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Armenia, EU discuss strengthening of dialogue on security and defense

On June 11-12, the Armenia-EU Partnership Committee, established under the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), met for the fifth time in Yerevan to discuss the implementation of the CEPA and Armenia-EU bilateral cooperation.

Armenia and the EU underlined the positive momentum in their partnership. The parties agreed to step up their efforts for the implementation of the CEPA, with the aim of unlocking its full potential, and to address socio-economic challenges. The EU recognized Armenia’s achievements and continued reform commitment in line with common values.  

The parties referred to the ongoing negotiations for the Armenia-EU new Partnership Agenda, setting ambitious goals across all areas of cooperation, which will be financially underpinned by the Resilience and Growth Plan of EUR 270 million for the period 2024-2027. The Plan will step up support to strategic investments, in particular on connectivity infrastructure in transport, digital and energy, and invest in business development to boost jobs and economic growth. The parties welcomed the good progress in the implementation of the Economic and Investment Plan which already mobilised EUR 600 million worth of investments.

The Partnership Committee reviewed developments related to the rule of law, justice reform, law enforcement, the fight against corruption, and the respect for human rights. The EU appreciated the progress made, including the conclusion of the international agreement on cooperation with Eurojust and the strengthened migration management capacities to prepare for a possible launch of a visa liberalisation dialogue. 

The EU acknowledged the progress made to improve the independence of the judiciary and to reinforce anti-corruption and integrity mechanisms, underlining the importance of continuing the reform process, further strengthening the efficiency of the judiciary and the accountability of law enforcement bodies. 

The EU emphasised the need to make additional efforts in eliminating discrimination on all grounds. Armenia and the EU stressed the importance of active involvement of civil society across the sectors. The EU encouraged Armenia to continue ensuring effective engagement of civil society in public consultations on legislative proposals. 

The parties discussed the inclusion of the forcibly displaced Armenian population after Azerbaijan’s military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2023, and the EU support on housing and employment. 

The Partnership Committee also reviewed the progress on issues related to transport, energy, environment, climate action and disaster risk management. Armenia and the EU discussed how to promote interconnections, enhance energy security, and accelerate the energy transition in Armenia, including via the Caucasus Transmission Network project and by supporting Armenia’s participation in regional projects such as the Black Sea Electric cable. The Armenian side recalled the need to promote other programmes on regional connectivity. While acknowledging Armenia’s efforts on combating climate change and environmental protection, the EU encouraged Armenia to make efforts to enhance energy production from renewable sources, move towards climate neutrality and to improve water management as well. 

The parties also reaffirmed their commitment to continue their cooperation to enhance nuclear safety. 

The EU encouraged Armenia to prioritise strategic projects in different sectoral areas aligned with priorities under the new Partnership Agenda and ongoing discussions on the implementation roadmap of the Resilience and Growth Plan.

The parties also discussed opportunities for increased road and air safety and connections, and acknowledged the importance of applying administratively the Common Aviation Area Agreement. The parties discussed the emergency response to the recent floods in North Armenia and broader cooperation on civil protection. The meeting was also an opportunity to review the cooperation in the field of customs and economic development. The parties committed to continuing the close cooperation to prevent the circumvention of the relevant EU sanctions. The discussion also took stock of developments in employment and social policies. The parties welcomed the strengthening cooperation on sports, culture, education and research exchanges.

The partners also discussed the regional dynamics, the Armenia-Azerbaijan normalisation process and the EU Mission in Armenia, commending its role played in the security and stability in the region. The EU welcomed the progress made on border delimitation, and underlined its full support to Armenia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to the inviolability of its borders based on  the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration. 

The parties discussed the strengthening of their dialogue on security and defence, and Armenia’s pending request under the European Peace Facility.

The EU welcomed the Crossroads of Peace initiative of Armenia aimed at working towards peace and normalisation in the region and expressed its support to opening of regional transport links in the region under the countries’ sovereignty and national jurisdiction, as well as according to the principles of equality and reciprocity.

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

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