Armenia-EU cooperation: present and future | EUNewsletter

Armenia-EU cooperation: present and future

6 May 2011
Head of the EU Advisory Group Mr. Antti Hartikainen

Head of the EU Advisory Group Mr. Antti Hartikainen
Head of the EU Advisory Group Mr. Antti Hartikainen

Cooperation between the EU and Armenia has visibly progressed over the last two years. The work of the EU Advisory Group is one of the contributing factors. The Team Leader of the EU Advisory Group to Armenia, Antti Hartikainen, stresses that the strengthening of relations between the EU and Armenia through the future Association Agreement is very important.
- What are the main achievements of the activities undertaken by the EU Advisory Group in Armenia?
- The first two phases of the EU Advisory Group project were implemented from November 2008 – July 2010. I joined the EU Advisory Group in mid-December 2010 when the project was restarted after a six-month pause. Among the main achievements I would like to mention the following: the inauguration of the Diplomatic Academy on 15 February 2010. The establisment of the Academy was supported by the EU Advisory Group, UNDP and OSCE. Then, the creation of the EU Export Helpdesk and the completion of the Human rights aseline study. There were also a lot of positive developments in areas of activity like trade, public dministration reform, migration issues, border management and visa facilitation.
- What steps have already been undertaken for the visa facilitation process and what kind of reform is expected?
- In the near future we expect to start work towards an agreement on visa facilitation, which will simplify the visa process, make it cheaper and enhance people to people contact between the EU and Armenia. Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, it will be easier for many groups of people, such as diplomats, students, scientists, artists and others to obtain a visa. Applications for visas will also be processed more quickly. There will be a limitation on the number of days that your request should be processed. Of course also the process of applying will become more easily understandable for people.
- What issues does Armenia face regarding EU integration?
- First of all, when we speak about EU-Armenia cooperation and ongoing Association Agreement negotiations we must bear in mind the fact that the EU and Armenia need to be equal partners and with this I mean that both sides need to have equal capacity to negotiate. The EU Advisory Group is to assist Armenia in this effort. Here arises the question of the capacity of public administration. Next is how to make ordinary people aware of the advantages of EU integration and of its expected results. What are the advantages for this person in Yerevan, or that person living in countryside? These are the questions that must be answered to motivate people to support the Armenian way towards Europe integration.

Armenia-EU cooperation: present and future

[caption id="attachment_1426" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Head of the EU Advisory Group Mr. Antti Hartikainen"]Head of the EU Advisory Group Mr. Antti Hartikainen[/caption] Cooperation between the EU and Armenia has visibly progressed over the last two years. The work of the EU Advisory Group is one of the contributing factors. The Team Leader of the EU Advisory Group to Armenia, Antti Hartikainen, stresses that the strengthening of relations between the EU and Armenia through the future Association Agreement is very important. - What are the main achievements of the activities undertaken by the EU Advisory Group in Armenia? - The first two phases of the EU Advisory Group project were implemented from November 2008 – July 2010. I joined the EU Advisory Group in mid-December 2010 when the project was restarted after a six-month pause. Among the main achievements I would like to mention the following: the inauguration of the Diplomatic Academy on 15 February 2010. The establisment of the Academy was supported by the EU Advisory Group, UNDP and OSCE. Then, the creation of the EU Export Helpdesk and the completion of the Human rights aseline study. There were also a lot of positive developments in areas of activity like trade, public dministration reform, migration issues, border management and visa facilitation. - What steps have already been undertaken for the visa facilitation process and what kind of reform is expected? - In the near future we expect to start work towards an agreement on visa facilitation, which will simplify the visa process, make it cheaper and enhance people to people contact between the EU and Armenia. Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, it will be easier for many groups of people, such as diplomats, students, scientists, artists and others to obtain a visa. Applications for visas will also be processed more quickly. There will be a limitation on the number of days that your request should be processed. Of course also the process of applying will become more easily understandable for people. - What issues does Armenia face regarding EU integration? - First of all, when we speak about EU-Armenia cooperation and ongoing Association Agreement negotiations we must bear in mind the fact that the EU and Armenia need to be equal partners and with this I mean that both sides need to have equal capacity to negotiate. The EU Advisory Group is to assist Armenia in this effort. Here arises the question of the capacity of public administration. Next is how to make ordinary people aware of the advantages of EU integration and of its expected results. What are the advantages for this person in Yerevan, or that person living in countryside? These are the questions that must be answered to motivate people to support the Armenian way towards Europe integration.