by Vice-President Fabio Pellegrini, strongly believes in the possibility to further the process of democratization in this country that is part of the Council.
Attended to the opening ceremony, with the Mayor of Gyumri, Mr. Vardan Ghukasyan, the, First deputy minister of the RA ministry of Territorial Administration, Mr. Vache Terteryan, the President of the Union of Communities of Armenia, Mr. Emin Yeritsyan, the Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Mr. Fabio Pellegrini.
Mr. Per Vinther, President of ALDA, AND Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA, attended too to the ceremony.
Mrs. Véronique Moreira, Vice-president of Region Rhone-Alpes responsible for development cooperation stressed the full involvement of the France Region, that will be partner leader of the LDA, by a video contribution.
After the opening ceremony took place a conference on Cooperation between local authorities and civil society and European cooperation in Armenia, with the participation of Mrs. Armine Tukhikyan, Urban Foundation For Sustainable development (Armenia), Mrs. Raffaella Viviani, Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Italy, Mr. Levon Barseghyan, President of the Journalists’ Club Asparez, Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA and Mr. Ioseb Khakhaleishvili, Delegate and Executive Director LDA Georgia.
Partners of LDA Armenia are the Rhône-Alpes Region (France), the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (Italy), the International Committee For The Development of Peoples CISP (Italy), the Union of Communities of Armenia, the Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development (Armenia), the Journalists’ Club Asparez (Armenia), and the Armenian Municipalities of Gyumri, the host city, and Ijevan.
The Councillor for International Relations of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Elio De Anna, stressed in a message that “The accession of the FVG Region  in the LDA Armenia is in line with the strategic choices of international policy set by President Renzo Tondo, that see in the Caucasian territory an area of economic and social interest for the region. The action of the FVG, as a partner of the LDA Armenian, shall be aimed at achieving the objectives of respect for democratic values in line with what is established by the European Community. “

Mr. Fabio Pellegrini speech on the new ADL Armenia
Mr. Fabio Pellegrini speech on the South Caucasus

Video
Mr. Levon Barseghyan
Mr. Emin Yeritsyan
Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida
Mr. Per Vinther
Mr. Fabio Pellegrini


THIENE (I) AND IJEVAN (AM) LAUNCHED A PROJECT OF COOPERATION

The visit in Ijevan (Armenia) of two executives of the Municipality of Thiene (Italy) launched yesterday (27th of October) a twinning project between the two cities, in cooperation with ALDA.
Sara Bertoldo and Marta Tognon was received by the Mayor of Ijevan, Varoujan Nersisyan (in the picture) and meet the executives and others officials of the Armenian municipality.
The meeting focused mainly on the experiences and practices of the two local authorities on local taxes, urban development , education and waste management.

The analysis of these issues was deep and raised a great success. The management of a city, in fact, in different contexts, shows the same problems at all latitudes. Often there are different responses that people receive.
The importance of this project is in its opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences to improve services to citizens and make them active in decision making
The project is co-financed by the Veneto Region under the “Direct Initiative 2011 – Decentralized cooperation for development” for the promotion of human rights, culture of peace, development cooperation and solidarity.
The project will develop over a year and includes study visits and training courses in the two cities.
The last action of the project  will be a study visit in Thiene of a delegation of representatives of the Armenian community (next March), during which will be illustrated the practical activities and initiatives of the Italian town, such as the Urban Center, a reality that could also be replicated in the Armenian city. The visit aims to create a network between authorities and civil society organizations, which will be the basis for a durable cooperation.

The visit in Ijevan (Armenia) of two executives of the Municipality of Thiene (Italy) launched yesterday (27th of October) a twinning project between the two cities, in cooperation with ALDA.
Sara Bertoldo and Marta Tognon was received by the Mayor of Ijevan, Varoujan Nersisyan (in the picture) and meet the executives and others officials of the Armenian municipality.
The meeting focused mainly on the experiences and practices of the two local authorities on local taxes, urban development , education and waste management.

The analysis of these issues was deep and raised a great success. The management of a city, in fact, in different contexts, shows the same problems at all latitudes. Often there are different responses that people receive.
The importance of this project is in its opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences to improve services to citizens and make them active in decision making
The project is co-financed by the Veneto Region under the “Direct Initiative 2011 – Decentralized cooperation for development” for the promotion of human rights, culture of peace, development cooperation and solidarity.
The project will develop over a year and includes study visits and training courses in the two cities.
The last action of the project  will be a study visit in Thiene of a delegation of representatives of the Armenian community (next March), during which will be illustrated the practical activities and initiatives of the Italian town, such as the Urban Center, a reality that could also be replicated in the Armenian city. The visit aims to create a network between authorities and civil society organizations, which will be the basis for a durable cooperation.


LDA NIS HAS JOINED THE CAMPAIGN "CIVIL SOCIETY AGAINST VIOLENCE 2.0"

LDA Nis has joined campaign “Civil Society Against Violence 2.0”, organized by the Center for New Communications Dokukino in cooperation with USAID and ISC.
“We will show that with joint work and creativity we can change our habits, stereotypes, reduce the incidence of school violence, violence on the street, in a speech on the walls…Dokukino will share knowledge on the use of new media (Facebook, Twitter) and show how technology can compensate for the lack of money or lack of allies in the nearest surroundings.

