Tag Archives: EU Delegation to Armenia

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.

The EU Delegation to Armenia has a new Ambassador. German diplomat Andrea Wiktorin, who was the Ambassador of Germany to Armenia from 2007-2009, is the new Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia. Before her nomination as Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Wiktorin was the Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus. Andrea Wiktorin was born in Bonn in 1957. She joined the diplomatic service in 1989.

On 13 September, Ambassador Wiktorin presented the copies of her credentials to the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan. Minister Mnatsakanyan congratulated the EU Ambassador on assuming this important position and expressed his confidence that her appointment would contribute to further deepening and development of the EU-Armenia partnership and cooperation. The Foreign Minister briefed the Ambassador on the ambitious reform agenda adopted by the Government of Armenia, highlighting the importance of the support of the European Union for its implementation. The interlocutors discussed a wide range of issues related to the EU-Armenia partnership agenda, in particular forthcoming high-level reciprocal visits, the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement and the roadmap for its implementation. The importance of taking practical steps to promote people-to-people contact was underscored. Parties exchanged views on the joint elaboration of the Eastern Partnership agenda from 2020 onwards, as well as discussed other topics related to EU-Armenia cooperation. On the same day, the team of the EU Delegation to Armenia welcomed their new Head of Delegation, Ambassador Wiktorin in the office.

On 17 September, Ambassador Wiktorin presented Letters of Credence to the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian. President Sarkissian welcomed Ambassador Wiktorin back to Armenia, stressing the shared values that underpin EU-Armenia relations. Ambassador Wiktorin mentioned that she was really happy to be back in Armenia and that she was looking forward to fruitful collaboration. The Ambassador expressed confidence in the reforms Armenia is currently implementing and reiterated EU’s readiness to enhance support in all areas of cooperation. They discussed the challenges Armenia is facing and opportunities that lie ahead. They agreed on the importance of education reform to prevent the migration of young people, of judicial reform, and of the promotion of economic growth, among other topics.

 

 

On 28 September, the official opening of European Heritage Days 2019 took place at Amberd fortress, Aragatsotn marz, organised by the EU Delegation to Armenia jointly with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport of the Republic of Armenia. The theme of this year was “Arts and Entertainment”. The EU Ambassador to Armenia, Andrea Wiktorin, and the RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport, Arayik Harutyunyan, opened the event and held a press briefing with journalists.

Ambassador Wiktorin spoke of the importance of cultural heritage: “We are happy to visit here again and see the wonderful Amberd fortress. This fortress is one of the jewels of your country. The EU attaches great importance to cultural heritage, as we think it is one of the ways which can unite us. For years, the EU Delegation to Armenia has supported the implementation of European Heritage Days in Armenia and I am extremely grateful for our cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport”.

Minister Harutyunyan was excited to launch European Heritage Days: “Amberd is one of our most important historical and cultural sites. I am glad that a number of events will be organised in different places in Armenia for European Heritage Days. It is a great opportunity to present the present and the past of Armenia’s cultural heritage. As for our general cooperation, we are implementing a number of projects with the EU to marry culture with entrepreneurship, in which we have had some success”.

European Heritage Days this year has featured various cultural events, concerts, video shows, marches, literature and music events, educational, and interactive programmes. These events have involved more than 100 Armenian cultural organisations.

European Heritage Days are held annually in the 50 European countries which joined the European Cultural Convention (1954). The idea appeared in France, in 1984, under the motto “Monuments’ Open Doors”. The “European Heritage Days” programme was officially established by the Council of Europe in 1991, and the European Commission joined the programme in 1999. This initiative started under the motto “Europe: A Common Heritage”. Annually, more than 70,000 cultural events are held throughout Europe to increase public awareness about European heritage, to emphasise its uniqueness and diversity, and the importance of its preservation.

Amberd is a former fortress built in the 10th century. It is located in Aragatsotn marz, on the north-eastern slope of Mount Aragats. There are ruins of cyclopean masonry and fish-like obelisks at Amberd and the surrounding area. As a result of excavations, various metal items, weapons, jewellery, ceramics, coins, and other materials of high cultural value have been found; these are key to studying and understanding the economy, military and cultural life of medieval Armenia. Vahramashen church, which was built under the sponsorship of the Prince and Sparapet (Commander) Vahram Pahlavouni in 1026, is located near Amberd.

