Tag Archives: EU Ambassador

15On 11 May, the EU Ambassador, Piotr Świtalski, participated in the opening of a facility that produces construction materials from plastic waste in Kapan. The facility was opened through the EU-funded “Introducing Construction Materials from Plastic Waste” (IES) Pilot Regional Development Programme (PRDP) project, which was launched in 2016. The facility will process plastic waste into materials using several technological processes and be mixed with sand on a production line.

2In order to supply the start-up with enough plastic waste, the project has created infrastructure for its separation and collection all the way down from Yeghegnadzor to Meghri, involving 9 communities in Vayots Dzor and Syunik marzes. The first batch of kerbstones and street tiles will be used to improve public spaces in those communities. The project’s budget is around €749,963, of which €509,978 has been provided by the European Union. The project is being implemented under the Pilot Regional Development Programme (PRDP) funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development of the Republic of Armenia. It is expected that the project will end in June 2019.

23Ambassador Świtalski congratulated on the opening of the facility: “I am very happy to come here to show the successful implementation of this innovative project. Three years ago we were deciding which projects should be included in PRDP. When I saw this proposal I started having big misgivings – can it work? And I am really glad that you have proved that it can work. I want to thank everyone involved in this project. I am proud that Kapan is taking a lead, Kapan is developing a project which is innovative and tackles environmental problems”.

ARS_4701Norayr Harutyunyan, the Head of the Project, presented the processes taking place at the facility: “At the end of 2018 we started the renovation of the facility, which lasted 2 months. We had already got all the equipment. On 3 March, we invited specialists from Russia to train our workers from the social security service. As a result, 11 of those trained have been working with us since 10 March. Workers have acquired skills, and all of the machines are working correctly. We have already got the first samples and will start the renovation in Kapan. We hope that, by the end of the year, we will work in two shifts and have up to 22 employees”.

On 19 March the European, in partnership with the Tumo Centre for Creative Technologies, launched the EU TUMO Convergence Centre for Engineering and Applied Science. This is a state-of-the-art STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ecosystem for young adults in Armenia. The European Union has granted €12.5 million for the project. Lawrence Meredith, Director for Neighbourhood East at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, and Piotr Świtalski, EU Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, were the keynote speakers at the launch ceremony.

ARS_1130_Director Meredith was excited to be present at the launch event: “This centre captures the imagination, the spirit of Armenia – this lies at the heart of the future of the European Union. That’s why we all need to invest in innovation. So far, three EU Commissioners have visited this centre – I don’t know any other centre in any other country visited by three EU Commissioners. This is a tribute to your outstanding work and to the quality of your students. I am very proud to launch this strong investment project on behalf of the EU. This launch takes part at a really important moment in EU-Armenia relations. Investment in innovation and young people is so important, as it is an investment in our future relationship. Armenians are particularly brilliant at STEM and I am sure they will succeed”.

ARS_1101_Ambassador Świtalski welcomed all aspects of expanding Tumo: “Today we are linking Armenia with Europe, we are building fusion – what is best in Armenia – Tumo – with what is best in Europe – the EU. We will be expanding Tumo physically by adding a new structure, expanding its philosophy, adding people from new age groups, and stimulating new interests in programmes. Through this project we will try to bridge the gap between science and industry in Armenia”.

ARS_1198_Close to 15,000 square metres of building space will be constructed in Yerevan. The campus will include infrastructure for educational programming such as Tumo Labs, a STEM research laboratory, a conference centre, and a revenue-generating commercial space to ensure the centre’s long-term financial sustainability. Tumo Labs constitute a logical continuation of the Tumo programme, allowing university students and young professionals to gain applied and state-of-the-art skills related to STEM once they reach the age of 18. The centre will be a hub for research, education and start-ups, bringing together local and international partners to bridge the gap between higher education and industry in Armenia. The French University of Armenia is a major partner on the project, and its new Faculty for Informatics and Applied Mathematics will be part of the Convergence Centre.  After the signing event, attendees walked to the site of the future centre and participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking.

086A0418On 12 May Ijevan hosted Europe Day celebrations for the first time, where residents of Tavush marz were able to participate in different activities. In Fountain Square people could learn about EU-funded projects in Europe and Armenia, about projects’ achievements, enjoy good music and dance, participate in various competitions, and win surprise gifts. The celebration also included tasting different European dishes. The Head of the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, together with the Mayor of Ijevan, Vardan Ghalumyan, participated in the opening of the event.

086A0403The EU Ambassador thanked the Mayor for his hospitality: ‘We are very happy to be here for the first time and celebrate Europe Day. I hope it will become an annual tradition. First of all, I want to thank everyone, in particular young people from Ijevan for coming. Europe Day is a joint celebration – we celebrate that we are part of the same, large family. This year we are celebrating Europe Day under the slogan “Europe is here”. Indeed, the EU is trying to be helpful and bring about good results for ordinary Armenian citizens. The EU is the biggest donor to Armenia and its largest investor. In Ijevan we have helped to renovate the building of the Court of First Instance and a vocational education and training facility’.
Mayor Ghalumyan also thanked the EU for bringing Europe Day celebrations to the city and for all projects implemented with EU support, adding that he hoped to see new projects in the future.

086A1879The next day, on 13 May, Europe Day celebrations reached Hrazdan. This is the second city which has hosted this pan-European holiday for the first time. Despite heavy rain, the residents of Kotayk marz gathered on Constitution Square to join the celebrations and enjoy themselves. The EU Ambassador and the Mayor of Hrazdan, Aram Danielyan, welcomed everyone.

ARS_8395Świtalski was happy to see numerous people: ‘Hrazdan is hosting Europe Day celebrations for the first time. We are happy for the annual chance to tour Armenia and celebrate this holiday of peace and unity together. This year, we are dedicating the celebrations to young people. We have implemented many projects in Hrazdan, contributing to the renovation of a vocational education and training facility, the building of the Court of First Instance…we are also implementing a project on solid waste management. The EU is committed to working together with Armenia. I hope very much that these celebrations bring you joy’.