CMI has been elected to the Steering Committee of the EU-initiated Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. At the first meeting of the new Committee, CMI's representative Mikheil Mirziashvili proposed the re-establishment of a peacebuilding subgroup to further cooperation in this field between civil society organisations in the EU and Eastern European countries.
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum promotes contacts among civil society organisations in the region, fosters partnerships with governments and ultimately aims to influence national and EU policy. The Forum is a part of the EU's Eastern Partnership - a specific dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy aiming to bring Eastern partner countries closer to the EU both economically and politically. CMI is one of three representatives of EU-based civil society organisations at the Steering Committee.
CMI's initiative to re-establish peacebuilding sub-group receives support
The new Steering Committee held its first meeting on 24-25 January 2013 in Brussels to plan upcoming work and divide responsibilities between its members. At the meeting, CMI's Senior Project Manager Mikheil Mirziashvili initiated the re-establishment of a peacebuilding subgroup. CMI's initiative was supported by other members of the Steering Committee.
The work of the Civil Society Forum is divided into five thematic working groups. While peacebuilding used to be one of the subgroups of Working Group 4 focused on contacts between people, the group has not been fully functioning and was not included during the latest annual meeting in November 2012. CMI feels this sub-group could positively contribute to promoting peace in the region. The structures developed during the CMI-initiated Black Sea Peacebuilding Network could be used to recreate an efficient sub-group.
CMI has a long experience in working with civil society in the region. CMI maintains the Black Sea Peacebuilding Network, which supports civil society organisations in seven countries to strengthen their peacebuilding expertise and contribute to preventing and resolving conflicts. Five of these countries are also Eastern partnership countries.