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EU-Russia Civil Society Forum Established


The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) promotes cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and free speech.

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Representatives of the civil societies of Russia and the EU established the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum (CSF) at a conference in the Czech capital, Prague, on 28-29 March 2011. The conference brought together 57 representatives of Russian and 18 representatives of EU-based civil society organisations as well as several observers.

The founding meeting, held in the Czech Foreign Ministry building, was opened by Karel Schwarzenberg, the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heidi Hautala, Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, and Mikhail Fedotov, Chairman of Russia’s Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights.

The first plenary session was opened with a short presentation of the background of the CSF. After a formal vote on the founding of the CSF, the participants held thematic discussions in four working groups. On the second day of the conference, the participants approved the CSF Charter and Mission Statement, and elected the CSF Steering Committee.

The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum took an active part in the Prague conference and is committed to further participation in the CSF. Our representative, well-known human rights defender Oksana Chelysheva, was elected to the CSF Steering Committee. Also, the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum will strive to hold events in cooperation with the CSF in Finland.

Poland’s Stefan Bathory Foundation and the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights pledged to host the next CSF General Assembly in Warsaw at the end of 2011.

Read more:

http://eu-russia-csf.org/?id=5


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