Together we will design and conduct 10 campaigns in local communities, focusing on a problem that afflicts them. We are confident that we will find solutions and initiate change. Thru presentation on television, radio and newspapers this will be spread all over Serbia. “

More information can be found here.

LDA Nis has joined campaign “Civil Society Against Violence 2.0”, organized by the Center for New Communications Dokukino in cooperation with USAID and ISC.
“We will show that with joint work and creativity we can change our habits, stereotypes, reduce the incidence of school violence, violence on the street, in a speech on the walls…Dokukino will share knowledge on the use of new media (Facebook, Twitter) and show how technology can compensate for the lack of money or lack of allies in the nearest surroundings.

Together we will design and conduct 10 campaigns in local communities, focusing on a problem that afflicts them. We are confident that we will find solutions and initiate change. Thru presentation on television, radio and newspapers this will be spread all over Serbia. “

More information can be found here.


ALDA AT THE EUROPEAN CONGRESS OF RURAL MUNICIPALITIES IN WARSAW, 19/20 OCTOBER 2011

The Association of Local Democracy Agencies participated in the European Congress of Rural Municipalities, which took place in Warsaw on 19-20 October 2011. The congress was organised by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Union of Rural Communes of the Republic of Poland within the framework of the Polish Council presidency. Under the patronage of Polish President Bronisław Komorowski, the event brought together Polish Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, Adam Struzik, Marshal of the Mazovia Region, Mariusz Poznański, President of the Polish Union of Rural Communes, CoR members and over 1.000 representatives of rural municipalities.

In presentations and discussions, speakers stressed the fact that despite their diversity, Europe’s rural areas face many common challenges such as high unemployment, lack of basic infrastructure or depopulation. A common strategy for rural development, uniting all EU funds, was an idea put forward by many participants, often stressing the tight links between urban and rural areas and their importance for future development.
To highlight the role of rural regions in EU policymaking, congress participants adopted the ‘Warsaw declaration’. The declaration insists on the importance of taking the needs of rural areas into account and to strike the right balance between rural and urban policies, and calls for stronger links between the rural and urban areas to develop a more integrated territorial approach.
Find the Warsaw Declaration (ovdje)
Learn more about the Congress on its website.

The Association of Local Democracy Agencies participated in the European Congress of Rural Municipalities, which took place in Warsaw on 19-20 October 2011. The congress was organised by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Union of Rural Communes of the Republic of Poland within the framework of the Polish Council presidency. Under the patronage of Polish President Bronisław Komorowski, the event brought together Polish Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, Adam Struzik, Marshal of the Mazovia Region, Mariusz Poznański, President of the Polish Union of Rural Communes, CoR members and over 1.000 representatives of rural municipalities.

In presentations and discussions, speakers stressed the fact that despite their diversity, Europe’s rural areas face many common challenges such as high unemployment, lack of basic infrastructure or depopulation. A common strategy for rural development, uniting all EU funds, was an idea put forward by many participants, often stressing the tight links between urban and rural areas and their importance for future development.
To highlight the role of rural regions in EU policymaking, congress participants adopted the ‘Warsaw declaration’. The declaration insists on the importance of taking the needs of rural areas into account and to strike the right balance between rural and urban policies, and calls for stronger links between the rural and urban areas to develop a more integrated territorial approach.
Find the Warsaw Declaration (ovdje)
Learn more about the Congress on its website.


LAUNCHING MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL GRUNDTVIG PROJECT. BUDAPEST 23RD OCTOBER 2011

On the 23rd of October it was officially launched in Budapest, Hungary, the Grundtvig project “Network for Community Development with Marginalised Social Groups” in which ALDA is partner. Lead by the Hungarian Association of Community Development, the project will aim at facilitating the mutual learning of innovative tools of community development that tackle the problems of marginalized social groups in different regions of Europe.

ALDA will be responsible for the organization of a Study visit in Strasbourg in March 2003 with the aim of sharing with the other partners of the project its own experience in community development and its networking methodologies implying the promotion of social and economic local development all over Europe. Moreover, ALDA will send 12 participants in 3 study visits in Spain, Scotland and Hungary in order to exchange best practices with the other partners of the programme.
For more information click here or contact Mr. Alfonso Aliberti, Project Manager of the project, at alfonso.aliberti@aldaintranet.org

On the 23rd of October it was officially launched in Budapest, Hungary, the Grundtvig project “Network for Community Development with Marginalised Social Groups” in which ALDA is partner. Lead by the Hungarian Association of Community Development, the project will aim at facilitating the mutual learning of innovative tools of community development that tackle the problems of marginalized social groups in different regions of Europe.