 

On 15 March the EU Delegation to Armenia organised an informational visit to innovative companies and start-ups which have received technical and financial support through the “Support to SME Development in Armenia” (SMEDA) project to get acquainted with the results achieved through the EU support. The visit was attended by the EU Ambassador to Armenia Piotr Świtalski.

20SMEDA is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ’s Private Sector Development in South Caucasus Programme. SMEDA forms part of the EU4Business and EU4Innovation initiatives of the European Union in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. To enable broad-based growth in Armenia, SMEDA focuses on the main objective to improve the general business and investment climate in Armenia, and to create a supportive entrepreneurial environment which fosters development and creation of small- and- medium enterprises. The project has been supporting Armenian start-ups with two types of grant – Innovation Matching Grants (IMG) and Science and Technology Entrepreneurship (STEP) grants. The total budget of the project is €6.53 million (EU contribution is €6.4 million); it was launched on 1 January 2016 and will run till 31 December 2019 (48 months).

19The project achieved tangible results in supply side-orientated start-up support: 224 new jobs were created due to participation in the programme; there have been 45 new ideas in the market for new products and services; 22 companies were newly established due to participation in the programme; additionally, at least €400,000 in investment was attracted; 2,063 participated in training, workshops and boot camps; 65 startups were supported; 33 companies have received EU IMG and STEP seed grants. Both grants target tech-orientated SMEs and projects. In the first cycle, companies received 8 IMG and 5 STEP grants (selection in 2017) which offered €15-50k in funding for 12 months. In the second cycle, companies received 6 IMG and 15 STEP grants (selection in 2018) with up to €30k for 9 months and between €4-15k funding for 6 months.

1During the visit the EU Ambassador mentioned: “Our German partners are implementing this flagship project, SMEDA, it is still running. This project is very important for the EU. We want to show to Armenians that the EU wants to be seen as the ambassador for SME enterprise and innovation. We believe that SMEs can become a very important engine of growth in Armenia. They constitute great untapped potential for the economy. The way forward for Armenia is through innovation. Baring in mind Armenia’s intellectual potential and human capital, we believe that this fusion of SMEs and innovation can bring a lot of benefits to the country. We are glad that the current government shares this philosophy. The fact we are on the same page opens new possibilities for future cooperation. On our side, as a symbolic act, we will extend cooperation with GIZ, adding €3 million to support SMEs, particularly start-up initiatives in technology. Today we will inaugurate the Start-up Europe Week Yerevan 2019. This week is not only about publicising EU commitment and support, but also publicising the success stories of real Armenian businesspeople who are trying to put SMEs at the centre of attention”.

On May 29 an opera concert was performed at the Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre for Europe Day 2018. The concert was organised by the EU Delegation to Armenia together with the A. Spendiaryan Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre. Prior to the concert, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, and the Director and Artistic Director of the National Opera and Ballet Academic Theatre, Constantine Orbelian, gave a press conference.

ARS_6303_Ambassador Świtalski was honoured to organise a concert with the theatre: ‘This is the cultural highlight of our Europe Day celebrations. We started on 11 May, travelled all across Armenia with our events, and now we are back in Yerevan. We are very happy that Maestro Orbelian agreed to cooperate with us. The fact that we have an opera evening is symbolic – opera is about love. The revolution of love that Armenia experienced recently fits very well’.

ARS_6335_Director Orbelian thanked the EU Delegation for the initiative: ‘Who can imagine European Opera Days without European Opera in Armenia? We will perform parts and arias of great European operas and operettas. We have wonderful soloists who will perform for us this evening. Because of the rainy weather we were obliged to come to the theatre, although the concert was initially planned as open-air’.

This year has been announced as the European Year of Cultural Heritage; Opera Europe has joined the celebrations, bringing performing arts through the launch of European Opera Days. This concert was an opportunity to promote classical music culture, remind that cultural heritage belongs to everyone, support Armenian opera, and promote European cultural heritage in Armenia by underlining Armenian and European cultural ties.

ARS_6563_Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zohrab Mnataskanyan, attended the concert and made a speech: ‘Armenia continues to expand its ties with the European Union and EU member states. Significant developments have been taking place in our relations with the EU since last year’s celebration of Europe Day. The Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed in November 2017 and ratified by Armenia in April this year. It is not just a new legal instrument regulating relations between Armenia and EU, but an expression of partnership based on a common system of values. In February, we signed the EU-Armenia Partnership Priorities document which, along with CEPA, will function as the main guidelines for further development of bilateral cooperation. The new agreement is a unique development plan with its clear goals and timetable. Its successful implementation will have a profound impact on almost all areas of public life’.

