The COVID-19 pandemic has become a litmus test for even the most advanced democracies, prompting societies to discuss their fundamental rights concerns. Civil society in all 6 Eastern Partnership countries has been vocal on a series of concerns related to the respect of fundamental rights during the current crisis, touching on freedom of expression, access to information, personal privacy, and the rule of law. The briefing paper proposes a series of conclusions, among which are the following:
This paper has been elaborated in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum #PrepareEaP4Health campaign and aims to illustrate the context in which civil society is addressing the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 public health crisis. It is based on the author’s desk research, and collective input from EaP CSF member organisations, provided through an online consultation conducted between 25 March and 3 April 2020. A total of 84 responses from all six EaP countries and EU member states took part in the survey: 25 from Armenia, 13 from Azerbaijan, 5 from Belarus, 10 from Georgia, 6 from Moldova, 17 from Ukraine, and 8 from EU member states. The survey was designed to identify the major needs and concerns of civil society.