EESC Activities Report (2014 edition)

Report of 2014 EESC activities in Lithuanian

The main aim of EESC is to create safer, freer, and more stable neighborhood of the EU. The organization consists of two Divisions: Policy Analysis and Research Division and Civil Society Development and Cooperation Division. EESC works in five fields:

1. Monitoring of Political, Economical, Social and Cultural Processes in Eastern Europe

This field is orientated to create and maintain EESC as a region specialist. The EESC experts are regularly monitoring the processes in Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and South Caucasus. This means analyzing accessible Lithuanian and East European media and academic literature, political events, recording the actions and speeches of the official state representatives and also monitoring EU, NATO and US activities in the Eastern Europe.

In order to create "relative advantage” and specialization the EESC is gathering and systematizing various regional statistics. The analysis provides EESC the expert status in Lithuania and all over the region. Due to this advantage the authority of the center is continuously growing. The monitoring process is implemented by Policy Analysis and Research department.

2. Applied and Academic Research

The second field of the EESC activities is focused on the applied and academic research. EESC uses information gathered by the monitoring process to implement various research projects. The experts of the center perform bespoke and independent researches which are concerned with political, economical, social and cultural development in the region of Eastern Europe. EESC analytical activities are orientated to several main objectives:

- To contribute the Lithuanian and EU policy-making towards the New Eastern neighborhood and to enhance the effectiveness of that policy by recommendations and proposals to the officials, who are implementing Lithuanian foreign policy;

- To stimulate academic interest for Eastern Europe by writing articles for Lithuanian and Western academic press, and by taking part in academic discussions. Due to this, an added value of the EESC activities appears. It means that the communication between academic and practical sectors is being intensified. Policy analysis and Research Division is responsible for planning and implementing researches.

3. Trainings, conferences and seminars

Trainings are aimed at transmitting Lithuania's as well as other East European counties' transitional experience to the focus groups. Such activity also expands the network of our permanent partners and helps finding potential local experts, who could in the future take part in various research projects or simply become observers.

The organization of seminars, conferences and round-table discussions is another very important part of the EESC activities. It creates space for public discussion on the most significant and sometimes very specific East European issues. These events become a possibility for EESC experts to present their research findings as well as an instrument to put together East European experts to discuss the latest events and developments. This activity is exercised by Civil Society Development and Cooperation Division.

4. Public policy

On the other hand, seminars, round-table discussions and conferences fill the educational function. Public discussions, press releases, experts' papers on the internet, published material of the organized conferences are available for a broad audience, thus the EESC is improving the public knowledge of the specific Eastern Europe problematic in Lithuania as well as in the partner-countries (Scandinavian states, European Union, USA, Canada).

The EESC activity is also related with the release of articles in the press and with comments in the media. Hereby it contributes substantially to the publicity of the East European issues. The EESC is aiming to be the meeting centre, where the latest events and changes are analysed, thus sustaining the image of the EESC as an expert of the East European issues and filling the educational function.

5. Cooperation with partners

EESC has already made fruitful contacts with various partners in the Eastern European region and Lithuania. Still the Centre is willing to expand and establish stable relations and to arrange common projects.

6. Democracy and Development Assistance Fund

In 2007 EESC has established the Democracy and Development Assistance Fund that aims to promote Freedom and Democracy in Eastern Europe, to enhance cross-border cooperation and to build networks to support democratic processes. The Fund has 6 programmes that are willing to support various projects in different fields. The beneficiaries are nongovernmental organizations, individual persons and their groups from Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.