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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

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> Exporting Repression: the spread of human rights violations in the former Soviet Union and how institutions respond


Date: Thursday 26th May 2016

Time: 1.00pm-2.30pm (light lunch available from 12.30pm)

Venue: European Endowment for Democracy, Avenue des Gaulois 29, 1040-Brussels, Belgium


  • Heidi Hautala MEP, Delegation to the EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committees and the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee; Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance and Co-Chair of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly
  • Fernando Andresen Guimarães, Acting Director for Europe East, EEAS
  • Tinatin Tsertsvadze, International Advocacy Manager, International Partnership for Human Rights
  • Kate Levine, Lawyer, European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC)
  • Adam Hug, Policy Director, Foreign Policy Centre
  • Chair: Richard Howitt MEP, Socialist & Democrat Group Human Rights Spokesperson

Please RSVP via this form

The panel discussion, held in partnership with the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) and the Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI), will examine the role the EU can play in responding to the development of repressive laws and practices across the former Soviet Union including: 'foreign agents' laws and other restrictions on NGO activities, laws restricting LGBTI rights, security sector cooperation, limits on freedom of assembly and crackdowns on media and internet freedom.

The panel discussion will examine not only the role played by regional institutions such as the CIS, Eurasian Economic Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in the promotion of such laws, but the ways in which repressive governments in the former Soviet Union work to influence how the European Union and international institutions such as the Council of Europe, OSCE, the UN, CIS, INTERPOL, EITI and international financial institutions respond to human rights abuses in the post-Soviet space.

The discussion will be based on the findings of two FPC reports in this Exporting Repression series: Institutionally blind? International organisations and human rights abuses in the former Soviet Union and the forthcoming publication Sharing worst practice: How countries and institutions in the former Soviet Union help create legal tools of repression.

> Investing in women's economic resilience & social wellbeing: Rethinking the role of private sector development in Africa

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

This series of roundtable discussions are taking place at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined by the 17 recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change agreement (COP21). COP21 aims to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C (above pre-industrial levels) however, has yet to provide the commitments needed to achieve this aspiration. In addition, the UN Commission on the Status of Women will mark its 60th anniversary (CSW60) in 2016. Its priority focus will be women's empowerment and sustainable development. The level of global inequality and insecurity disproportionately affecting women and girls continues to be compounded by an unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going austerity and mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to sustainable development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise has become increasingly important.

> Institutionally blind? International organisations and human rights abuses in the former Soviet Union

Institutionally blind? International organisations and human rights abuses in the former Soviet Union examines whether some of the major international institutions covering the former Soviet Union (FSU) are currently meeting their human rights commitments. The publication shows how the independence and integrity of institutions defending human rights in the region are under attack from outside and within, sometimes buckling under the pressure.

The publication contains contributions from: Anna Chernova, formerly OSCE; Dr. Rilka Dragneva, University of Birmingham; Charles Hecker, Control Risks; Adam Hug, Foreign Policy Centre (ed.); Gubad Ibadoglu, Economic Research Center; Florian Irminger, Human Rights House; Dr. Hrant Kostanyan, CEPS; Kate Levine, EHRAC; Libby McVeigh, Fair Trials International; Dr. Beata Martin-Rozumilowicz, formerly OSCE/ODIHR; Tinatin Tsertsvadze, International Partnership for Human Rights; Rebecca Vincent, Sport for Rights. Kindly supported by the Open Society Foundations as part of the FPC's Exporting Repression project.

> Enterprising Africa: What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?

'Enterprising Africa: What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?' is a new FPC report which explores how improving the access and distribution of financial services influences employment creation across Africa.

With a foreword provided by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Dr Carlos Lopes, the FPC publication focuses on how responsible financial sector development might be linked to employment creation objectives and targets across the real economy, including productive sectors such as agriculture, food production and rural manufacturing. The FPC report argues that such developments would be timely given today's global population rise which is driving a global surge in the demand for food.

> Traditional religion and political power: Examining the role of the church in Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Moldova

Traditional religion

The FPC new publication Traditional religion and political power: Examining the role of the church in Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Moldova examines the political and social role of the Orthodox Churches in Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova and of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It explores the ways in which the churches have contributed to the development of national identities since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the role they play in civil society. The publication looks at the nature of the relationship between church and state; how the churches influence, support and challenge the secular authorities in their hold on power and their response to 'traditional values' issues such as LGBTI and minority faith rights. The publication also looks at the ways in which the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Government have been looking to influence this debate in these countries.

The publication contains contributions from: Professor Yulia Antonyan, Yerevan State University; Eka Chitanava, Tolerance and Diversity Institute; Stepan Danielyan, Collaboration for Democracy Centre; Adam Hug (ed.), Foreign Policy Centre; Myroslav Marynovych, Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv; Victor Munteanu, Soros Foundation Moldova; Rev. Fr. Dr Daniel Payne; Professor Oleksandr Sagan, Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy and Irakli Vacharadze, Executive Director, Identoba. Kindly supported by the Open Society Foundations.