Idea and aim of the programme
The development of this line within the foundations programme is part of a wider process of reshaping EU policy towards its eastern neighbors. Until recently, relationships between the EU, and the EaP-countries and Russia were primarily defined by bilateral agreements between the EU and those separate EaP-countries, whereas mutual relations between those countries in the region remained rather weak or even absent, as in the case of Armenia and Azerbaijan, or were substantially reduced, due to geostrategic conflicts, as in the cases of Ukraine and Russia or Georgia and Russia.
Therefore, activities within the Civil Society Dialogue programme are aimed to overcome this relational inequality. By realizing projects in EaP-countries, the FES regional office “Dialogue Eastern Europe” strives to support transnational activities of civil society at horizontal level. It seeks to develop European identities among civil society representatives of those EaP-countries, that are not members of the EU, but share its model of democratic political development and its value-cultural principles.
The overall aim of our activities in this line is to foster the development of those regional identities in EaP-countries and Russia, that are based on common European democratic values. The development of such a transnational liaison between the societies of the six EaP-countries and Russia is further aimed to promote the path of peaceful cooperation and mutual understanding both within the region framework and in relations with the EU.
Working principles and target groups
Just as other activities, projects under the civic-societal dialogue Programme must comply with a few basic principles:
Projects of the "Civil Society Dialogue" programme are addressed to young civil society activists, trade union organizations, professional associations, scientists, intellectuals, cultural and art figures and representatives of businesses and public authorities from the six EaP-countries and Russia.
The foundation does not act as a donor organization and does not offer grants, but supports projects financially through joint activities. Therefore, we act as a partner organization and co-organizer of those projects that we support. We are always open to new ideas, dialogue and cooperation. In this regard, we are constantly looking for partners and like-minded people with close ideas and goals. Becoming a partner of the foundation does not require being a public organization or formal institution with statutes. We are equally cooperating with activist groups and social initiatives that share our values.
The starting point of the foundation's activities within the framework of the „civil society dialogue programme is the idea to create a space for dialogue both within the region of the EaP-countries and Russia, and in their relations with the European Union. Consequently, under the development of dialogue, we subsume a set of measures for a number of thematic areas:
In our work we use both traditional formats of public events (conferences, round tables, podium discussions, seminars, publications and presentations) as well as newer, more experimental methods of interaction with the target audience through culture and art, that can promote mutual understanding of people bridging linguistic and political barriers.