ALDA will be responsible for the organization of a Study visit in Strasbourg in March 2003 with the aim of sharing with the other partners of the project its own experience in community development and its networking methodologies implying the promotion of social and economic local development all over Europe. Moreover, ALDA will send 12 participants in 3 study visits in Spain, Scotland and Hungary in order to exchange best practices with the other partners of the programme.
For more information click here or contact Mr. Alfonso Aliberti, Project Manager of the project, at alfonso.aliberti@aldaintranet.org


LDA NIŠ AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “GREEN CAPITAL” IN TBILISI, GEORGIA

Mr Dragan Marinkovic, associate of LDA Niš and Head of Environmental Protection Department of the City of Kragujevac, will take part in the international conference on climate change, “Green capital” in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 20th of October. As a good practice example he will present joint project of LDA Niš and City of Kragujevac, “Waste management: Raise Awareness On Waste Management Through Education And Implementation Of Selective Compilation Of Cardboard And  Pet Waste“.

The audience of this conference will be representatives from educational sector: teachers, school authorities, schoolchildren. Also, policy makers from Georgia president office, Parliament, Government and Tbilisi City Mayor office will be present.
Conference is being organized by Lithuanian Youth Centre and supported by Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Dragan Marinkovic, associate of LDA Niš and Head of Environmental Protection Department of the City of Kragujevac, will take part in the international conference on climate change, “Green capital” in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 20th of October. As a good practice example he will present joint project of LDA Niš and City of Kragujevac, “Waste management: Raise Awareness On Waste Management Through Education And Implementation Of Selective Compilation Of Cardboard And  Pet Waste“.

The audience of this conference will be representatives from educational sector: teachers, school authorities, schoolchildren. Also, policy makers from Georgia president office, Parliament, Government and Tbilisi City Mayor office will be present.
Conference is being organized by Lithuanian Youth Centre and supported by Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


ALDA PRESENCE ON THE COMMISSION «EUROPE ELARGIE DE L’AFCCRE» - FRENCH-CROATIAN MEETING IN ZAGREB (HR), 11 OCTOBER 2011

On 11 October 2011, as part of the activities in its committee «Wider Europe», AFCCRE took the initiative to organize a meeting between the French and the Croatian representatives of local authorities in both countries. The meeting was held in Zagreb in partnership with the Association of Croatian counties, the Union of Croatian towns and municipalities and CIDEM, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Embassy of France in Croatia.

This initiative was a follow-up of the Conference that AFCCRE organized in the French Senate last February on the contribution of local authorities to the European future of the Western Balkans.
In addition, this meeting in the Croatian capital had symbolic meaning, following the European Council decision on 30 June, to close the accession negotiations of Croatia and is expected to join the European family on 1st July 2013.
In this context, the conference was an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences on Europe territories and Europe for citizens, particularly the impact on local Croatian forthcoming accession to the European Union and the prospects for trade and cooperation between the two countries.
ALDA’s projects and work of the LDA’s in the field of local democracy was presented by Ms. Ivana Dimitrovska, Head of office in Skopje. Ms. Dimitrovska also presented the methodology of work in the Project for decentralised cooperation between the Region Lower Normandy and Republic of Macedonia.
Following the examples presented, it is clear that the Croatian-French cooperation strengthens from year to year. In view of the forthcoming accession of Croatia to the European Union, their field of work is expanding, which will give a wider access to local Croatian actors in the European programs.

On 11 October 2011, as part of the activities in its committee «Wider Europe», AFCCRE took the initiative to organize a meeting between the French and the Croatian representatives of local authorities in both countries. The meeting was held in Zagreb in partnership with the Association of Croatian counties, the Union of Croatian towns and municipalities and CIDEM, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Embassy of France in Croatia.

This initiative was a follow-up of the Conference that AFCCRE organized in the French Senate last February on the contribution of local authorities to the European future of the Western Balkans.
In addition, this meeting in the Croatian capital had symbolic meaning, following the European Council decision on 30 June, to close the accession negotiations of Croatia and is expected to join the European family on 1st July 2013.
In this context, the conference was an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences on Europe territories and Europe for citizens, particularly the impact on local Croatian forthcoming accession to the European Union and the prospects for trade and cooperation between the two countries.
ALDA’s projects and work of the LDA’s in the field of local democracy was presented by Ms. Ivana Dimitrovska, Head of office in Skopje. Ms. Dimitrovska also presented the methodology of work in the Project for decentralised cooperation between the Region Lower Normandy and Republic of Macedonia.
Following the examples presented, it is clear that the Croatian-French cooperation strengthens from year to year. In view of the forthcoming accession of Croatia to the European Union, their field of work is expanding, which will give a wider access to local Croatian actors in the European programs.


RESPECT OF FREEDOM AND IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS IN AZERBAIJAN, ASKS THE EAP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM

Respect of freedom of expression and assembly, and immediate release of political prisoners, in Azerbaijan. Is what asks the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum to the Government of Azerbaijan, to the Heads of all EU institutions, to the Governments of the EU member States and to the Council of Europe.
In a statement  of the Steering Committee the Co-Chairs of the Forum, Mrs Antonella Valmorbida, (ALDA), and Ulad Vialichka (International Consortium EUROBELARUS) claim that the work of civil society – including those formally recognised within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum – continues to be obstructed by government authorities in Azerbaijan.

