Reforms from below

MEPs meet civil society representatives from Eastern neighbourhoodJerevan_civilsociety_150316

Before the opening of 4th ordinary session of the Euronest, the parliamentary body of the Eastern Partnership, MEPs and MPs from Armenia, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine met with civil society umbrella organisations from the Eastern neighbourhood and the local branches of international NGOs to talk about the changed context in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood and how NGOs can contribute to genuine reform and peacemaking in the Eastern societies.

“This year we want to give more space for civil society voices, to encourage reforms from below. The civil society is a crucial element for change towards more rule of law and democratic accountability of governments”, said co-chair of the Euronest parliamentary assembly Heidi Hautala before the opening of the session.

The debate also touched upon on the numerous conflicts in the neighbourhood, which are divisive matters within the region.

“Euronest can serve also as a platform for confidence building in society, to encourage peacemaking in the protracted conflict areas”, said Ms Hautala.

The Euronest parliamentary assembly, bringing together MEPs and MPs from Eastern neighbourhood states, meets for the 4th Ordinary Session in Yerevan, Armenia, 16-18 March.