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The conference of the National Platform of the EaP CSF took place in Minsk

03.06.2013  |  Society   |  EuroBelarus Information Service,  
The conference of the National Platform of the EaP CSF took place in Minsk Photos by EuroBelarus

On May 1 the conference titled “Between the Eastern Partnership and the European Dialog on Modernization” was held in Minsk, resulting in the election of new Coordination Committee and its chairman.

Let us recall that at the last year’s conference in November Concept of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EAP CSF) was adopted by a majority vote. At the same time problems and contradictions between certain individuals were disclosed. How intensive will the communication between the members of yet another conference be? Will the representatives of the civil society be able to compromise and work out common strategy for further development? The answers to these questions determine how successful can the conference be considered.

Among the participants of the conference are both the long-time members of the National Platform, who signed the memorandum on collaboration and the representatives of other organizations with no right to vote. The delegates from the European Commission, diplomatic missions from the European countries and the US became the honourable guests of the conference.

The conference should have resolved two main questions, said Ulad Vialichka, the chairman of the International Consortium "EuroBelarus ". The first one is to recommend Belarusan organizations for participation in the 5th meeting of the Civil Society Forum in Chisinau. The second one is to choose the chairman and the members of the Coordination Committee and to discuss attendant problems.

In his turn, when making a progress report, Uladzimir Matskevich highlighted negative and positive sides of the Platform’s activity. The fact that the Platform is still working under tough political circumstances and its growing recognisability are among the advantages; while disputable issues within the members of the National Platform and weak influence of the civil society on the processes that take place inside Belarus are the disadvantages. “My attempts and the attempts of the Coordination Committee to influence consolidation processes within our country bring no achievements for the time being”, - Uladzimir Matskevich stated.

The conference resulted in the election of a new Coordination Committee and its chairman – Ulad Vialichka, supported by 37 out of 44 representatives of the organizations by card vote, while Uladzimir Matskevich, who occupied this post earlier, withdrew his candidacy.

“I believe that my withdrawal from the Coordination Committee will remove certain tension and result in its bigger productivity”, - Uladzimir Matskevich commented on his decision.

Ulad Vialichka expressed hope that the representatives of the civil society in Belarus will manage to resolve the whole number of problems that prevent National Platform’s further development.

The new Coordination Committee was elected during the conference: Jaraslau Bekish, the Coordinator of the ecological association “Green network”; Piotr Kuzniatsou, the head of the civil initiative “Gomel Democratic Forum”; Siarhei Matskevich, the representative of the Assembly of Pro- Democratic NGOs of Belarus; Andrei Yahorau, the head of the Centre for European Transformation; Aliaksandr Vauchanin, the representative of NGO "Union Chernobyl - Belarus"; Aksana Shelest, the representative of the Centre for Social Innovations.

26 Belarusan organizations were recommended for the 5th meeting of the Civil Society Forum that is to take place this autumn in Chisinau.

In addition, the participants of the conference were unanimous when adopting the resolution that shares the values and goals of the “Eastern Partnership” and “The European Dialog on Modernization”. This resolution observes no enhancement in the situation with human rights in Belarus and supports the attempts of the European Union to start new stage of dialog with Belarus in case Belarusan authorities fulfill one principal condition, which is to release all the political prisoners.  

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