Europe Day hits the road in Armenia | EUNewsletter

Europe Day hits the road in Armenia

24 May 2016
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This year’s Europe Day 2016 celebrations in Armenia have taken place in five marzes and will culminate in Yerevan on 5 June.
On 18 May 2016, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, paid a regional visit to Gegharkunik marz. He was accompanied by, among others, Nicolas Faye, Deputy Head of Mission of the French Embassy, as well as José Medina Navarro, Deputy Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation. The delegation began its visit at the ENPARD project in Tsovaghyugh village meeting with buckwheat farmers; the local authorities of Tsovaghyugh village; Gurgen Martirosyan, the Mayor of Gavar; and the Governor of Gegharkunik, Rafik Grigoryan.
13230116_1026165467437382_5401231540686557703_nAt the end of the visit, the delegation met with civil society organisations and media representatives from Gegharkunik discussing, among other topics, increased EU cooperation with the regions, how to combat corruption, and the role SMEs can play in economic development. On the same day, Europe Day celebrations were held in Gavar for the first time. The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski heralded the importance of the event for the town: ‘We are celebrating Europe Day for you, for young people in particular. We will be working together with your government and CSOs to help you to find a better future here in your beautiful country. I know very well that life is not simple in Gavar, but we hope very much that this evening you, together with us, will think about hope and a better future’. After the speech, Ambassador Świtalski awarded special prizes to the winners of the EU-Armenia cooperation quiz. In Gavar, the audience was so excited that they asked for the celebrations to continue – despite the rain!
On 21 May 2016, the EU Delegation to Armenia’s team was on the road again, this time to the south of Armenia. Ambassador Świtalski encouraged the efforts to combat gender-based violence in Syuniq marz coordinated by the Goris Women’s Development Resource Center Foundation. During the meeting, the women signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and civil society on fighting gender-based violence. Ambassador Świtalski stressed the EU’s commitment on this issue: ‘The EU is behind you in fighting gender-based violence – as part of our human rights budget sector support programme; we have agreed with the government that it will finalise new comprehensive legislation on domestic violence by the end of 2016. We are actively engaging with the government, encouraging it to sign up to the Istanbul Convention’.
13237734_1027649920622270_840783055480861527_nOn the same day, the Ambassador launched the first EU-funded “Euroclub” in Goris. The EU delegation will open Euroclubs in all marzes of Armenia to inform and educate young people about the EU and EU-Armenia relations. The initiative will include assistance in establishing long-term partnerships with European youth NGOs, applying and obtaining EU resources, and supporting Armenian youth aspirations for strengthening relations with the EU.
Additionally, Europe Day celebrations took place in Goris for the first time. Ambassador Świtalski opened the proceedings and spoke about the role of the EU: ‘I’m glad we are here in one of the most beautiful cities in Armenia. We are committed to support the efforts of Armenians to build a better society. The EU wants to help you to have better education, good jobs and to live in peace. Times are not easy for all Armenians, let’s hope for peace, for development and let’s enjoy this evening’.
On 22 May, Ambassador Świtalski made his first official visit to Kapan. On his way to Kapan, the Ambassador and Jerzy Nowakowski, the Ambassador of Poland to Armenia, took a ride on “The Wings of Tatev” cable car and paid a visit to the historic Tatev monastery, which is situated on the edge of the spectacular Vorotan river gorge. The two ambassadors were joined by a Polish choir, which celebrated Europe Day by singing the European Anthem and a couple of traditional Polish songs. The group was then briefed about Polish support for marking hiking trails in the beautiful surroundings and were served a delicious, homemade Polish cake. Upon arrival to Kapan, Ambassadors Świtalski and Nowakowski were met by the Mayor of Kapan, Ashot Hayrapetyan, and members of his team. Among the topics discussed were economic development in the regions, a feasibility study of the Armenian-Iranian Meghri border crossing point, potential EU support to innovative plastic disposal, seasonal migration, employment opportunities for women, and historical links between Europe and Armenia.
13240582_1028341080553154_8261934550474347955_nOn the same day, citizens from Kapan and the surrounding villages were in a great mood as they prepared to join the EU Delegation’s team at another outdoor Armenian concert experience. Ambassador Świtalski expressed his pleasure of making his first visit to Kapan: ‘I salute this great city of Davit Bek – a city of courage and resilience. I salute Kapan, the city on the border of Europe, which is also a gate to Europe. I would like to thank the Mayor of Kapan and the municipality for helping us to organise this concert tonight. We want to build a common future between the EU and Armenia based on common values. Our Europe Day celebrations 2016 are dedicated to youth and the future generation; this is why we are using the slogan “EU for youth”. The EU believes that young people are the future of Armenia. You are full of talent and very gifted; the EU wants to contribute by offering better opportunities for the younger generation here, we want to contribute to better job creation and better education. We want young Armenians to see a better future here and not outside of its borders. Most of all, however, we would like to work with the international community to ensure stability and peace for Armenia and the whole region’.

