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NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2017


IN THE SPOTLIGHT
2017: An Inspiring Project Year to Go >>

TOP NEWS

#GAHelsinki Started in St. Petersburg >>
Call for Applications: Study Tours 2017 >>


WORKING GROUPS
Open Call Mechanism: "Schools-NGOs: Bridges of Cooperation" in Krasnoyarsk and "Different Wars" in Milan >>

MEDIA
Federica Dadone (Trepuntozero Association, Torino, Italy): 'Communication is a Key and... a Major Challenge'
 >>

MEMBERS' VIEWS
Front Line Defenders (Dublin, Ireland): Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk >>
SOVA Centre (Moscow, Russia) and BELLONA (St. Petersburg, Russia): Two More Prominent NGOs on the List of ""Foreign Agents"  >>
Robert Bosch Stiftung (Stuttgart, Germany): Cross-Border Journalism Programme >>

COMING SOON
General Assembly in Helsinki, "Different Wars" in St. Petersburg and Vilnius >>

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

2017: An Inspiring Project Year to Go

Dear Forum members, / Dear colleagues,

Welcome to 2017! For the Forum, this year starts with the largest gathering - the General Assembly (GA) in Helsinki, Finland (1-3 February).

We are delighted and honoured to welcome around 110 member organisations to the GA as well as many of long-standing supporters and friends of the Forum. One of them, Karel Schwarzenberg, Chairperson of the Foreign Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic (2007-2009, 2010-2013), will address the audience at the GA Opening. Mr Schwarzenberg attended the Forum's Founding Meeting in 2011 so this is all the more symbolic, as the Forum is getting closer to one of the important goals - to register its own legal entity. This is a major step towards our institutionalisation and successful development of the Forum and its activities.


A glimpse into the 2017 Forum schedule would reveal an event in some part of the EU or Russia almost every month. For instance, openings of the "Different Wars" Exhibition in four cities before mid-summer, Forum for Young Professionals "Europe Lab" in July, "Legal Dialogue" Symposium in October...

It will be a crucial year for the internal development - with seminars and webinars for the members, another round of study tours, etc. - as well as reaching out to further target audiences and partners. We hope to keep you up to date through our publications and social media - the E-Corner re-development, new "Legal Dialogue Journal" editions, the "What Is Happening within the Civil Society" leaflets, the annual State of the Civil Society Report. Stay tuned!


Thank you for your commitment and interest to spreading the idea of the civil society beyond the borders!

Yours sincerely,
Anna Sevortian
Executive Director

TOP NEWS

#GAHelsinki Started in St. Petersburg

This year, the 7th General Assembly of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum (1-3 February 2017) in Helsinki, Finland literally joined Russia and the European Union, as it was preceded by a visit of NGO representatives from 8 EU countries to St. Petersburg on 30 January 2017.

The guests had an appointment at the Office of the Ombudsperson of St. Petersburg and met local NGOs to talk on current projects and challenges they are facing in their work - while attending two parallel sessions, "Protection of Human Rights in St. Petersburg: Yesterday and Today" and "Urban Activism in St. Petersburg: Opportunities and Limits". A special occasion was presentation of the summary of the State of the Civil Society Report 2016, a new annual product by the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum.

In the evening, the participants of the visit went public and spoke at the Discussion "Fortress Europe? Myths and Truths at First Hand" at "Golitsyn Loft", a popular gathering place for young people.
Pavel Antonov of the BlueLink Foundation (Bulgaria); Giulia De Florio of Memorial Italia (Italy); Bálint Jósa of UNITED for Intercultural Action (Hungary-Netherlands); Francisco de Borja Lasheras of the European Council on Foreign Relations (Spain); Katie Morris of Article 19 (UK) shared their views on such relevant topics as refugee crisis, media freedom, nationalism and conservatism, Brexit, historical memory education as well as replied to questions from the audience.

The next day, the guests left by a morning train for Helsinki to join their colleagues at the General Assembly.

TOP NEWS

Call for Applications: Study Tours 2017

The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum is happy to announce an open call for applications for workshops and study tours. This activity is a part of the capacity building programme designed for the Forum's members and led by the Secretariat's Operations and Programmes Department. 

The total budget for this activity is 15,000 euros. Each Working / Expert Group can send applications for the sum ranging from 2,000 to a maximum of 5,000 euros. Study tours should take place in the period from April to October 2017. A minimum of 3 applications will be financed by the Forum.

Read more

WORKING GROUPS

Open Call Mechanism: "Schools-NGOs: Bridges of Cooperation" in Krasnoyarsk and "Different Wars" in Milan

In winter, one of the centres of Forum's activities has moved to Krasnoyarsk - thanks to two projects supported within the Open Call Mechanism (OCM).

On 20-22 January 2017, the Forum "Schools-NGOs: Bridges of Cooperation" gathered over 100 experts from 23 cities from Russia and abroad representing 30 schools, 40 NGOs, and further organisations. The Forum turned out to be the first step in establishment of long-term trusting partnerships between state educational institutions and Russian non-governmental organisations as well as for a more intensive exchange with European colleagues in the field of civic education within the context of Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship by the Council of Europe.

