Tag Archives: EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

On the initiative of the EU Delegation to Armenia and the Government of the Republic of Armenia, a joint press conference was organised on 26 November to mark the 2nd anniversary of the signing of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Luc Devigne, the Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia and OSCE at the European External Action Service, Lawrence Meredith, Director for Neighbourhood East and Institution Building at the European Commission, who were in Armenia on a working visit and Avet Adonts, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia held a press conference. The EU representatives welcomed Armenia’s commitment to reform and to the implementation of the EU-Armenia Agreement.

“We very much welcome Armenia’s commitment to reforms and to implement CEPA, which we signed 2 years ago. We have been positively impressed by the professionalism and seriousness with which Armenian authorities have taken this Agreement. It’s motivating to see that what we do will deliver benefits for people of Armenia and the EU. CEPA represents modernisation reforms and EU standards in all key areas. We are happy that Armenian civil society is actively monitoring and contributing to CEPA’s implementation. We are looking forward to the next EU-Armenia Partnership Committee meeting on 16 December in Brussels, where the CEPA Implementation Roadmap elaborated by the Armenian Government will be discussed. We are looking forward to continuing our support to Armenia and the Armenian Government’s reform efforts”, said Director Luc Devigne in his speech.

“I would like to highlight three things. Firstly, how does Armenia benefit from CEPA? We strongly believe that this will create new opportunities for people, new jobs and will help to shape an economy that works for all. Secondly, the EU is investing substantially in support of ambitious reforms to make Armenia ready to benefit from the potential of this Agreement. The CEPA Reform Facility will advise the Government on strategic reforms through EU High-Level Advisers and a series of twinning projects. Additionally, CEPA banking facility will support the private sector to adjust to CEPA requirements. Thirdly, why to invest in Armenia? We see an ambitious vision from Armenia in terms of reform. Armenia is a country famous for innovation; we are investing in young people – the future of Armenia is in their bright, hospitable hands”, mentioned Director Lawrence Meredith.

In his opening remarks, the Deputy Foreign Minister Avet Adonts highlighted the importance of CEPA, the ongoing process of its ratification and full implementation. The Deputy Foreign Minister also touched upon the importance of launching of visa liberalization dialogue between Armenia and the EU, as well as the vision of the Republic of Armenia on the future of the Eastern Partnership. The press conference was followed by the inclusive “Stronger Together” fashion show with participation of people with disabilities.

ARS_4924On 29 January Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for EU Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, visited Armenia. During the visit the EU Commissioner met with Armenian President Armen Sarkissian, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan. During the meetings, the parties discussed  EU-Armenia relations, EU assistance to Armenia, the Eastern Partnership (which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year), the implementation of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the necessity of fostering broader regional cooperation, and the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Commissioner Hahn also met with the representatives of civil society and gave a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan.

Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner 5During the press conference Commissioner Hahn congratulated the Armenian government on the parliamentary elections held on 9 December 2018: “These elections reflected the people’s will. These were elections accepted by the international community as fair and transparent. Based on them, we must look to the future, which means economic development – we need to have a stronger, more resilient, more democratic society. We have identified some areas where we can focus and make a European contribution, particularly agriculture, technology, judicial reform, education, and others. Our whole cooperation is based on a solid framework. Currently we have projects worth €300 million being implementation and another €100 million allocated for upcoming projects. Additionally, grants and loans have generated over €800 million in investments across various sectors. This will be further enhanced as we are working with the government to identify areas requiring further support. I would like to announce the signature of a €23 million assistance package to Armenia on education and innovation. I am proud to say that we have invested a lot in education and will continue to do so. We are already in the midst of the negotiations concerning the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) within the EU. We are talking about a 7-years budget, 2021-2027. It takes some time but I can already reassure you that support to Neighbours will be in financial terms bigger than the current allocation, and this should have also very positive effect for Armenia”.

ARS_5081Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs thanked Commissioner Hahn for his visit and the quality of dialogue with the EU: “We talked about all issues concerning the current stage of the EU-Armenia agenda. Once again we emphasised the importance we attach to our relations, to those fundamental, main causes and values underpinning the basis of our relations with the European Union. We highlighted the legal foundation of our current relations, CEPA, which remains an essential legal instrument. We evaluated the dynamics of CEPA implementation in Armenia and programmes envisaged for the coming months, so we can efficiently continue the implementation process. We also touched upon how to being visa liberalisation dialogue and the steps we need to take. We also touched upon regional issues, an ongoing process. We have a clear programme of dialogue and contact for the coming months, which we will present more precisely after the dates are fixed. In March we are planning to continue high-level dialogue. This year is going to be very significant, because it marks the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership. Accordingly, a high-level event will be held in Brussels, in May, to mark this important anniversary, which will serve as a platform for our dialogue”.