Tag Archives: civil

On 13 July 2016, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, met with the Chairman of the Civil Service Council (CSC) of the Republic of Armenia, Manvel Badalyan, and answered questions from the press on the current status of civil service reform. The two senior civil servants also presented the results of a larger EU-project to advance civil service reforms in Armenia, and to share the plans for further collaboration between Armenia and the EU in this area.
Ambassador Świtalski stressed the importance of the role of the civil service in the life of the country: ‘I am very glad to say that the EU cooperates very closely with the CSC; I can say that it is a very fruitful collaboration. We are very satisfied with the atmosphere and the very constructive spirit. Supporting the modernisation of public service in Armenia is very high on our list of priorities. Those of you who attended my press conference on the new EU Global Strategy will remember a top priority is to reinforce state and societal resilience, and efficient, effective and structured state institutions. From our perspective, the civil service is the backbone of competent and efficient administration; therefore, our modernisation support to Armenia aims at building a strong, depoliticised civil service. We are supporting civil service reform in different ways, including technical support. We are also working with SIGMA partners, experts in the field, to support drafting the new law on the civil service in Armenia’.
Chairman Badalyan thanked the EU for its continued support and efforts to modernise the Armenia civil service: ‘We have discussed a wide range of issues that have already been implemented in EU member states; we can apply their success here in Armenia. As one of the EaP countries, we see our development in the light of European standards, achievements and good practice. The EU supports the development and improvement of the civil service through its Multi-sector Budget Support Programme, through the SIGMA expert team (a joint initiative of the EU and the OECD), the “Support to Civil Service Reform in Armenia” project, the Eastern Partnership Panel on Public Administration Reform, and the TAIEX instrument. In 2015, with the support of EU experts from SIGMA and the “Support to Civil Service Reform in Armenia” project, the CSC drafted the “RA Civil Service Reforms Strategy” and the “Action Plan for the Implementation of the RA Civil Service Reforms Strategy.” On December 29 2015, the Armenian government adopted the strategy’.
The reforms are targeted at establishing a citizen-orientated, professional, and merit-based civil service system, in line with the modern principles, standards, and international best practices of public administration. The reforms will continue until 2020, by which time Armenia should have an entirely new civil service system in place.
The CSC has cooperated with the EU for almost a decade. In 2009, on the initiative of the CSC, a SIGMA expert team conducted a comprehensive study and assessment of the civil service system of Armenia, revealing its strengths and weaknesses.
With the aim of improving the system, the EU is implementing the “Support to Civil Service Reforms in Armenia” project and involving local and international experts to support the CSC. This takes the form of studying the best European practices on civil service reforms, providing methodological and expert assistance for the implementation of reforms, organising study visits to EU member states, and consulting EU experts on various matters.

The inauguration and first discussion of the “European Club” took place on 3 May 2016 in Robert Schuman Hall of the Centre for European Studies. The European Club was established by the Centre for European Studies of Yerevan State University in collaboration with the EU Delegation to Armenia. The European Club aims at bringing together academia and experts from Armenian and European universities and think tanks to inspire and facilitate discussions and debates on relevant issues in international and regional policy making. The discussions particularly revolve around EU policies in Armenia and the South Caucasus andwell-known experts are invited as speakers. The discussions are held under Chatham House rules, i.e. “off the record”.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Switalski, welcomed the establishment of the European Club: ‘I want to thank and congratulate the Centre for European Studies for taking up this initiative and establishing this European Club. The EU will support you and we hope very much that this initiative will bring real benefits to not only direct participants, in particular the younger generation, but also to Armenian experts and the general public. We hope that this will be a platform for free discussion – I hope that the Club will avoid emotion, avoid propaganda, and stick to reason and rational arguments. The Club started with a difficult topic on Russia and Europe; this is a big question for Armenia it has additional flavour, but I think it is very good to start on such a note’.
ARS_5271The Director of the Centre for European Studies of Yerevan State University, Artur Ghazinyan, echoed Ambassador Switalski’s sentiment: ‘I want to congratulate all of us for establishing the European Club in Armenia, which aims to bring together the most brilliant minds of Armenia, including government representatives, diplomats, experts, journalists, and students to discuss, debate and find answers to many vital questions. The Club was established with the ideological and technical support of the EU to Armenia, so I extend special thanks to Ambassador Switalski for his personal, valuable input in creating this unique platform. We are planning to hold seven sessions of the European Club this year on pressing topics such as the migration crisis in Europe, EU-Iran relations and others’.
Vladimir Morozov, Programme Coordinator of the Russian International Affairs Council in Moscow, and Jan Pieklo, Director of the Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation Foundation in Poland, exchanged views and responded to questions. Representatives of the EU Delegation, diplomatic corps, state, international and non-governmental organisations, think tanks, experts, students, researchers and media also attended the event.