The ChildPact President, Mariana Ianachevici (Director of the Moldavian child-focused national coalition, APSCF), had two important meetings with EU representatives, during her visit to Brussels, on the 2nd of June 2016. These bilateral meetings constituted important advocacy opportunities for the advancement of ChildPact’s main messages on child protection, with a focus on Moldova and overall regional issues, and an occasion to profile the regional coalition as a knowledgeable dialogue partner with the EU.
Mrs. Ianachevici’s first meeting was with Nicoletta Pusterla (Desk Officer for Moldova, Eastern Partnership Bilateral, EEAS) and with Yorgos Diacofotakis (Policy Officer, Human Rights Strategy, EEAS). The discussions have focused: on the general state of play of child protection reform in Moldova; on the APSCF’s observations about the advancement of child rights with regard to the EU Association Agreement, Chapter 27 ‘Cooperation in the protection and promotion of the rights of the child’; on ChildPact’s contribution to the EU-Moldova Human Rights Dialogue 2016; and on the launching of the Child Protection Index in Brussels this fall, in cooperation with World Vision International.
Afterwards, the ChildPact President had a bilateral meeting with Boris Iarochevitch (Head of Division Eastern Partnership, Regional Cooperation and OSCE, EEAS), with Chris Kendall (Political Counsellor for Strategy and Communications at the EEAS) and with Anamaria Molcuţescu (Policy officer, Black Sea regional cooperation and OSCE, EEAS). During the discussions, ChildPact’s inputs were focused on the following advocacy messages:
- Prosperity at EU’s boarders starts with the social and economic empowerment of the younger generation. Investing in children’s well-being implies greater democratic stability and economic development in the Eastern partner countries.
- Despite of the context of widespread instability and tensions between the Eastern partner countries, we still believe that regional cooperation is possible and it represents the answer to ensuring security and prosperity in the region. In ChildPact, we argue that children are the most uncontroversial and non-sensitive issue in the region, unlike delicate political issues like corruption, democracy, and others. This is why we believe that regional cooperation on child protection, as a non-sensitive issue, can open the doors of collaboration towards new relationships of trust between the EU and partner governments.
- The European Neighbouring Policy (ENP) should continue to support an enabling environment for civil society action in the Eastern partner countries, considering that CSOs are vehicles of democratic stability, social diversity, government accountability and societal progress and involvement. ChildPact believes that child-focused CSO networks are capable of promoting regional cooperation and European values through child rights advocacy, provided that these actors are appropriately equipped in terms of internal governance, funding, advocacy and communication skills. Such CSO networks are capable of providing more than direct services for their beneficiaries but also advocate for sustainable change.