EU assistance helped Armenia to take forward its justice reform agenda, with a number of steps promoting independence and transparency of the justice system, access to justice, and the reinforcement of the Armenian Ombudsman (Human Rights Defender), according to the DG EuropeAid report “European Neighbourhood Instrument 2007-2013 – Overview of Activities and Results”, recently released.
EU assistance, the report says, accompanied the modernization of the public finance system, with improvements in internal financial control systems and debt management, and greater transparency of external audit and public procurement. Support to socio-economic reforms focused on modernization of the vocational education and training(VET) system, with a better link to jobs and labor market needs. In the area of trade, there was progress in sanitary and phytosanitary standards and in the reduction of technical barriers to trade. Nonetheless, following Armenia’s decision to join the Eurasian Customs Union, trade-related assistance was revised and as a result two programmes were cancelled in 2013 (for a combined budget of €40 million), while a third programme was reoriented and partly reduced (by €13 million).
ENPI bilateral assistance committed for Armenia totals €281.5 million over the period 2007-2013.
For the country’s National Indicate Programme (NIP) 2007-2010, €97.4 million were committed for support to strengthening of democratic structures and good governance, regulatory reform and administrative capacity building, and poverty reduction efforts.
The NIP 2011-2013 commitments came to €144.1 million for democratic structures and good governance, trade and investment regulatory alignment and reform, and socio-economic reform and sustainable development. Through the EaPIC 2012-2013 the EU committed €40 million to Armenia.
The EaPIC (Eastern Partnership Integration and Cooperation) programme provides additional financial assistance to Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries that deliver on reforms for deep democracy and respect of human rights. It contributed significantly to shaping the debate on the implementation of the incentive-based approach of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which is now laid down in the regulation of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI).
More detailed information can be found in the EuropeAid report.
Cooperation between the EU and Armenia aims at directly or indirectly improving the lives of the citizens. Here is one example of cooperation, from the report.
Armenia: Increased access to justice
Through budget support and other assistance, the EU helps the government to implement its programme of justice reform. Better transparency, accountability and access to judicial services for citizens are among the results. Several court houses were built or reconstructed, and trainings for advocates provided. The number of public defenders and specialised judges increased. All decisions taken by the Council of Justice are now accessible online. A new system of document management was established and electronic information terminals were installed in courts and government institutions.
The EuropeAid report outlines the achievements of the partnership between the EU and the Neighbourhood in the past 7 years. It covers the general aspects of support to the Neighbourhood partnership, refers to the regional effort, includes a country-by-country breakdown and offers many examples of activities undertaken on the ground.