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From the Finland-Russia Society

14th May 2006

Plese note the details of a conference being arranged by the Finland-Russia
Society. Anyone interested should contact them directly.

Together for the future – Forum on civil society cooperation of European
Union and Russia

17-18.11.2006 Lahti, follow-up programme 19-20.11.2006 Saint-Petersburg

Invitation to participate

The forum brings together those active in Russia -cooperation and experts
from EU countries to discuss together with their most important Russian
partners the future forms of cooperation with Russia and possibilities on
civil society level. The Forum offers an opportunity to exchange views on
matters that civil organizations want bring up in connection with the
realization of four common spaces of cooperation and the roadmaps approved
for them.

The European Union regards Russia as its strategic partner. Genuine
partnership is also based on well functioning contacts on civil society
level. Within the Barents area and Baltic Sea cooperation civil society
organizations have already to some extent developed networks and Russian
organizations have participated in the cooperation. Within European Union
scale so far before have earlier not been brought together Russia actors
on the civil society level to discuss in cooperation with North Western
part of Russia as well on the federal level the process of networking as
well as the prospects of the development of cooperation. The forum offers
as well a possibility to examine the activities within the Northern
Dimension from the civil society perspective.

The aim of the forum is:

· To gather NGOs from EU countries cooperating with Russia, and their
Russian partners to Lahti on November 17-18, 2006 during Finland's EU
chairmanship

· To introduce NGOs co-operating with Russia to each other and to Russian
NGOs

· To give NGOs a forum for bringing forward their views and creating their
own agenda concerning different issues in EU – Russia dialogue

· To produce mutual partnership, networks and create project ideas for
future cooperation

· To produce recommendations to EU about developing co-operation between
NGOs and contacts with citizens.

250-300 participants are expected to participate in the forum in Lahti, 17
– 18 November 2006 representing NGOs from EU countries and Russia. The
participants of the forum will have an opportunity after the forum to
visit Saint Petersburg and get acquainted with the activities of Russian
NGOs.

· To the Forum are invited among others representatives of cultural
organisations, friendship societies, environmental organisations and
organisations in the field of social security and health care as well as
youth and women organisations. In the forum will participate also
scholars invited in connection with special themes from EU countries and
Russia.

· The forum will be organized on a high level and participation is
expected from the European Commission and Russia on a federal level.

· The forum is organized by Finland-Russia Society and Aleksanteri
Institute from Helsinki University.

· The chairman of the organizing committee is Ambassador Heikki Talvitie
and the vice-chairman MP Jouko Skinnari.

Helsinki 10.5.2006

Heikki Talvitie

Chairman, Finland-Russia Society

Together for the future – Forum on civil society cooperation of European
Union and Russia

Programme 17-18.11.2006 Lahti

Thursday, 16.11.

– first participants arrive to Lahti and are accommodated

Friday, 17.11.

– before noon participants arrive

11.00 Opening of the forum

11.20 1. plenary session

Together for the future – EU and Russia

– Four common spaces for cooperation between ЕU and Russia and the
roadmaps

– Nothern Dimension in the framework of the cooperation

– Citizens in the cross border cooperation: support from EU and Russia to
the civil society cooperation, the future of financing NGO cooperation and
influencing EU programmes

13.00 Lunch at the Sibelius House

14.00 2. plenary session

Strengthening of democracy and civil society

– The role of NGO´s in the society and the means of civil influence

– Information society and the media in connection with the strengthening
of democracy

– Different dimensions of equality

– Remeding the hinds of the civil cooperation

15.30 Coffee break

15.50 3. plenary session

Social justice

– Panel discussion: Social rights in the framework of EU-Russia
cooperation from the point of view of NGOs

– Panel discussion: Non-discrimination and equal opportunity

17.30 Transfer to Hotel Cumulus

Free time

19.40 Departure from the hotel to the Lahti City Hall

20.00- Reception hosted by the City of Lahti

21.30 Transfer to Hotel Cumulus

Saturday, 18.11.2006

– breakfast at the hotel

Possible to organize workshops and meeting and use the services of the
contact-desk.

11.00 4. plenary session

Our common environment

– Climate change

– Energy

– Nuclear safety

12.30 Final plenary session

13.30 Lunch

14.30 Part of the participants depart for home, part leave on the evening
train to Saint-Petersburg

Together for the future – Forum on civil society cooperation of European
Union and Russia

Follow up-programme 19-20.11.2006, Saint-Petersburg

Saturday 18.11.

– arrival with the evening train to Saint-Petersburg, accommodation at the
hotel

Sunday 19.11.

– breakfast at the hotel

09.00 Leaving for the meeting with NGO´s

12.00 Lunch

14.00 The meeting with NGO´s continues

16.00 Leaving for the hotel

18.0 Leaving for different cultural programs on one´s choice

Monday 20.11.

– breakfast at the hotel

09.00 Leaving for city tour and making acquaintance with city sights

13.00 Lunch

16.40 Leaving from Saint-Petersburg to Helsinki and home

Practical arrangements and organization of the forum:

Finland-Russia Society

Phone +358-9-693831, Fax +358-9-6938630

Mail address: PL. 194, 00531 Helsinki, Suomi-Finland

www.venajaseura.com/lahtiforum

Merja Hannus, secretary general , phone +358-9-6938600

[removed]

Markku Kärkkäinen, project manager, phone +358-9-6938610, +358-50-62676

[removed]

Tapio Vilkama, project secretary, +358-9-6938634

[removed]

REGISTRATION FORM

Together for the future – Forum on civil society cooperation of European
Union and Russia

17.-18.11. 2006 Lahti, follow-up programme 19.-20.11.2006
Saint-Petersburg

Organization represented by the participant

Name

Address

Phone

Fax

Website

Address for invoicing, if not the same as above

Name

Contact information

Name of the participant and contact information

Name

Position in the organization

Address, if different from that of the organization

Phone

Fax

E-mail

Participation package for the Lahti forum 95 ? per participant includes
written forum material, 2 lunches, coffee and the evening reception

I reserve accommodation at the Hotel Cumulus for the period of
__________________

A single room________, a double room________, for extra payment Superior
class ______

Price for one day and night accommodation in a single room 80 ?, in a
double room 50 ? and extra payment for the Superior class 25 ? for one day
and night.

I am interested in participating also in the trip to Saint-Petersburg and
the NGO meeting in Saint-Petersburg 19.-20.11.2006 ________ (for extra
payment)

The registration form is asked to be returned preferably by e-mail to:

[removed]

or by fax +358-9-6938630 or

by mail to: Finland-Russia Society, The Lahti forum, PL 194, 00531
Helsinki, Suomi-Finland

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