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In the context of the project “Building bridges between NGOs, business associations and media from Moldova, Ukraine and Russia for conflict prevention in Transnistria”, EPD organised a 3-day visit to Brussels institutions, from 21st to the 23rd of October with representatives from 10 NGOs. The project aims to bring together stakeholders from Moldova (including the Transnistrian region), Ukraine and Russia and uses a grassroots approach to enhance cooperation between them. The 10 NGOs from Moldova, Ukraine and Russia also receive funding through a sub-granting mechanism that is part of the project.

The first day of the visit was devoted to an overview of EU institutions and funding instruments for civil society organisations. The visit to the European Parliament’s Visitors’ Centre introduced the participants to the history of the European Union and the several stages of its integration process. After a visit to the EPD’s offices, the group had a meeting with the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). EED introduced their operating model and funding mechanism and participants were given the opportunity to ask questions about future funding opportunities.

During the second day of the visit, the participants familiarised themselves with NATO’s post Summit Agenda and its relations with global partners, focusing on Russia and Ukraine during a visit to the NATO HQ in Brussels. The several briefings triggered many questions on the nature and future of NATO-Russia relations, focusing on the ability of such partners to overcome present challenges.

On the last day, all 10 participants had the opportunity to discuss the current political situation in Eastern Europe with a representative from the EEAS Eastern Partnership Unit. The visit was concluded by a consultation workshop with two representatives from the European Commission (DEVCO), where the participants had the opportunity to inquire about EU project proposals and share their opinions regarding the thematic priorities in the region.

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