Stefan Fule in Armenia: ongoing reforms discussed | EUNewsletter

Stefan Fule in Armenia: ongoing reforms discussed

3 August 2011
Stefan-Fule-in-Armenia

Stefan Fule in ArmeniaStefan Fule, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, was on an official visit to Armenia on 29 April to discuss and review ongoing reforms in the country and steps undertaken towards it.
During the meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, the parties touched upon the topics on the European Neighbourhood Policy, projects implemented within the scope of Eastern Partnership as well as consumption of resources, facilitation of easier movement of Armenian citizens within EU member states, and problems within the region, particularly the conflict in Artsakh.

For a new, innovative and ambitious European Neighbourhood policy review

By Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy
When Catherine Ashton and I embarked on a review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) last year, our intention was to put relations with our nearest neighbours at the forefront of EU foreign policy. This is not only because the Lisbon Treaty recognises the special character of the relations with our neighbours, but mainly because the EU’s security, economic and political interests, as well as its role as an international actor, are most directly at stake in our neighbourhood. Developments at our borders have a huge influence on our continued prosperity and security.
The Communication on the European Neighbourhood Policy review adopted on 25th May sets out the main priorities of a revitalised ENP strategy. The review has been undertaken following close consultations with all our partners in the East and South and the 27 Member States. We have also consulted parliaments, representatives of civil society, think tanks and other stakeholders: their valuable input has been a source of inspiration throughout the process. This wide consultation strengthens the sense of joint ownership.
The communication builds on the “Partnership for Democracy and shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean” adopted in March 2011 in which we laid out our immediate response to events in the South. It makes concrete proposals on how the work on the Partnership will be taken forward, including in terms of funding. It also looks eastwards. We need to further strengthen the Eastern Partnership, which has helped to consolidate a difficult process of democratic change. The Association Agreements through which partner countries can reach an unprecedented level of convergence with EU laws are at the heart of this process. We need to accompany them on this road based on our shared European identity and values and prepare for a successful 2nd Eastern partnership summit in September in Warsaw.
Our neighbours are changing fast; this is forcing us to change and adapt our policies. However, there is a common theme: citizens across the neighbourhood are demanding democracy, dignity, social development and prosperity evenly shared by all citizens. The new approach to the ENP is based on four directions.
A differentiated partnership
It is a truism to state that the EU’s neighbours are all very different and that the EU’s response must be calibrated accordingly, but what does this mean concretely? In my view, the point of departure is that the area of security and prosperity that we seek to extend to our neighbourhood must be built on democratic values, the rule of law and the respect of human rights. We are ready to go further and faster with those partners who choose the path of reforms based on the universal values we cherish.
A partnership with people
Too often in the past we have privileged relations with those in power over cooperation with civil society. We need to redress the balance. Non-governmental organisations are key actors in promoting democratic and market-orientated reforms, and a thriving civil society is a barrier against authoritarianism because they can hold governments accountable. We propose to support more effectively the development of civil society. We propose to establish a Civil Society Facility which will help civil society organisations develop their advocacy capacity and strengthen their ability to monitor reforms. In addition, we want to develop people-to-people links. We propose to increases funds for developing student exchanges but also measures to facilitate the legitimate mobility of people across EU borders while preserving the security of our citizens.
A comprehensive partnership
With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, political co-operation between the EU and its immediate neighbours can shift to a higher gear in a number of areas. This means addressing some of the global issues which affect the EU and our neighbours alike: energy security, climate change, the fight against international terrorism and non-proliferation. It also includes tackling security issues that are of most immediate concern to our neighbours – for example how we can help to resolve the protracted conflicts.

A nurtured partnership

A more ambitious strategy needs increased resources. The Communication proposes to allocate, in 2011-2013, 1.24 billion euro in grant money to support all the proposed initiatives. This would in addition to the funds that are already earmarked for our neighbourhood in 2011-2013, which amount to 5.7 billion euro.
The challenges with which our neighbours are confronted are enormous and the consequences of doing too little too late would be calamitous. We owe it to this and future generations of citizens both in the EU and in our neighbourhood to be up to the challenge.

