Eastern Partnership Network

The Eastern Partnership Network consists of 36 Swedish civil society organizations that aims to strengthen collaboration with civil society in the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia.

When the EU started the Eastern Partnership (EaP) with the aim to deepen relations between the EU and the eastern neighbors (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), civil society saw a need to ensure the inclusion of local voices within the regional initiative. Thus, the EaP network was formed with the purpose to facilitate cooperation, build capacity and conduct joint advocacy towards governments and relevant decision makers. Given the region’s historical relations and present influence of Russia the network also collaborates with the Russian civil society. 

Before joining the Network, I didn’t have that much of an interest in the region but now we are discussing to establish projects there.
(Martin Dworén, Fryshuset)

The network is a platform for civil society actors in Sweden to connect and collaborate with actors in the EaP region and Russia. The members have a diverse geographic and thematic expertise in the region and cover topics of sustainable development, human rights, anti-discrimination, democracy etc. Through the network, cross-border and cross-sectorial bridges are built, organizational capacity is strengthened, and joint advocacy is rolled out in order to ensure civil society influence over policy formulation and political decisions that affects the EaP region and Russia. 

The EaP Network provides a piece of the puzzle on what is ongoing in the EaP region for the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs.
(The Swedish Ambassador of the EaP,  Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  Anna Westerholm)

Here are a few of the milestones the EaP Network has achieved in the last years: 

  • Organised field trips to the EaP region and facilitated partnerships between CSO’s in Sweden and the EaP region. 
  • Coordinated civil society consultations for the design of the Swedish government’s strategy for Russia in 2019 and the new strategy for the EaP region in 2021. 
  • Conducted advocacy work directed towards the EU on decisions regarding the EaP region. 
  • Conducted advocacy towards the European Commission, that successfully stopped the appointment of a controversial politician, connected to Victor Orbán’s party Fidesz in Hungary, as EU Commissioner following the EU election in 2019.