Europe Day hits the road in Armenia

This year's Europe Day 2016 celebrations in Armenia have taken place in five marzes and will culminate in Yerevan on 5 June. On 18 May 2016, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, paid a regional visit to Gegharkunik marz. He was accompanied by, among others, Nicolas Faye, Deputy Head of Mission of the French Embassy, as well as José Medina Navarro, Deputy Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation. The delegation began its visit at the ENPARD project in Tsovaghyugh village meeting with buckwheat farmers; the local authorities of Tsovaghyugh village; Gurgen Martirosyan, the Mayor of Gavar; and the Governor of Gegharkunik, Rafik Grigoryan. 13230116_1026165467437382_5401231540686557703_nAt the end of the visit, the delegation met with civil society organisations and media representatives from Gegharkunik discussing, among other topics, increased EU cooperation with the regions, how to combat corruption, and the role SMEs can play in economic development. On the same day, Europe Day celebrations were held in Gavar for the first time. The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski heralded the importance of the event for the town: ‘We are celebrating Europe Day for you, for young people in particular. We will be working together with your government and CSOs to help you to find a better future here in your beautiful country. I know very well that life is not simple in Gavar, but we hope very much that this evening you, together with us, will think about hope and a better future’. After the speech, Ambassador Świtalski awarded special prizes to the winners of the EU-Armenia cooperation quiz. In Gavar, the audience was so excited that they asked for the celebrations to continue - despite the rain! On 21 May 2016, the EU Delegation to Armenia’s team was on the road again, this time to the south of Armenia. Ambassador Świtalski encouraged the efforts to combat gender-based violence in Syuniq marz coordinated by the Goris Women’s Development Resource Center Foundation. During the meeting, the women signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and civil society on fighting gender-based violence. Ambassador Świtalski stressed the EU’s commitment on this issue: ‘The EU is behind you in fighting gender-based violence – as part of our human rights budget sector support programme; we have agreed with the government that it will finalise new comprehensive legislation on domestic violence by the end of 2016. We are actively engaging with the government, encouraging it to sign up to the Istanbul Convention’. 13237734_1027649920622270_840783055480861527_nOn the same day, the Ambassador launched the first EU-funded “Euroclub” in Goris. The EU delegation will open Euroclubs in all marzes of Armenia to inform and educate young people about the EU and EU-Armenia relations. The initiative will include assistance in establishing long-term partnerships with European youth NGOs, applying and obtaining EU resources, and supporting Armenian youth aspirations for strengthening relations with the EU. Additionally, Europe Day celebrations took place in Goris for the first time. Ambassador Świtalski opened the proceedings and spoke about the role of the EU: ‘I'm glad we are here in one of the most beautiful cities in Armenia. We are committed to support the efforts of Armenians to build a better society. The EU wants to help you to have better education, good jobs and to live in peace. Times are not easy for all Armenians, let's hope for peace, for development and let's enjoy this evening’. On 22 May, Ambassador Świtalski made his first official visit to Kapan. On his way to Kapan, the Ambassador and Jerzy Nowakowski, the Ambassador of Poland to Armenia, took a ride on “The Wings of Tatev” cable car and paid a visit to the historic Tatev monastery, which is situated on the edge of the spectacular Vorotan river gorge. The two ambassadors were joined by a Polish choir, which celebrated Europe Day by singing the European Anthem and a couple of traditional Polish songs. The group was then briefed about Polish support for marking hiking trails in the beautiful surroundings and were served a delicious, homemade Polish cake. Upon arrival to Kapan, Ambassadors Świtalski and Nowakowski were met by the Mayor of Kapan, Ashot Hayrapetyan, and members of his team. Among the topics discussed were economic development in the regions, a feasibility study of the Armenian-Iranian Meghri border crossing point, potential EU support to innovative plastic disposal, seasonal migration, employment opportunities for women, and historical links between Europe and Armenia. 13240582_1028341080553154_8261934550474347955_nOn the same day, citizens from Kapan and the surrounding villages were in a great mood as they prepared to join the EU Delegation's team at another outdoor Armenian concert experience. Ambassador Świtalski expressed his pleasure of making his first visit to Kapan: ‘I salute this great city of Davit Bek - a city of courage and resilience. I salute Kapan, the city on the border of Europe, which is also a gate to Europe. I would like to thank the Mayor of Kapan and the municipality for helping us to organise this concert tonight. We want to build a common future between the EU and Armenia based on common values. Our Europe Day celebrations 2016 are dedicated to youth and the future generation; this is why we are using the slogan "EU for youth". The EU believes that young people are the future of Armenia. You are full of talent and very gifted; the EU wants to contribute by offering better opportunities for the younger generation here, we want to contribute to better job creation and better education. We want young Armenians to see a better future here and not outside of its borders. Most of all, however, we would like to work with the international community to ensure stability and peace for Armenia and the whole region’.