“Democracy campaigners received jail sentences in Baku- is written in the statement-. Since their detention for participation in peaceful demonstrations on 2 April 2011, 14 civil society activists and opposition leaders have been sentenced to jail for periods of up to six years in politically motivated trials based on falsified evidence. On 2 April 2011, peaceful protesters were beaten and arrested in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and others were arrested in pre-emptive police action before the 2 April public gatherings calling for democratic reforms in Azerbaijan. These actions were condemned by the Civil Society Forum in its statement of 5 April 2011.
The fourteen individuals sentenced include a well-known human rights defender, the deputy head of the opposition Musavat Party, and the chairman of the National Statehood Party. The convictions were based on charges ranging from kidnapping and hooliganism to disobeying police orders and forcing a citizen to vote against his will or preventing him from voting. The results of the monitoring of the investigation process and court hearings by Azerbaijani Human Rights Defend Organizations shows that the right to a fair trial was violated both during the investigation and court hearings, and that the accusations against the defendants were of a political character and based on ungrounded and suspicious conclusions”.
The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum calls upon the government of Azerbaijan to immediately release the political prisoners, and to respect freedom of expression and assembly.
The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum considers the court decisions unfair and politically motivated, and calls upon governments of the member-states of the European Union, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the European Commissioner for Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy, to communicate to the Azerbaijan authorities their unambiguous disapproval of these sentences, and to call upon the government of Azerbaijan to release the prisoners immediately.
The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum strongly condemns these politically motivated convictions, which are clear violations of the obligations of Azerbaijan as a member of the Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and urges the European Commission, the EU Council, and EU member-states to consult extensively with representatives of civil society, and to ensure that they meet directly with them on every official visit to Azerbaijan to hear first-hand about the observance of human rights and democratic freedoms in Azerbaijan.

RISPETTO PER LA LIBERTA’ E IMMEDIATO RILASCIO DEI PRIGIONIERI POLITICI IN AZERBAIJAN, CHIEDE IL FORUM DELLA SOCIETA’ CIVILE DELL’EAP

Rispetto della libertà di espressione e di riunione e immediato rilascio dei prigionieri politici in Azerbaijan. E’ quanto chiede il Forum della società civile dei Paesi del partenariato orientale al Governo dell’Azerbaijan, ai capi delle istituzioni europee, ai governi degli stati membri dell’UE ed al Consiglio d’Europa.
In una dichiarazione del Comitato direttivo, i due Presidenti del Forum, Antonella Valmorbida, Direttrice di ALDA e Ulad Vialichka, del Consorzio internazionale Eurobelarus, affermano che il lavoro della società civile, incluso quello formalmente riconosciuto del Forum, continua ad essere ostacolato dalle autorità di governo azere.

“I manifestanti per la democrazia sono stati incarcerati a Baku – è scritto nella dichiarazione – dopo aver partecipato alla manifestazione pacifica del 2 aprile, 14 attivisti della società civile e leader dell’opposizione sono stati condannati a pene superiori ai sei anni per motivi politici, basati su prove false. Il 2 aprile protestanti pacifici sono stati picchiati e arrestati a Baku, la capitale dell’Azerbaijan, e altri sono stati arrestati in un’azione preventiva prima della manifestazione con la quale il 2 aprile venivano chieste riforme democratiche per il paese. Queste azioni repressive erano già state condannate con una dichiarazione del Forum il 5 aprile.
Tra i quattordici condannati ci sono anche noti difensori dei diritti umani, il vice segretario del partito di opposizione Musavat e il presidente del National Statehood Party.
Le convinzioni sono basate su accuse che vanno dal rapimento e teppismo e di aver disobbedito agli ordini della polizia, costringendo il cittadino a votare contro la sua volontà o impedendogli di votare. I risultati del monitoraggio delle indagine e delle udienze del processo da parte delle organizzazioni per la difesa dei diritti umani dell’Azerbaijan dimostra che il diritto a un processo equo è stato violato, sia durante l’inchiesta sia durante le udienze, e che le accuse contro gli imputati erano di carattere politico e basate su conclusioni sospette”.
Il Comitato direttivo del Forum della società civile dell’EAP, chiede al governo dell’Azerbaijan l’immediato rilascio dei prigionieri politici ed il rispetto della libertà di espressione e di riunione.
Il Direttivo considera false e motivate politicamente le decisioni della Corte, e chiede ai governi degli stati europei, al Consiglio d’Europa, al parlamento europeo, all’alto rappresentante dell’UE per gli affari esteri e la sicurezza e al Commissario europeo per l’allargamento e le politiche di vicinato di comunicare alle autorità dell’Azerbaijan la loro inequivocabile disapprovazione di queste sentenze e di richiedere l’immediato rilascio dei prigionieri.
Il Direttivo del Forum condanna vivacemente queste condanne per motivi politici che sono una chiara violazione degli impegni assunti dall’Azerbaijan in qualità di componente del Consiglio d’Europa e parte della Convenzione europea dei diritti umani (ECHR) e sollecita la Commissione europea, il Consiglio Europeo e gli Stati membri una consultazione permanente con le rappresentanze della società civile, con l’impegno di incontrarsi direttamente con esse in occasione di ogni visita ufficiale in Azerbaijan, per avere una versione di prima mano sul rispetto dei diritti umani e delle libertà democratiche nel paese.

