After the so-called U-turn in Armenian foreign policy, the knowledge about possible consequences of the accession to Eurasian Customs Union also with respect to EU-Armenian relations is very low. Therefore the project “Armenia in Between EU and Eurasian Union”, that was implemented in cooperation with Yerevan Press Club, aimed at raising awareness on integration processes. In five round table discussions and three seminars experts from different spheres have analyzed the possible consequences of Armenia’s accession to Eurasian Customs Union for the region and the country. This was especially interesting in the light of the crises in Ukraine and the changing geopolitical landscape. The discussion offered a rare opportunity to debate questions of Eastern Partnership and of the Eurasian Union with relevant stakeholders.
The media landscape in Armenia does not always correspond to professional standards. However, in transition countries the quality of reporting is of crucial importance for the public awareness for social and political problems. In order to improve the quality of journalism, the Yerevan Press Club in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung monitored articles of several national media on about 40 topics. In a weekly analytical review shortcomings and problems of accuracy were pointed out with the aim to raise awareness for problems in the field of reporting. The reviews were dedicated to topics such as socio-economic developments, local self-government reform, migration, environmental challenges, geopolitical choice of Armenia, etc.
Link: Yerevan Press Club (Armenian)
Social democracy wants equal freedoms for everybody in the society - regardless of race, gender and social background. The video clip on the basics of Social Democracy outlines not only what social democracy means, but also shows a certain example, how the positive and negative rights are to be distinguished from each other.
Video clip - Social Demokracy (Georgian)
Video clip - Social Demokracy (Armenian)
On 13 and 14 December, the National Committee of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly, together with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Georgia, organized, a Georgian-Ukrainian-Russian Round Table at the Caucasian International University, with the participation of the representatives of public and government authorities, independent experts and diplomats from three countries. At the event, the ways and means to overcome the crisis in Ukraine were discussed. Despite the tense situation, the dialogue was created and different formats of cooperation on civil society level were planned.
In 2014, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) with the support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) carried out the monitoring of official websites of state bodies of Armenia. Investigated was the level of information and the transparency of the websites. The results were published in three languages (Armenian, English and Russian). Presenting the originated publication on December 17 in Yerevan, issues and possible strategies with representatives of ministries, regional administrations, NGOs and journalists were discussed.
The publication in PDF format can be downloaded here.
Although on September 3, 2013 Armenian announced its intention to join the Eurasian Customs Union, European integration is declared by the government as an important vector in Armenia's policy. The choice to integrate with the CU is represented from the point of view of economic interest, however its political component and its impact on democratic development is concealed. The three-day workshop organized by FES and implemented by the Urban Foundation on 12.-15. December 2014 in Aghveran aimed at correcting information misbalance created by official media, and discussing economic and democratic development perspectives of Armenia in the Eurasian Economic Union and further integration with European structures. 35 young activists and students from 6 regions of Armenia had the chance of discussing these complicated issues with well known political experts. In the result of the workshop young participants received first-hand and updated information and became able to make their own judgment as active citizens.
The dominance of monopolies hampers the diversification of economics and the development of competition. Both have inhibitory effects on the economic development of countries. The society feels the impact of monopolies on every day basis, without necessarily being aware of itself. The simplified visualization of the relationships in the form of a video clip is to sensitize the population to the issues and also equip them for everyday debates regarding it.
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Politically interested young citizens have difficulties to orient themselves in the ideological chaos of political parties in Armenia. In addition, due to non-transparent structures and the lack of ideology and programs traditional parties in Armenia, do not present a political “home” for youngsters. Therefore, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Armenia invited about 45 young multipliers from different faculties of universities (law, economics , political science , linguistics, art, etc.) to learn and discuss the basics of social democracy within the framework of a 3-days seminar. From 07th - 09th and from 28 - 30th November 2014, the seminar participants, with the support of experienced trainers and innovative methodology, have attempted to determine their own position and the goal of their actions from the perspective of social democracy. In addition seminar participants had the opportunity to discuss acute themes like Constitutional reforms and integration in the Customs and European Unions with renowned Experts.
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Academy of Social Democracy
On 25. November 2014, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Georgia hosted the fifth International Conference on Social Dialogue and Labour Standards in Georgia. The conference was organized in cooperation with the Georgian Trade Union Confederation and the Georgian Employers' Association. Alongside the social partners, the conference was attended by the representatives of the Government and the Parliament of Georgia, diplomats, representatives of the ILO, civil society organizations and international guests. This years Focus was the legal framework, the implementation of the new labor law, with a special emphasis on institutional development and the social dialogue at national and enterprise levels.