Briefly about “EU-Armenia Partnership Priorities”

On February 21, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and RA Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian signed the document entitled “EU-Armenia Partnership Priorities.” It is aimed at defining the main areas of cooperation between the parties. The document intends to facilitate the cooperation of the parties also in the context of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement signed on November 24, 2017. It is also aimed at strengthening EU-Armenia ties, promoting universal values, security, stability, peace, democracy, human rights, rule of law and economic growth.

The EU-Armenia Partnership Priorities are presented in the document in the following four subgroups:

1 Strengthening institutions and good governance: In this area, cooperation in the promotion of human rights and the rule of law, and the fundamental freedoms is envisaged. It is envisaged to improve public administration, including local government bodies and law enforcement authorities, fight against corruption and strengthen civil society.

The focus will be on the implementation of the relevant legislation, including the new Constitution. Steps will be taken to create a favorable environment for civil society. Civil society will also contribute to the monitoring of the implementation of the “Partnership Priorities.”

This subsection also envisages cooperation in the security sector, particularly in the fight against organized crime, drugs and terrorism.

2 Economic development and market opportunities։ In this sector, the common goal of the parties is sustainable and inclusive economic development of Armenia. The cooperation will include public finance management, banking supervision according to international standards, reforms in customs and tax administration, improvement in business environment, as well as progress in the development of agriculture and rural communities.

3 Connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate action: Cooperation in this sector is aimed at alleviation of the consequences of the geographical situation of the country, by promoting creation of transport communication and infrastructures with EU and Eastern Partnership countries, particularly, with Georgia. In this respect, it is envisaged to extend the Trans-European Transport Network towards the Republic of Armenia in order to improve Armenia’s access to international markets, as well as finalize the new aviation agreement.

Strengthening of good environmental governance and implementation of environmental reforms is also envisaged. According to this document, as long as nuclear energy is used to maintain an adequate level of energy supply in the country, ensuring high levels of nuclear safety is necessary. Cooperation is also expected in the field of renewable energy.

4 Mobility and people-to-people contacts։ The parties plan to widen the scope of people-to-people contacts especially through a number of exchange and education programs envisaged for youth, students, researchers, cultural operators and business people.  For that purpose, the parties commit to fighting irregular migration, including through the implementation of the readmission agreement.

At the end, it should be noted that the EU-Armenia financial cooperation in 2017-2020, particularly, financing to be provided to Armenia within the framework of unified assistance, will be implemented based on the “EU-Armenia Partnership Priorities” document.

Anna Pambukhchyan
“Union of Informed Citizens”

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