On 7 October, 2014, representatives of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum (CSF) will meet with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) to discuss opportunities for civil society actors in the EU and Russia to have a positive impact on developments on the local and state level. The seminar “Position and Role of Civil Society in the EU and Russia” will be held at the EESC headquarters in Brussels.
‘It is the first joint event of the Forum with the European Economic and Social Committee,‘ says Anna Sevortian, Executive Director at the EU-Russia CSF. ‘The major aim is therefore to define possible directions for the future cooperation in such fields as monitoring role of civil society, strengthening relations between the EU and Russian civil society as well as environmentally and socially responsible policies. We look forward to fruitful discussions and specific steps towards achievement of declared aims.’
The visit to Brussels is connected with the first session of the Forum’s Advocacy Group, adds Stefan Melle, Head of the CSF Consortium. A member of the Consortium – the Netherlands Helsinki Committee – is the Group Coordinator, which also co-organised the event at the EESC. According to Stefan Melle, further meetings in Brussels will be devoted to discussions with different units of the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament, and further potential partners.
The joint seminar will be opened by José Maria Zufiaur, President of the External Relation Section at the EESC, and Vincent Degert, Director for Russia at the European External Action Service. The Forum will be represented by Anna Sevortian, Executive Director, Stefan Melle, Head of Consortium, as well as the CSF members – the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, “Bellona”, “Soldiers‘ Mothers of St. Petersburg, the Antidiscrimination Centre “Memorial”, and the Public Verdict Foundation.
The seminar participants are available for interviews. The media briefing will take place at 2 p.m.