LE FORUM DE LA SOCIETE CIVILE DU PARTENARIAT ORIENTAL DEMANDE LE RESPECT DES LIBERTES ET LA LIBERATION IMMEDIATE DES PRISONNIERS POLITIQUES EN AZERBAÏDJAN

Le Forum de la société civile du Partenariat oriental demande, au Gouvernement de l’Azerbaïdjan, aux chefs des institutions européennes, aux gouvernements des pays communautaires et au Conseil de l’Europe, le respect de la liberté d’expression et de réunion, et la libération immédiate des prisonniers politiques de l’Azerbaïdjan. Dans une déclaration officielle du Conseil de direction, les co-présidents du Forum, Mme. Antonella VALMORBIDA (de l’AADL) et M. Ulad VIALICHKA (du consortium international Eurobelarus) affirment que le travail de la société civile (y compris le travail des organisations reconnues par le Forum de la société civil du Partenariat oriental) est toujours encombré par les autorités gouvernementales de l’Azerbaïdjan.

La déclaration mentionne que « des protestataires au nom de la démocratie ont été condamnés à la prison, à Baku. Depuis leur arrestation pour avoir protesté de manière pacifique, le 2 avril 2011, quatorze activistes de la société civile et leaders de l’opposition ont été condamnés à la prison pour des périodes allant jusqu’à 6 ans. Ils ont été condamnés par des tribunaux politiquement biaisés, sur des preuves forgées. Le 2 avril 2011, des protestataires pacifiques ont été agressés et arrêtés à Baku, la capitale de l’Azerbaïdjan, durant un appel à la réforme démocratique, lancé de manière publique. D’autres opposants ont été arrêtés de manière préventive, avant l’évènement d’avril ». Dans sa déclaration du 5 avril 2011, le Forum de la société civile a fortement critiqué ces mesures. « Parmi les détenus se trouvent un fameux défenseur des droits de l’homme, l’adjoint du parti d’opposition, Musavat, et le président du National Statehood Party. Les condamnations ont été prononcées pour des accusations de rapt, de vandalisme, de contrevenant, d’avoir forcé le vote contre la volonté ou de l’avoir empêché. Le suivi de l’investigation pénale et du procès, par les organisations azéries de défense des droits de l’homme, montre que la procédure n’a pas été juste et que les accusations, de nature politique, se basent sur des conclusions louches. »
Le Comité de direction du Forum de la société civile du Partenariat oriental lance un appel, visant le gouvernement de l’Azerbaïdjan, pour la libération immédiate des prisonniers politiques et pour le respect de la liberté de parole et de réunion. Le Comité de direction du Forum considère que la condamnation est incorrecte et politiquement baisée. Il demande aux gouvernements des Etats-membres de l’Union européenne, au Conseil de l’Europe, au Parlement européen, au Haut représentant de l’Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité et au Commissaire à l’élargissement et à la Politique européenne de voisinage, de communiquer aux autorités azéries leur désapprobation et leur appel à la libération immédiate. Le même Comité de direction critique les motivations politiques derrière les condamnations et considère que l’Azerbaïdjan se montre coupable de violer ses obligations de membre du Conseil de l’Europe et de partie de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme. Il incite la Commission européenne, le Conseil de l’UE et les pays membres à poursuivre des consultations directes avec les représentants de la société civile pour le suivi des droits de l’homme et des libertés démocratique en Azerbaïdjan.

УВАЖЕНИЕ СВОБОДЫ И НЕМЕДЛЕННОЕ ОСВОБОЖДЕНИЕ ПОЛИТЗАКЛЮЧЕННЫХ В АЗЕРБАЙДЖАНЕ, – ПРОСИТ ФОРУМ ГРАЖДАНСКОГО ОБЩЕСТВА ВОСТОЧНОГО ПАРТНЕРСТВА

Уважение свободы слова и собраний и немедленное освобождение политзаключенных в Азербайджане. Вот, что требует Форум гражданского общества Восточного партнерства, обращаясь к Правительству Азербайджана, главам  всех институтов ЕС, Правительствам государств-членов ЕС и Совету Европы.
В своем заявлении Руководящему комитету Антонелла Вальморбида (Ассоциация ALDA) и Влад Величко (Международный консорциум «ЕвроБеларусь»), сопредседатели Форума,  заявляют, что работе гражданского общества – включая работу, официально признанную в рамках Форума гражданского общества Восточного партнерства – продолжают препятствовать органы власти в Азербайджане.