On 8 November the EU Delegation to Armenia, in cooperation with the EU4Energy Programme implemented by the Energy Charter Secretariat held a conference on “Unlocking the Energy Efficiency Potential in Armenia”. Energy efficiency is very high in the Armenian Government’s list of priorities; the aim of the conference was to generate dialogue on this topic between ministries, donors, international financial institutions, representatives of the private and public sectors, as well as technical experts from civil society and academia.
During the conference, experts discussed challenges that are hampering energy-efficiency efforts in the country. Speakers shared success stories and lessons learned from ongoing projects. Each of them summarised key challenges, operational actions, and the reforms necessary for unlocking full investment potential in energy efficiency.
The event was organised in close cooperation with the Armenian Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources and was attended by high-ranking officials, including Lawrence Meredith, the Director of “Neighbourhood East” in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.

ARS_7375Director Meredith stressed the importance of the conference: ‘We believe that there are two key issues on which we need to focus. Firstly, it is important to manage demand. There is no cheaper energy than energy not spent. Secondly, investment in cleaner energy is also a key issue for us. In the EU, this sector has created over a million jobs. I wish it had the potential to create jobs in Armenia too. We are already supporting 6,000 households in 17 Armenian cities with energy efficiency. We are also involved in a major LED street lighting project which is helping to improve the safety of pedestrians and car drivers. The aim of today’s event is to make sure that we have a comprehensive vision of how energy-efficiency commitments will be taken forward in the future. That’s why we brought together all the major international donors, financing institutions and energy experts. We believe that, by acting together, we can have a major impact on improving the lives of Armenian citizens’.

ARS_7350Hayk Harutyunyan, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Energy, Infrastructures and Natural Resources presented the situation in Armenia: ‘Armenia does not have right mechanisms to implement residential energy-efficiency projects. There are about 20,000 residential buildings and 450,000 houses in our country. The energy efficiency potential is, of course, very high. We have many beneficiaries in these buildings and their desires to solve the problem are different. Therefore, it is very difficult to find a common business plan for large-scale energy efficiency projects. In this event, we will try to understand what targeted projects can address the energy efficiency issue. We have carried out different pilot projects on the external thermal insulation of residential buildings and thermal isolation of individual flats – we have a clear idea of the economic benefits residents will get. Now it’s time to conduct large-scale efforts to test piloted ideas and choose the right models, as one model will not be enough for everyone’.

Southern Armenia has hosted Europe Day events, with the EU Delegation stopping for celebrations in Kapan and Goris (Syunik marz), and Yeghegnadzor (Vayots Dzor marz).

Kapan

11On 19 May Kapan welcomed its guests with sunny weather. In the morning, the Deputy Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Gregory Tsouris, held a meeting with Ashot Hayrapetyan, the Mayor of Kapan. The meeting was followed by an Information Fair on Garegin Nzhdeh Square. Nearly 10 stalls presented EU-funded projects to the residents of Kapan. A DJ provided music while people used this opportunity to learn more about the European Union and its activities; their children enjoyed themselves in a special booth for kids. Tsouris and Hayrapetyan also toured the booths and welcomed guests.

1Tsouris introduced the concept of Europe Day to Kapan residents: ‘It is a great pleasure to be in Kapan. We are celebrating Europe Day here for the second time. Europe Day is an important milestone for all Europeans; it is a day to celebrate our common values. You have the opportunity to see some of the projects we are implementing in Armenia. It is also an opportunity to discuss our cooperation and speak about the future. I want to thank the Mayor for the support we received organising the celebration and for the warm welcome’.

111Mayor Hayrapetyan was grateful that Kapan had been included: ‘It is an honour for us to implement projects in Kapan with the help of the European Union. Now we have a two-year project which started in January. Plastic waste will start being used in construction in Kapan – plastic waste will be a raw material. As a result, we will establish a culture of sorting plastic waste and find opportunities to benefit from it. The EU’s support is great and we hope to have more ambitious projects’.

The children of Kapan’s Aram Khachaturian music school performed the Anthem of Europe to get the crowd for special guests Hayk Petorsyan and Masha Mnjoyan, who made sure the people of Kapan enjoyed the concert.

Goris

2On 20 May, Europe Day reached another city in Syunik Marz. The morning started with a meeting between the Head of EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, and Vachagan Adunts, the Mayor of Goris. Grigor Tatevatsi Square hosted an Information Fair in windy, stormy weather. However, the weather swiftly turned and nearly 10 stalls then presented EU-funded projects to adults, while local children learned about the EU through drawing and other games. Soon they were joined by Ambassador Świtalski and Mayor Adunts.