Stefan Fule in Armenia: ongoing reforms discussed

Stefan Fule in ArmeniaStefan Fule, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, was on an official visit to Armenia on 29 April to discuss and review ongoing reforms in the country and steps undertaken towards it. During the meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, the parties touched upon the topics on the European Neighbourhood Policy, projects implemented within the scope of Eastern Partnership as well as consumption of resources, facilitation of easier movement of Armenian citizens within EU member states, and problems within the region, particularly the conflict in Artsakh.

For a new, innovative and ambitious European Neighbourhood policy review

By Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy When Catherine Ashton and I embarked on a review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) last year, our intention was to put relations with our nearest neighbours at the forefront of EU foreign policy. This is not only because the Lisbon Treaty recognises the special character of the relations with our neighbours, but mainly because the EU's security, economic and political interests, as well as its role as an international actor, are most directly at stake in our neighbourhood. Developments at our borders have a huge influence on our continued prosperity and security. The Communication on the European Neighbourhood Policy review adopted on 25th May sets out the main priorities of a revitalised ENP strategy. The review has been undertaken following close consultations with all our partners in the East and South and the 27 Member States. We have also consulted parliaments, representatives of civil society, think tanks and other stakeholders: their valuable input has been a source of inspiration throughout the process. This wide consultation strengthens the sense of joint ownership. The communication builds on the "Partnership for Democracy and shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean" adopted in March 2011 in which we laid out our immediate response to events in the South. It makes concrete proposals on how the work on the Partnership will be taken forward, including in terms of funding. It also looks eastwards. We need to further strengthen the Eastern Partnership, which has helped to consolidate a difficult process of democratic change. The Association Agreements through which partner countries can reach an unprecedented level of convergence with EU laws are at the heart of this process. We need to accompany them on this road based on our shared European identity and values and prepare for a successful 2nd Eastern partnership summit in September in Warsaw. Our neighbours are changing fast; this is forcing us to change and adapt our policies. However, there is a common theme: citizens across the neighbourhood are demanding democracy, dignity, social development and prosperity evenly shared by all citizens. The new approach to the ENP is based on four directions. A differentiated partnership It is a truism to state that the EU’s neighbours are all very different and that the EU’s response must be calibrated accordingly, but what does this mean concretely? In my view, the point of departure is that the area of security and prosperity that we seek to extend to our neighbourhood must be built on democratic values, the rule of law and the respect of human rights. We are ready to go further and faster with those partners who choose the path of reforms based on the universal values we cherish. A partnership with people Too often in the past we have privileged relations with those in power over cooperation with civil society. We need to redress the balance. Non-governmental organisations are key actors in promoting democratic and market-orientated reforms, and a thriving civil society is a barrier against authoritarianism because they can hold governments accountable. We propose to support more effectively the development of civil society. We propose to establish a Civil Society Facility which will help civil society organisations develop their advocacy capacity and strengthen their ability to monitor reforms. In addition, we want to develop people-to-people links. We propose to increases funds for developing student exchanges but also measures to facilitate the legitimate mobility of people across EU borders while preserving the security of our citizens. A comprehensive partnership With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, political co-operation between the EU and its immediate neighbours can shift to a higher gear in a number of areas. This means addressing some of the global issues which affect the EU and our neighbours alike: energy security, climate change, the fight against international terrorism and non-proliferation. It also includes tackling security issues that are of most immediate concern to our neighbours – for example how we can help to resolve the protracted conflicts. A nurtured partnership A more ambitious strategy needs increased resources. The Communication proposes to allocate, in 2011-2013, 1.24 billion euro in grant money to support all the proposed initiatives. This would in addition to the funds that are already earmarked for our neighbourhood in 2011-2013, which amount to 5.7 billion euro. The challenges with which our neighbours are confronted are enormous and the consequences of doing too little too late would be calamitous. We owe it to this and future generations of citizens both in the EU and in our neighbourhood to be up to the challenge.