«Борцы за демократию получили тюремные сроки в Баку, – написано в заявлении. – Со времени своего задержания за участие в мирных демонстрациях 2 апреля 2011 года 14 активистов гражданского общества и лидеры оппозиции были приговорены к тюремным срокам (до шести лет) в политически мотивированных судебных процессах, основанных на сфабрикованных доказательствах. 2 апреля 2011 года в Баку, столице Азербайджана, мирные протестующие были избиты и арестованы, а другие были задержаны во время упреждающей акции полиции перед массовыми митингами, призывающими к демократическим реформам в Азербайджане, которые должны были состояться 2 апреля. Эти действия были осуждены Форумом гражданского общества в заявлении от 5 апреля 2011.
Четырнадцать приговоренных включают известного правозащитника, заместителя главы оппозиционной партии «Мусават» и председателя  партии Национальной государственности. Пункты обвинения варьировались от похищения людей и хулиганства до неподчинения приказам полиции и принуждения человека голосовать против его воли или запрещения ему голосовать. Результаты мониторинга процесса расследования и слушаний дела в суде азербайджанскими правозащитными организациями показывают, что право на справедливый суд было нарушено как во время расследования, так и во время судебных слушаний, и что обвинения в адрес подсудимых носили политический характер и были основаны на необоснованных и сомнительных выводах».
Руководящий комитет Форума гражданского общества Восточного партнерства призывает Правительство Азербайджана немедленно освободить политических заключенных и уважать свободу слова и собраний.
Руководящий комитет Форума гражданского общества считает приговоры суда несправедливыми и политически мотивированными и призывает Правительства государств-членов Европейского Союза, Совет Европы, Европарламент, Верховного представителя ЕС по иностранным делам и политике безопасности и европейского комиссара по вопросам расширения и политики добрососедства сообщить азербайджанским органам власти их однозначное неодобрение этих приговоров и призвать Правительство Азербайджана немедленно освободить заключенных.
Руководящий комитет Форума гражданского общества Восточного партнерства решительно осуждает эти политически мотивированные обвинительные приговоры, которые являются явным нарушением обязательств Азербайджана как члена Совета Европы и участника Европейской Конвенции о правах человека (ECHR) и настоятельно призывает Европейскую комиссию, Совет ЕС и государства-члены ЕС подробно проконсультироваться с представителями гражданского общества и обеспечить, чтобы они встречались непосредственно с ними во время каждого официального визита в Азербайджан, чтобы услышать из первых рук о соблюдении прав человека и демократических свобод в Азербайджане.

Respect of freedom of expression and assembly, and immediate release of political prisoners, in Azerbaijan. Is what asks the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum to the Government of Azerbaijan, to the Heads of all EU institutions, to the Governments of the EU member States and to the Council of Europe.
In a statement  of the Steering Committee the Co-Chairs of the Forum, Mrs Antonella Valmorbida, (ALDA), and Ulad Vialichka (International Consortium EUROBELARUS) claim that the work of civil society – including those formally recognised within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum – continues to be obstructed by government authorities in Azerbaijan.

“Democracy campaigners received jail sentences in Baku- is written in the statement-. Since their detention for participation in peaceful demonstrations on 2 April 2011, 14 civil society activists and opposition leaders have been sentenced to jail for periods of up to six years in politically motivated trials based on falsified evidence. On 2 April 2011, peaceful protesters were beaten and arrested in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and others were arrested in pre-emptive police action before the 2 April public gatherings calling for democratic reforms in Azerbaijan. These actions were condemned by the Civil Society Forum in its statement of 5 April 2011.
The fourteen individuals sentenced include a well-known human rights defender, the deputy head of the opposition Musavat Party, and the chairman of the National Statehood Party. The convictions were based on charges ranging from kidnapping and hooliganism to disobeying police orders and forcing a citizen to vote against his will or preventing him from voting. The results of the monitoring of the investigation process and court hearings by Azerbaijani Human Rights Defend Organizations shows that the right to a fair trial was violated both during the investigation and court hearings, and that the accusations against the defendants were of a political character and based on ungrounded and suspicious conclusions”.
The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum calls upon the government of Azerbaijan to immediately release the political prisoners, and to respect freedom of expression and assembly.
The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum considers the court decisions unfair and politically motivated, and calls upon governments of the member-states of the European Union, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the European Commissioner for Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy, to communicate to the Azerbaijan authorities their unambiguous disapproval of these sentences, and to call upon the government of Azerbaijan to release the prisoners immediately.
The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum strongly condemns these politically motivated convictions, which are clear violations of the obligations of Azerbaijan as a member of the Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and urges the European Commission, the EU Council, and EU member-states to consult extensively with representatives of civil society, and to ensure that they meet directly with them on every official visit to Azerbaijan to hear first-hand about the observance of human rights and democratic freedoms in Azerbaijan.