22Ambassador Świtalski introduced Europe Day to the people of Goris: ‘We are happy to be in this beautiful garden town, where the most delicious beans are grown, to celebrate Europe Day together. There are several dimensions to these celebrations: firstly, we want Armenia to feel a part of the wider European family, as Europe Day is celebrated in all member states of the EU, as well as our neighbours. Secondly, we want to present the EU flag and our activities to people all over Armenia. Therefore, it is a great occasion for us to come to beautiful towns like Goris, show what we do in Armenia, and invite you to be more active in our projects. Thirdly, we want to promote different types of activity like music and sport’.

The anthem of Europe was performed before Hayk Petrosyan and Masha Mnjoyan. Despite the wet weather, the crowd filled the square to dance and sing along. While people were singing and dancing in the square, Ambassador Switalski and the mayor launched the European Night of Museums. The EU Delegation to Armenia opened an exhibition of paintings from the #Europe4Peace project at the Aksel Bakunts House Museum.

222The Ambassador highlighted the importance of the European Night of Museums: ‘It is very important that Armenia participates in this Europewide movement of museum nights. The initiative started in 2005 in France and was picked up by a number of international organisations, including the Council of Europe. At that time I was working with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. I never thought this beautiful initiative would spread so far to one day be embraced Armenia. We normally associate museums with buildings where old artefacts are stationed; but in fact museums are centres of learning’.

For #Europe4Peace pupils from art schools in Armenia were invited to create topical paintings associated with Europe and peace. Final selected paintings from 98 schools, including from Goris, were selected by a non-official jury. These paintings were first displayed during the Europe Day classical concert on 6 May, which opened Europe Day celebrations in Armenia.

Yeghegnadzor

On 21 May Yeghegnadzor was excited to host Europe Day for the first time. Celebrations started with an Information Fair at the Yeghegnadzor amphitheatre. More than 10 stalls presented EU-funded projects, giving visitors the opportunity to discover Europe, the European Union, and its projects in Armenia. Ambassador Świtalski and the Mayor of Yeghegnadzor, Davit Harutyunyan, also visited the booths.

3The Ambassador celebrated Yeghenadzor’s inclusion in the celebrations: ‘It is the first time that the EU has come to Yeghegnadzor to celebrate Europe Day. I hope that we are starting a beautiful tradition. I wanted to greet the citizens of the town, in particular the young generation. For us, Yeghegnadzor is a city of kind and hospitable people, the capital of Vayots Dzor, the smallest marz in Armenia, but with the biggest heart. We are grateful that we can celebrate Europe Day here in Armenia together. We fell at home here and invite you to enjoy this day, a day of joy’.

After the Anthem of Europe the Information Fair was followed by an open-air concert with Hayk Petrosyan and Masha Mnjoyan.

On 2 May, the first ever Armenia-Turkey Investor Day was conducted in Yerevan by the Public Journalism Club of Armenia (PJC) and the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV). The event was held in cooperation with Angel Labs, the world’s first investor accelerator from Silicon Valley, and was organised as part of the “Exchange Entrepreneurs” project, which is a component of the EU-funded “Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process: Stage 2” programme.
The event was aimed at promoting the institutionalisation of an angel investors’ network in Armenia, supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, connecting entrepreneurs with angel investors, and encouraging the establishment of lasting and profitable relationships between investors and entrepreneurs.
Armenian representatives from the ICT industry and business networks learned about best practice for creating investment networks, the mechanics of angel investing, and favourable legal conditions in Europe and USA. ICT representatives from Armenia and Turkey also discussed investment and start-up prospects in both countries.

ARS_4788Hoa-Binh Adjemian, the Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia, welcomed this investment initiative: ‘I’m delightful to be able to represent the European Union at this investment. Europe is a peace project – after overcoming the sufferings of war we are now a peaceful, growing region. This Armenia-Turkey Investor Day is a great chance to support exchange and economic integration. Normalisation and peace in the region will be built on solidarity – this can only happen through mutual opportunities and cultural exchange. I hope you can follow the EU example of laying the foundations of a peaceful future through opportunity and solidarity’.

