According to a new EU report, significant progress has been made in developing stronger EU-Armenia relations.
The report, published in advance on an upcoming EU-Armenia Partnership Council on 21 June, seeks to measure progress in EU-Armenia relations over the past two-and-a-half years, and evaluate the impact of a provisional bilateral partnership agreement between the two powers.
The report also reflects on peaceful protests which took place in April and May, and which resulted in a change of government in Armenia. The EU has expressed its support for the new government of Armenia and the peaceful transition of power, as well as reinforcing its commitment to reforms which will promote democracy and respect for human rights while also strengthening the country’s social and economic system.
What elements of progress have the EU noted?
The report particularly welcomes the Armenian Parliament’s adoption – by a large majority – of a law on the prevention of violence, protection of victims and family cohesion in December 2017, a step which the EU considers a vital step towards reinforcing human rights and gender equality in the country.
Since 2014, the EU has allocated some €120m in financial support to Armenia with a view to developing the private sector, governance, and education. Since 2015, Armenia has been supported by the Erasmus+ programme to modernise study programmes towards the needs of the labour market, and has become an associated country with the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework programme.
What are the next steps for EU-Armenia relations?
European Commission High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, said that the new bilateral agreement will represent the next stage in transforming and reinforcing the partnership between the two powers.
She stated: “We have witnessed a very important period for EU-Armenia relations and for Armenia itself. A lot of hard work and determination has gone into our new bilateral agreement, which stands to bring visible benefits to our citizens, from strengthening transparency and accountability, to creating more opportunities for trade and investment, to environmental protection.” Implementation of the agreement, she concluded, will deliver concrete results for the benefit of all.