RISPETTO PER LA LIBERTA’ E IMMEDIATO RILASCIO DEI PRIGIONIERI POLITICI IN AZERBAIJAN, CHIEDE IL FORUM DELLA SOCIETA’ CIVILE DELL’EAP

Rispetto della libertà di espressione e di riunione e immediato rilascio dei prigionieri politici in Azerbaijan. E’ quanto chiede il Forum della società civile dei Paesi del partenariato orientale al Governo dell’Azerbaijan, ai capi delle istituzioni europee, ai governi degli stati membri dell’UE ed al Consiglio d’Europa.
In una dichiarazione del Comitato direttivo, i due Presidenti del Forum, Antonella Valmorbida, Direttrice di ALDA e Ulad Vialichka, del Consorzio internazionale Eurobelarus, affermano che il lavoro della società civile, incluso quello formalmente riconosciuto del Forum, continua ad essere ostacolato dalle autorità di governo azere.

“I manifestanti per la democrazia sono stati incarcerati a Baku – è scritto nella dichiarazione – dopo aver partecipato alla manifestazione pacifica del 2 aprile, 14 attivisti della società civile e leader dell’opposizione sono stati condannati a pene superiori ai sei anni per motivi politici, basati su prove false. Il 2 aprile protestanti pacifici sono stati picchiati e arrestati a Baku, la capitale dell’Azerbaijan, e altri sono stati arrestati in un’azione preventiva prima della manifestazione con la quale il 2 aprile venivano chieste riforme democratiche per il paese. Queste azioni repressive erano già state condannate con una dichiarazione del Forum il 5 aprile.
Tra i quattordici condannati ci sono anche noti difensori dei diritti umani, il vice segretario del partito di opposizione Musavat e il presidente del National Statehood Party.
Le convinzioni sono basate su accuse che vanno dal rapimento e teppismo e di aver disobbedito agli ordini della polizia, costringendo il cittadino a votare contro la sua volontà o impedendogli di votare. I risultati del monitoraggio delle indagine e delle udienze del processo da parte delle organizzazioni per la difesa dei diritti umani dell’Azerbaijan dimostra che il diritto a un processo equo è stato violato, sia durante l’inchiesta sia durante le udienze, e che le accuse contro gli imputati erano di carattere politico e basate su conclusioni sospette”.
Il Comitato direttivo del Forum della società civile dell’EAP, chiede al governo dell’Azerbaijan l’immediato rilascio dei prigionieri politici ed il rispetto della libertà di espressione e di riunione.
Il Direttivo considera false e motivate politicamente le decisioni della Corte, e chiede ai governi degli stati europei, al Consiglio d’Europa, al parlamento europeo, all’alto rappresentante dell’UE per gli affari esteri e la sicurezza e al Commissario europeo per l’allargamento e le politiche di vicinato di comunicare alle autorità dell’Azerbaijan la loro inequivocabile disapprovazione di queste sentenze e di richiedere l’immediato rilascio dei prigionieri.
Il Direttivo del Forum condanna vivacemente queste condanne per motivi politici che sono una chiara violazione degli impegni assunti dall’Azerbaijan in qualità di componente del Consiglio d’Europa e parte della Convenzione europea dei diritti umani (ECHR) e sollecita la Commissione europea, il Consiglio Europeo e gli Stati membri una consultazione permanente con le rappresentanze della società civile, con l’impegno di incontrarsi direttamente con esse in occasione di ogni visita ufficiale in Azerbaijan, per avere una versione di prima mano sul rispetto dei diritti umani e delle libertà democratiche nel paese.

LE FORUM DE LA SOCIETE CIVILE DU PARTENARIAT ORIENTAL DEMANDE LE RESPECT DES LIBERTES ET LA LIBERATION IMMEDIATE DES PRISONNIERS POLITIQUES EN AZERBAÏDJAN

Le Forum de la société civile du Partenariat oriental demande, au Gouvernement de l’Azerbaïdjan, aux chefs des institutions européennes, aux gouvernements des pays communautaires et au Conseil de l’Europe, le respect de la liberté d’expression et de réunion, et la libération immédiate des prisonniers politiques de l’Azerbaïdjan. Dans une déclaration officielle du Conseil de direction, les co-présidents du Forum, Mme. Antonella VALMORBIDA (de l’AADL) et M. Ulad VIALICHKA (du consortium international Eurobelarus) affirment que le travail de la société civile (y compris le travail des organisations reconnues par le Forum de la société civil du Partenariat oriental) est toujours encombré par les autorités gouvernementales de l’Azerbaïdjan.

