EU-Russia Civil Society Forum
The NHC took part in the General Assembly of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, held on 9 and 10 October in St Petersburg. The Assembly expressed serious concern about “recent negative trends in the relations between the Russian Federation and the European Union”. The Forum ascribes this development in large part to changes in Russia. “In particular, we are extremely concerned with increasing pressure of the state on the Russian civil society”. The Forum was worried that “in the European Union as a whole the interest towards the Russian Federation is significantly decreasing”, with “fewer strtegies and ideas being developed in the EU political circles towards development of cooperation and improving interaction with the Russian Federation”.
The Assembly was attended by around 150 representatives of civil society organizations working mostly on human rights, environment and civic participation, education and international exchange. The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum was established in 2011. It operates independently from official structures established by either the European Union or the Russia Federation. The St Petersburg meeting was the third time the Assembly met.