Ambassador Świtalski’s Press Conference | EUNewsletter

Ambassador Świtalski’s Press Conference

31 July 2018
ARS_3716_

On 16 July, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, gave a press conference, during which the EU-Armenia relations were discussed.

Opinion Survey 2018: Armenia

ARS_3701_Ambassador Świtalski thanked Armenians for their recognition of the work the European Union does in the country, presenting the results of the “Opinion Survey 2018: Armenia”: ‘The EU conducts an annual survey of perceptions of the EU in Eastern Neighbourhood countries. The results concerning Armenia are very satisfactory – here are just a few figures. According to 1,000 face-to-face interviews in March 2018: 70% of people in Armenia trust the EU; 80% feel that relations with the EU are good; 69% of Armenians appreciate the financial support; 66% of Armenians believe that this support is effective; 53% believe that the EU brings tangible results to the everyday life of Armenian citizens; 55% believe that the EU is committed to fighting corruption in Armenia… There were, of course, points in the survey which point out our weaknesses as well. We will take them very seriously, analysing them and factoring them into our future planning. However, the most important thing is the dynamics – we will remain committed to engagement in Armenia as long the citizens want it – their voice is decisive’.

EU-Armenia relations

ARS_3706_The EU Ambassador also spoke about cooperation with the new Government of Armenia: ‘A few days ago, Armenia’s Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, met top EU officials in Brussels. The message sent by the EU was very clear – the EU welcomes the changes that have occurred in Armenia and is ready to support the Government’s dedication to reform. We will be constructive in our support and help Armenia to transform this dedication into concrete action. We are very open to hearing the expectations of the Government. I have been meeting Government representatives – at every meeting we ask a very simple question: “How can we help? What do you expect from us?” We would like to hear concrete ideas from our Armenian partners. When we have a comprehensive perspective we will discuss how we can help in real terms. Our preliminary mission is to help ordinary citizens. As of now, the EU is the biggest donor to Armenia. We are a very complex organisation and operate through specific frameworks. The legal and political basis of our relations with Armenia is the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and Partnership Priorities document. We have a long-term vision and our financial instruments, including for Armenia, are reviewed every 7 years through the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The current one expires in 2020, and a serious discussion has started in Brussels on the new MFF. Now we have the opportunity to look at the structural elements of the MFF and discuss figures. The 7-year period is divided into two sub-periods which we call “Single Support Frameworks”. Last April the Single Support Framework 2017-2020 for Armenia was adopted – this is where we stand. This framework is transparent and has provided a 25% increase in support for Armenia. The Single Support Framework itself is split into annual Action Plans. With the previous Government we were in advanced discussions on the 2018 and 2019 plans. The new Government now has total control of this process. As the previous talks were not finalised we are awaiting proposals for the plans, particularly 2018. We hope they will correspond with the reform agenda and the expectations of Armenian citizens’.

Ambassador Świtalski’s Press Conference

On 16 July, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, gave a press conference, during which the EU-Armenia relations were discussed.

Opinion Survey 2018: Armenia

ARS_3701_Ambassador Świtalski thanked Armenians for their recognition of the work the European Union does in the country, presenting the results of the "Opinion Survey 2018: Armenia”: ‘The EU conducts an annual survey of perceptions of the EU in Eastern Neighbourhood countries. The results concerning Armenia are very satisfactory – here are just a few figures. According to 1,000 face-to-face interviews in March 2018: 70% of people in Armenia trust the EU; 80% feel that relations with the EU are good; 69% of Armenians appreciate the financial support; 66% of Armenians believe that this support is effective; 53% believe that the EU brings tangible results to the everyday life of Armenian citizens; 55% believe that the EU is committed to fighting corruption in Armenia… There were, of course, points in the survey which point out our weaknesses as well. We will take them very seriously, analysing them and factoring them into our future planning. However, the most important thing is the dynamics – we will remain committed to engagement in Armenia as long the citizens want it – their voice is decisive’.

EU-Armenia relations

ARS_3706_The EU Ambassador also spoke about cooperation with the new Government of Armenia: 'A few days ago, Armenia’s Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, met top EU officials in Brussels. The message sent by the EU was very clear – the EU welcomes the changes that have occurred in Armenia and is ready to support the Government’s dedication to reform. We will be constructive in our support and help Armenia to transform this dedication into concrete action. We are very open to hearing the expectations of the Government. I have been meeting Government representatives – at every meeting we ask a very simple question: “How can we help? What do you expect from us?” We would like to hear concrete ideas from our Armenian partners. When we have a comprehensive perspective we will discuss how we can help in real terms. Our preliminary mission is to help ordinary citizens. As of now, the EU is the biggest donor to Armenia. We are a very complex organisation and operate through specific frameworks. The legal and political basis of our relations with Armenia is the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and Partnership Priorities document. We have a long-term vision and our financial instruments, including for Armenia, are reviewed every 7 years through the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The current one expires in 2020, and a serious discussion has started in Brussels on the new MFF. Now we have the opportunity to look at the structural elements of the MFF and discuss figures. The 7-year period is divided into two sub-periods which we call “Single Support Frameworks”. Last April the Single Support Framework 2017-2020 for Armenia was adopted – this is where we stand. This framework is transparent and has provided a 25% increase in support for Armenia. The Single Support Framework itself is split into annual Action Plans. With the previous Government we were in advanced discussions on the 2018 and 2019 plans. The new Government now has total control of this process. As the previous talks were not finalised we are awaiting proposals for the plans, particularly 2018. We hope they will correspond with the reform agenda and the expectations of Armenian citizens’.