President Serzh Sargsyan took part today in the congress of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Madrid. It was presided over by EPP President Joseph Daul. The congress was joined by the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, heads of EU and European Partnership states and governments representing the EPP member parties.
Among the congress’ agenda items are the elections of EPP President, as well as the discussion and approval of the party program and the amendments to the party rules. From 21 to 22 October, the congress delegates will focus on some issues of pan-European importance, e.g. the refugee problems, the consequences of the economic crisis and the opportunities to overcome thereof. The parties will touch upon the European Neighbourhood issues, the developments in the area of the Eastern Partnership and upon contemporary international challenges.
Armenia’s president delivered a speech at the congress.
Statement by the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan at the European People’s Party Statutory Congress
At the outset I would like to thank the EPP President Daul for the invitation to take part in this meeting. Thank You Mr. Prsident.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Eastern Partnership Summit of Riga welcomed the common understanding reached on the scope for a future agreement between the EU and Armenia. Today I am glad to note that we have reached a new responsible milestone in our relations with the EU: last week the EU Council in Luxembourg adopted mandate to open negotiations on a new, legally binding and overarching agreement with Armenia. I strongly believe that negotiations will result in an elaborate document outlining comprehensive cooperation in all areas of mutual interest, and it will become the best assurance for our joint commitment to elevate Armenia-EU relations to a new stage.
There is no doubt that our journey should not have been unclouded unless it was supported by our partners, not least of the EPP family. I strongly hope that the EPP will stand by us also in the course of negotiations in order to conclude it as soon as possible and continue with the European agenda of Armenia upon a new legally binding foundation.
In our country we continue development of the democratic institutions, balance separate branches of power, protect human rights and independence of judiciary. We have taken an important step in this direction by initiating constitutional reform in our country, which is implemented in close cooperation with the Venice Commission. Should our people approve the Constitutional amendments on December 6, Armenia will transform its semi-presidential model of governance into the parliamentary one, which in its turn will make more efficient interaction of the separate branches of power, lay ground for more intensive economic development, increase the level of the human rights protection and institutional role of the opposition. We have invited the EU, PACE, OSCE and other international structures to observe the referendum. I am confident that you participation and best practices will give a further impetus to the progress of the democratic process in Armenia.
In conclusion I would like to note once again that the Armenian nation highly values the EPP contribution to the adoption of the European Parliament resolution to condemn the Armenian Genocide, as well as the adoption of the resolution dedicated to the Armenian Genocide Centennial titled “The Armenian Genocide and European Values” by the EPP Political Assembly. They came to prove that the European People’s Party, as the largest political group represented in the European Parliament and the force that advances the European identity and idea, notwithstanding the most diverse set of political considerations, is committed to the protection of the fundamental human rights.
Last but not least I wish this unique platform of dialogue continuous and fruitful work.