Expansion of the cooperation with civil societies in countries of the Eastern Partnerships and Russia
This relatively new program of the German Department of Foreign Affairs encourages civil society organisations to support ongoing transformational processes of their Eastern partners and Russia. The Eastern Partnership is comprised of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. By cooperating across borders, the German government wants to improve the relations between the various civil society groups of the countries – mainly through a vital exchange between NGOs and the active and interested public.
The targeted long-term goal is to develop lasting cooperation between societies, which will also help to improve the civil structure of the country. It can be divided into the following four topics:
1. strengthening pluralism: Supporting projects to improve pluralism in the media, freedom of speech and a free and independent press.
2. value discourse: Encouraging public perception of human rights, supporting administrational processes, independence of the judges, individual freedom in all aspects. These are basic principles of democratic states and they must be respected to achieve a peaceful and democratic society.
3. giving perspective to the young: Supporting educational projects and academic, job-related and social matters. It is believed that by improving the future of the younger generation, countries take the first step towards individual success.
4. promoting dialogue and communication: Encouraging exchange between societies – especially in countries with ongoing territorial conflicts – to make political cooperation possible and to overcome division between nations and regions.