Roundtable discussion on corruption risks in customs clearance of imported cars into Armenia | EUNewsletter

Roundtable discussion on corruption risks in customs clearance of imported cars into Armenia

3 August 2016
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The fight against corruption is one of high priority to the European Union in Armenia, and the EU Delegation is implementing several projects to support reform in this sector. A new anti-corruption project began on 1 April 2016: “Identification of Corruption Risks in Customs Clearance of Imported Cars into Armenia”. This project was implemented by the Armenian Constitutional Right-Protective Centre (ACRPC) NGO, which raised awareness of corruption, carried out sociological research including a survey, developed constructive anti-corruption reform recommendations for the Armenian government and Armenian State Revenue Committee, monitored journalistic articles, promoted online thematic discussions, of which it published a final report. The aim of the project was to contribute to the implementation of the Action Plan of the Armenian Government’s 2015-2018 Anti-corruption Strategy. The project is being implemented with financial support from the “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” and the “Freedom of Information Centre”. They have provided a sub-grant through the EU- and OSCE-funded “Multi-faceted Anti-corruption Promotion” project.
The final roundtable discussion was held on July 29 2016 in Vanadzor. Alessandro Zanotta, International Aid/Cooperation Officer at the EU Delegation to Armenia, attended the event, stressing the importance of making joint decisions on reform through this inclusive medium: ‘Today we are discussing a very important topic, the fight against corruption. Corruption is not just an Armenian problem, it’s universal and needs to be eliminated everywhere. The EU in Armenia believes that concrete results need to be achieved in Armenia as soon as possible in order to achieve benefits for Armenian citizens. The EU in Armenia always supports actions against corruption, both supporting state bodies and civil society. Customs are a very important target for reform, as it is closely linked to the needs of Armenian citizens, as well as foreign investors’.
Mher Martirosyan, the Deputy Head of the Customs Control Department of the State Revenue Committee, confirmed the state’s conviction in fighting corruption: ‘Corruption is a very serious phenomenon which undermines the foundations of the state. These kinds of public debates, involving various segments of society, play a big role in the struggle against corruption. It is important that the EU supports the implementation of such programmes because they help to strengthen our country. This project is very interesting due to its very narrow focus, and we hope that these results will contribute to the improvement of the sector’.
Karen Zadoyan, the President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association and the Coordinator of the CSO Anti-corruption Coalition of Armenia, introduced the latest achievements of the coalition and talked about the importance of this project: ‘We held public debates on business risks in tax and customs. Detailed steps were discussed together with the State Revenue Committee, and we have to prepare constructive proposals for further public debates with the government, business associations and CSOs to mitigate these risks’.
Gevorg Manukyan, the President of ACRPC, presented the final report on media monitoring and the results of the survey. Recommendations and suggestions aimed at improving the situation were also presented.

Roundtable discussion on corruption risks in customs clearance of imported cars into Armenia

The fight against corruption is one of high priority to the European Union in Armenia, and the EU Delegation is implementing several projects to support reform in this sector. A new anti-corruption project began on 1 April 2016: “Identification of Corruption Risks in Customs Clearance of Imported Cars into Armenia”. This project was implemented by the Armenian Constitutional Right-Protective Centre (ACRPC) NGO, which raised awareness of corruption, carried out sociological research including a survey, developed constructive anti-corruption reform recommendations for the Armenian government and Armenian State Revenue Committee, monitored journalistic articles, promoted online thematic discussions, of which it published a final report. The aim of the project was to contribute to the implementation of the Action Plan of the Armenian Government's 2015-2018 Anti-corruption Strategy. The project is being implemented with financial support from the “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” and the “Freedom of Information Centre”. They have provided a sub-grant through the EU- and OSCE-funded “Multi-faceted Anti-corruption Promotion” project. The final roundtable discussion was held on July 29 2016 in Vanadzor. Alessandro Zanotta, International Aid/Cooperation Officer at the EU Delegation to Armenia, attended the event, stressing the importance of making joint decisions on reform through this inclusive medium: ‘Today we are discussing a very important topic, the fight against corruption. Corruption is not just an Armenian problem, it’s universal and needs to be eliminated everywhere. The EU in Armenia believes that concrete results need to be achieved in Armenia as soon as possible in order to achieve benefits for Armenian citizens. The EU in Armenia always supports actions against corruption, both supporting state bodies and civil society. Customs are a very important target for reform, as it is closely linked to the needs of Armenian citizens, as well as foreign investors’. Mher Martirosyan, the Deputy Head of the Customs Control Department of the State Revenue Committee, confirmed the state’s conviction in fighting corruption: 'Corruption is a very serious phenomenon which undermines the foundations of the state. These kinds of public debates, involving various segments of society, play a big role in the struggle against corruption. It is important that the EU supports the implementation of such programmes because they help to strengthen our country. This project is very interesting due to its very narrow focus, and we hope that these results will contribute to the improvement of the sector'. Karen Zadoyan, the President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association and the Coordinator of the CSO Anti-corruption Coalition of Armenia, introduced the latest achievements of the coalition and talked about the importance of this project: 'We held public debates on business risks in tax and customs. Detailed steps were discussed together with the State Revenue Committee, and we have to prepare constructive proposals for further public debates with the government, business associations and CSOs to mitigate these risks’. Gevorg Manukyan, the President of ACRPC, presented the final report on media monitoring and the results of the survey. Recommendations and suggestions aimed at improving the situation were also presented.