La déclaration mentionne que « des protestataires au nom de la démocratie ont été condamnés à la prison, à Baku. Depuis leur arrestation pour avoir protesté de manière pacifique, le 2 avril 2011, quatorze activistes de la société civile et leaders de l’opposition ont été condamnés à la prison pour des périodes allant jusqu’à 6 ans. Ils ont été condamnés par des tribunaux politiquement biaisés, sur des preuves forgées. Le 2 avril 2011, des protestataires pacifiques ont été agressés et arrêtés à Baku, la capitale de l’Azerbaïdjan, durant un appel à la réforme démocratique, lancé de manière publique. D’autres opposants ont été arrêtés de manière préventive, avant l’évènement d’avril ». Dans sa déclaration du 5 avril 2011, le Forum de la société civile a fortement critiqué ces mesures. « Parmi les détenus se trouvent un fameux défenseur des droits de l’homme, l’adjoint du parti d’opposition, Musavat, et le président du National Statehood Party. Les condamnations ont été prononcées pour des accusations de rapt, de vandalisme, de contrevenant, d’avoir forcé le vote contre la volonté ou de l’avoir empêché. Le suivi de l’investigation pénale et du procès, par les organisations azéries de défense des droits de l’homme, montre que la procédure n’a pas été juste et que les accusations, de nature politique, se basent sur des conclusions louches. »
Le Comité de direction du Forum de la société civile du Partenariat oriental lance un appel, visant le gouvernement de l’Azerbaïdjan, pour la libération immédiate des prisonniers politiques et pour le respect de la liberté de parole et de réunion. Le Comité de direction du Forum considère que la condamnation est incorrecte et politiquement baisée. Il demande aux gouvernements des Etats-membres de l’Union européenne, au Conseil de l’Europe, au Parlement européen, au Haut représentant de l’Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité et au Commissaire à l’élargissement et à la Politique européenne de voisinage, de communiquer aux autorités azéries leur désapprobation et leur appel à la libération immédiate. Le même Comité de direction critique les motivations politiques derrière les condamnations et considère que l’Azerbaïdjan se montre coupable de violer ses obligations de membre du Conseil de l’Europe et de partie de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme. Il incite la Commission européenne, le Conseil de l’UE et les pays membres à poursuivre des consultations directes avec les représentants de la société civile pour le suivi des droits de l’homme et des libertés démocratique en Azerbaïdjan.

УВАЖЕНИЕ СВОБОДЫ И НЕМЕДЛЕННОЕ ОСВОБОЖДЕНИЕ ПОЛИТЗАКЛЮЧЕННЫХ В АЗЕРБАЙДЖАНЕ, – ПРОСИТ ФОРУМ ГРАЖДАНСКОГО ОБЩЕСТВА ВОСТОЧНОГО ПАРТНЕРСТВА

Уважение свободы слова и собраний и немедленное освобождение политзаключенных в Азербайджане. Вот, что требует Форум гражданского общества Восточного партнерства, обращаясь к Правительству Азербайджана, главам  всех институтов ЕС, Правительствам государств-членов ЕС и Совету Европы.
В своем заявлении Руководящему комитету Антонелла Вальморбида (Ассоциация ALDA) и Влад Величко (Международный консорциум «ЕвроБеларусь»), сопредседатели Форума,  заявляют, что работе гражданского общества – включая работу, официально признанную в рамках Форума гражданского общества Восточного партнерства – продолжают препятствовать органы власти в Азербайджане.

«Борцы за демократию получили тюремные сроки в Баку, – написано в заявлении. – Со времени своего задержания за участие в мирных демонстрациях 2 апреля 2011 года 14 активистов гражданского общества и лидеры оппозиции были приговорены к тюремным срокам (до шести лет) в политически мотивированных судебных процессах, основанных на сфабрикованных доказательствах. 2 апреля 2011 года в Баку, столице Азербайджана, мирные протестующие были избиты и арестованы, а другие были задержаны во время упреждающей акции полиции перед массовыми митингами, призывающими к демократическим реформам в Азербайджане, которые должны были состояться 2 апреля. Эти действия были осуждены Форумом гражданского общества в заявлении от 5 апреля 2011.
Четырнадцать приговоренных включают известного правозащитника, заместителя главы оппозиционной партии «Мусават» и председателя  партии Национальной государственности. Пункты обвинения варьировались от похищения людей и хулиганства до неподчинения приказам полиции и принуждения человека голосовать против его воли или запрещения ему голосовать. Результаты мониторинга процесса расследования и слушаний дела в суде азербайджанскими правозащитными организациями показывают, что право на справедливый суд было нарушено как во время расследования, так и во время судебных слушаний, и что обвинения в адрес подсудимых носили политический характер и были основаны на необоснованных и сомнительных выводах».
Руководящий комитет Форума гражданского общества Восточного партнерства призывает Правительство Азербайджана немедленно освободить политических заключенных и уважать свободу слова и собраний.
Руководящий комитет Форума гражданского общества считает приговоры суда несправедливыми и политически мотивированными и призывает Правительства государств-членов Европейского Союза, Совет Европы, Европарламент, Верховного представителя ЕС по иностранным делам и политике безопасности и европейского комиссара по вопросам расширения и политики добрососедства сообщить азербайджанским органам власти их однозначное неодобрение этих приговоров и призвать Правительство Азербайджана немедленно освободить заключенных.
Руководящий комитет Форума гражданского общества Восточного партнерства решительно осуждает эти политически мотивированные обвинительные приговоры, которые являются явным нарушением обязательств Азербайджана как члена Совета Европы и участника Европейской Конвенции о правах человека (ECHR) и настоятельно призывает Европейскую комиссию, Совет ЕС и государства-члены ЕС подробно проконсультироваться с представителями гражданского общества и обеспечить, чтобы они встречались непосредственно с ними во время каждого официального визита в Азербайджан, чтобы услышать из первых рук о соблюдении прав человека и демократических свобод в Азербайджане.