In the course of these intense three days, the participants discussed the state of the art and current challenges for the civic education in Russia, shared own methods and approaches with the colleagues at workshops and discussions, determined vectors for the future development of civic education, and were building new partnerships in the field.

The Forum was organised by the Krasnoyarsk Regional Public Organisation INTERRA and the Association of Russian Trainers in partnership with the German-Russian Exchange (St. Petersburg, Russia), Centre for Community Partnerships (Krasnoyarsk, Russia) as well as the MitOst Association and the Dialogue for Change Programme (Germany).

Another OCM project - the Exhibition "Different Wars: National School Textbooks on World War II" - has just left Krasnoyarsk after a 2.5-month display at the Museum Complex of Culture and History. Simultaneously, the English version of the exhibition was presented to the public at the House of Memory in Milan, Italy.

The opening on 10 January 2017 gathered around 40 people - historians, researchers, and the general public. Italy, its dealing with the World War II and lack of information on this period in textbooks were expectedly in the spotlight of the followed discussion on different views on the war history in six countries - the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and the hosting party. The exhibition tour was provided by Giulia De Florio of Memorial Italia. It is remarkable that high school students, who visited the exhibition, especially appreciated that they could see some materials as real items and not only on a computer screen.

The "Different Wars" Exhibition stayed in Milan until 27 January 2017. Its next destinations are St. Petersburg for the Russian version and Vilnius, Lithuania for the English version. The project was supported by the European Commission, the Georg Eckert Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the Oak Foundation.

MEDIA

Federica Dadone (Trepuntozero Association, Torino, Italy): 'Communication is a Key and... a Major Challenge'

To watch the interview on YouTube, please follow the link

Dear Federica, your Association - “Trepuntozero” - was founded in 2012, and it sets a goal to develop a new way of communication shifting from the version 2.0, which we all know already, to the version 3.0. What do you mean by that?

First of all, I have to say that I was not in the founding group. But indeed, “Trepuntozero” was founded by three people. And that is the first reason – three people standing for the communication 3.0. Those three people, who were working in communications, realised that a typical Italian situation was that a lot of non-profit associations did not have any professional people working in communications. That imposed a certain limitation for their work. “Trepuntozero” decided to switch in for two reasons. The first purpose was to provide communication services for other nonprofit organisations. The second one was to actually to carry on their own projects – mostly about story-telling and counter-story-telling. By that they were combining three communication channels - 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, i.e. the online and the offline communication as well as networking, current relations to other associations and projects.

As we know, “Trepuntozero” is also involved in migration issues. A couple of months ago, exactly in Torino, the new Forum’s Working Group on migration was established. Can you please elaborate more on that?

Yes, we were very lucky to be involved in this process. Since we are part of UNITED – a network against racism, we have been very closely working with other associations from Torino. We really want to make the difference regarding migration issues that are very urgent these days - both in Russia and in the European Union. Basically, the workshop in Torino was running for two full days. And we are happy that representatives from a lot of associations, which are parts of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, took their time to actually discuss the matters of migration in their home countries. We all had an opportunity - and it was really very interesting - to learn more about the migration issues in Russia, Eastern Europe, Italy and so on. Apart from the establishment of the Working Group, we wanted to decide on directions of our future work, as  we needed to find a topic, which could be developed both by Russian and EU associations in order to make the difference and do something meaningful. We had some ideas. Soon, we will meet again at the Forum’s General Assembly in Helsinki. We still don’t know the exact idea we would like to elaborate on. But all the ideas were very interesting, and we really cannot wait to start working on those.

Read more

MEMBERS' VIEWS

Front Line Defenders (Dublin, Ireland): Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

Front Line Defenders is currently accepting nominations for the 2017 Annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

The annual Front Line Defenders Award was established in 2005 to honour the work of human rights defenders who, through non-violent work, are courageously making an outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of the human rights of others, often at great personal risk.

Read more
 
SOVA Centre (Moscow, Russia) and BELLONA (St. Petersburg, Russia): Two More Prominent NGOs on the List of "Foreign Agents"

In December 2016 - January 2017, two more prominent Russian NGOs and members of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum - the SOVA Centre from Moscow and BELLONA from St. Petersburg - were put on the infamous list of "foreign agents".

Read more here and here

 
Robert Bosch Stiftung (Stuttgart, Germany): Cross-Border Journalism Programme

The new digital era of media, and the globalisation of economic and political processes have brought new challenges to journalism. In particular, they have highlighted the need to develop international professional networks in order to understand regional characteristics and better cover transnational stories.

Cross-Border Journalism Programme by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Fritt Ord Foundation is an opportunity for journalists and bloggers in the early and mid stages of their career looking for the chance to develop their skills in international reporting and enhance their professional network abroad.

Read more

COMING SOON


1-3 February 2017, Helsinki, Finland
7th General Assembly of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum

13 February - 21 April 2017, St. Petersburg, Russia
Exhibition "Different Wars: National School Textbooks on World War II"

9 March 2017, Vilnius, Lithuania
Exhibition Opening "Different Wars: National School Textbooks on World War II"




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