Tag Archives: Armenia’s Prime Minister

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’.

On 5 December the Young Experts Scheme Armenia (YES) project officially began. 21 young professionals aged 25-35 have been selected from more than 300 candidates to be enrolled in a one-year project. Almost half of the selected experts are from the Armenian Diaspora, who will bring their skills and expertise.
YES Armenia offers a unique opportunity for young professionals to contribute to Armenia’s development by bringing new dynamics, energy and modernisation to the civil service. Young professionals will work on specific government priority projects for 12 months. The projects are diverse, such as new governance models in education, tourism development, operationalisation of the National Digital Transformation Agenda, and public-private partnership (PPP) promotion. YES Armenia is funded by the EU and implemented by the Development and Strategic Studies project, in partnership with the Centre for Strategic Initiatives (CSI).

ARS_9887The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, wished participants success: ‘There are three beautiful things about this project. Firstly, it is about the young generation. Armenia can be proud of the richness its youth; I believe that these young people can bring something new to Government, as well as aspiration and hope. Indeed, changing this country is about their future. Secondly, this project is a bridge between Armenians from here and the Diaspora. Half of the participants have returned to Armenia – they have acquired education in the best universities in Europe, and here will have the opportunity to spread their wings and fulfil their inspirations. Thirdly, this project is about reform. Armenian is now undergoing challenging reforms. The acronym of the project is very inspiring: YES. This exudes positive energy, something Armenia needs. 12 months is a short period of time, so don’t waste your time. If you succeed, we will continue to support this type of initiative’.

ARS_9837Armenia’s Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan congratulated both the organisers and selected participants: ‘It is inspiring that 21 young Armenian people are being involved in public administration through this project. I hope you will justify our and your expectations. YES Armenia is a good example of the cooperation between Armenia and the European Union. It includes a number of important priorities: involving young people in reforms to public administration; engaging young talent from the Diaspora; combining state and international partners’ efforts in areas of mutual interest. The project is the first attempt in this format with the EU partners – I hope that we will be successful and allow it to become long term’.