EED Annual Report welcomed at the EU Political and Security Committee
On 5 April EED presented its Annual Report #2015 to the Political and Security Committee (PSC). Twelve EU member states spoke out to express their support for EED’s work and activity and appealed for additional contribution from EU countries.
Jerzy Pomianowski, EED Executive Director, presented the report, highlighting that while EED is an independent body focused on its long-term mandate to support civil society in the European Neighbourhood, it is not working in a vacuum. Consequently, the EED agenda is also strongly inspired by the European Union and its Member States political priorities.
In this regard, in the context of the refugee crisis, EED highlighted that its recent visit to the Syrian refugee community in Lebanon, noting that there is a clear gap in funding and programmes to ensure that sufficient support is available for Syrian refugees to engage in activities to strengthen local community organisations, ensure the emergence of local leaders and civil society actors that could play a positive role in the future stabilisation and reconstruction of Syria. EED is piloting some initiatives in this area.
Meanwhile, it was noted that the Russian Language Media Feasibility Study conducted in 2015 has become a reference point to all those who are working on tackling Russian disinformation campaigns. Follow up measures are already under way to implement its recommendations, and EED is providing its support to this process.
As a response to all the challenges, in 2015 EED expanded its mandate to “Neighbours of the Neighbours” and engaged with actors in Russia and Central Asia – in the east, and Bahrain in the south.
“EED has more flexibility to act fast”
“All reasons to be satisfied with the investment in EED, which has opened windows to innovative way of working”, mentioned the representatives of the European Institutions they also praised EED’s efforts to reach out to women and its flexibility “EED has more flexibility to act fast and in some situations where we cannot.
Twelve member states commended EED work in their statements, mentioning its fast and flexible approach. The rapid and flexible support to civil society activists to monitor and inform during Armenian Referendum, as well as work in the conflict environment in Syria were among stories that were specifically highlighted. EED’s work with Neighbours of the Neighbours was appreciated and some of the Member States suggested that more could be done beyond neighbourhood. Member states agreed that EED has found its niche.
“Biggest challenge is to meet expectations”
“Our biggest challenge is to meet growing expectations”, mentioned Jerzy Pomianowski, EED Executive Director. EED’s secretariat team is not only assessing the applications, but also coaching applicants, helping them to build a sustainable strategy.
PSC ambassadors welcomed the report and the presentation of the activities of EED in 2015.