Armenia, EU agree to strengthen cooperation

On 27-28 June 2023, the 4th Meeting of the Armenia-EU Partnership Committee established under the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Extended Partnership Agreement (CEPA) took place in Brussels. The delegation of the Republic of Armenia headed by Mr. Paruyr Hovhannisyan, Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia, participated in the meeting. As a result of the discussions, the following Joint Press Statement was adopted:

“On 27-28 June 2023, the Armenia-EU Partnership Committee, established under the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), met for the fourth time in Brussels. This meeting gave the opportunity to the EU and Armenia to discuss the implementation of the CEPA and touch upon other areas of bilateral cooperation.

Armenia and the EU agreed to strengthen their cooperation, emphasizing the EU’s active engagement in the South Caucasus, and to pursue their efforts for the implementation of the CEPA, recognising the progress made so far. The EU welcomed Armenia’s continued commitment to reforms in line with common values, in spite of the difficult security context of the region. The EU stands ready to continue assisting Armenia on the path of the CEPA implementation and in addressing socio-economic challenges, including through the substantial Economic and Investment Plan (EIP) as well as its flagship initiatives.

The Partnership Committee reviewed developments related to the rule of law, in the fields of justice sector, law enforcement, fight against corruption, and the respect for human rights. The EU appreciated the progress in these fields. Yet, the EU recalled the importance of continuous improvement of the independence and efficiency of the judiciary and the fight against corruption, in order to increase citizens’ trust in public institutions. The EU emphasized the need to make additional efforts in eliminating discrimination on all grounds and encouraged Armenia to involve civil society in public consultations on legislative proposals.

The Partnership Committee also reviewed the progress on issues related to transport, energy, environment, climate action and disaster risk management. Armenia and the EU will continue their cooperation to enhance safety at the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant. While acknowledging Armenia’s efforts on renewable energies, energy efficiency and environmental protection, the EU encouraged Armenia to set more ambitious emission reduction targets as part of its Nationally Determined Contribution.

The meeting was also an opportunity to review the cooperation in the field of customs and economic development. The EU underlined the importance of customs cooperation to prevent the circumvention of the EU sanctions on Russia through the territory of Armenia. The discussion also took stock of developments in employment and social policies. As regards education, the EU welcomed the adoption of Armenia’s comprehensive Strategy covering the whole education spectrum, as well as its ratification of the Creative Europe Agreement.

The Partnership Committee also touched upon the possibility of launching a visa liberalization dialogue (VLD). In this regard, the EU noted that while the technical requirements for the VLD launch have been sufficiently met, this also requires a political decision. The EU continues encouraging Armenia to bilaterally engage actively with Member States on this topic.

The partners also discussed the regional dynamics and the state of play of the Armenia-Azerbaijan normalization process that takes place in the context of increasingly challenging security situation. The Armenian side provided an update on the blockage of the Lachin Corridor. Armenia and the EU shared concerns on the risks of a humanitarian crisis. The EU and Armenia welcomed the establishment of the EU Mission in Armenia.

Finally, the discussions highlighted the constructive engagement of Armenia in the Eastern Partnership.

The meeting was co-chaired by Mr Luc Devigne, Deputy Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia at the European External Action Service and Mr Paruyr Hovhannisyan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia.”

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