Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum was instituted during the Prague Summit of 2009 as a structure supporting the newly established Eastern Partnership. It was created in order to promote contacts among Civil Society Organisations of EaP, facilitate dialogue with public authorities and appoint the civil society a significant institutional role of in a major political process. According to the European Commission, ongoing reforms in EaP countries require stronger participation of civil society to enhance oversight of public services and strengthen public confidence in them.
The mandate of the CSF is to influence EU institutions and national governments by presenting the recommendations of the CSF during their decision-making process.
Four Working Groups within the CSF reflect the four EaP thematic platforms:
1. Democracy, human rights, good governance and stability;
2. Economic integration and convergence with EU policies;
3. Environment, climate change and energy security;
4. Contacts between people.
Together with the Steering Committee they follow the work of EaP thematic platforms and enrich their agenda.
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF) held its first meeting in November 2009 with more than 200 Civil Society Organisations from the Partner countries and EU Member States.
Visa Facilitation Subgroup, which operates within Working Group 1, includes several members of the Coalition for a European Continent Undivided by Visa Barriers.