EU Commissioner Füle signs financing agreements with Armenia

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle signs today two Financing Agreements between the European Union and Armenia.

With these Financing Agreements, the European Union will support the negotiation and implementation of the future EU-Armenia bilateral agreements: Association Agreement including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and Visa Facilitation/Readmission Agreement.

The funding will also provide budget support to the government ofArmeniato address a range of issues related to the implementation of the actions agreed in the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan forArmenia, including public administration reforms and trade facilitation.

The signing ceremony with Commissioner Füle and Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan is part of the Commissioner’s visit to Armenia on 27-28 September, during which he will meet with high level Armenian officials, political parties and representatives of civil society.

During the period 2011 – 2013, the EU’s priority areas of cooperation withArmeniafocus on improving democratic structures and good governance and facilitating trade, investment and socio-economic reform.

The basis for the Financing Agreements signed today is the ENPI Annual Action Programme 2011, worth €43.1 million and composed of two actions:

1.      “Framework Programme in support of the EU-Armenia agreement” – €19.1 million  

A central part of the EU support package channelled through the Eastern Partnership Comprehensive Institution Building (CIB) initiative.

The Comprehensive Institution Building supports partner countries in reforming those institutions in their country which are essential to negotiate and implement bilateral relations with the EU: Association Agreement, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), and Visa Facilitation/Readmission Agreement.

InArmenia, this support will address the Institutional Reform Plans prepared by the government on three key reform challenges: (1) preparing for the negotiations of the Association Agreement between the EU andArmenia, (2) advancing reforms in justice, liberty and security and (3) preparing for the negotiations of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

2.      “Support to the Government of Armenia for the implementation of the ENP Action Plan and the preparation for the future Association Agreement” – €24 million

The second major component of the EU assistance toArmenia, channelled via the budget support programme, will focus on the implementation of the ENP Action Plan and reforms related to Public Finance Management and public sector transparency and performance, including e-governance. It will also assist further alignment of the Armenian trade regulations to the EU norms and standards.

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