ARS_4771Seda Muradyan, the Head of the PJC, was heartened by the level of attendance and interest and spoke about the role of angel investors: ‘Angel investors are wealthy individuals who offer capital to start-ups with the potential for fast growth. They are an increasingly important source of capital to companies in the early stage of development. Many angel investors are private – getting them to work via formal networks can be difficult. The objective of our initiative is to support those who are willing to further develop Armenia’s start-ups and investment ecosystem by forming an angel investors’ network. These networks successfully exist around the world – our aim is to introduce the concept in Armenia and Turkey, as well as promote cooperation between “angels” from both countries for joint projects’.

ARS_4850Cansu Sarac, a Political Expert at TEPAV, highlighted the importance of the initiative: ‘Three successful years of the “Exchange Entrepreneurs” project brought us to a point where we have decided that it is now time to focus on other stakeholders within the ecosystem and design a programme for angel investors. We would like to launch a joint angel investors’ network which will finance entrepreneurs and new ideas’.

On 27 April the first round of negotiations between Armenia and the European Union on the EU-Armenia Common Aviation Area Agreement began. The Head of EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, attended the talks, which featured an Armenian negotiating team which will be led by Sergey Avetisyan, the Armenian Director of the General Department of Civil Aviation. The EU’s negotiating team will be led by Klaus Geil, the Deputy Head of the Aviation Agreements Unit of the European Commission.
Under the agreement, Armenia will join the EU Common Aviation Area. This will liberalise the market in a mutual manner, allowing airlines to operate routes with no restrictions and enjoy the equal opportunity of servicing a market of 500 million people. European standards will be introduced into Armenian legislation and foreign airlines will be allowed to choose air routes commercially, without political interference.

ARS_3981Ambassador Piotr Świtalski highlighted the importance of the negotiations: ‘For me, as the EU Ambassador to Armenia, it’s a beautiful day because important negotiations are beginning. They will take place based on the recently initialed Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between Armenia and the European Union. It’s very important to show Armenian citizens that the agreement will bring about very tangible and concrete results. These negotiations will build a stronger bridge between Armenia and the outside world, Europe in particular. It’s very important that, through the Common Aviation Area, Armenia will become an integral part of the single regulatory framework. However, more importantly, Armenia will be in a position to benefit from stronger connectivity with the outside world. For a landlocked country, such a strong connection is very important. Most importantly, I hope that this agreement will bring benefits to ordinary Armenian consumers. I would like to see more airlines flying to Europe, more flights between Armenia and Europe, and cheaper tickets’.

ARS_4014Sergey Avetisyan expressed his enthusiasm for the process: ‘This is fundamental step in terms of aviation cooperation with the EU. This agreement is important for a number of reasons, for example it will liberalise and regulate the field with all EU member states at once. We are committed to localising successful EU standards. Under the agreement a more predictable, well-built and policy aligned situation will be created which will create conditions for new long-term plans for airlines. The signing of the agreement will, hopefully, be concluded soon’.

Klaus Geil thanked the Armenian government for its keen and consistent interest in an agreement with the EU in recent years and was pleased that negotiations could now finally start. He stressed the positive effects and economic benefits similar agreements with other neighbouring countries have generated and was confident that this would also prove to be the case for Armenia in terms of improved connectivity, more choice for consumers and lower prices as a result of an open and competitive market. In addition to the opening the market and eliminating barriers, the agreement will also bring Armenia into the European regulatory family with common rules applied between Armenia and the EU.
The European Common Aviation Area is defined by bilateral agreements between European countries about a single aviation service market. On 1 December 2016 the mandate to start negotiations on a Common Aviation Area Agreement between Armenia and the European Union was provided to the European Commission. The Commission will carry out these negotiations on behalf of the EU and its member states.

On 24 March, the EU Delegation to Armenia and the Italian Embassy in Armenia organised the “Ever Closer Union” photo exhibition to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties. The exhibition was open to the public from 25 to 27 March at the Armenian Artists Union.
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties the mobile “Ever Closer Union” photo exhibition became a reality due to the efforts of the Historical Archives of the European Union, in collaboration with the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the European Parliament Department for European Policies, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Italy, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the ANSA news agency.
The exhibition included archive documents and images presented across fourteen panels. These featured documents, pictures, and educational captions were divided into four sections: history, European unification through economy and law, social Europe and European citizenship, and the European Economic Community/EU international dimension.
The main aim of the exhibition was to present the public with a comprehensive picture of the past (the creation of the European community), the present (the European Union today,) and the future (challenges facing the European Union).
The EU Ambassador to Armenia Piotr Świtalski and the Ambassador of Italy to Armenia Giovanni Ricciulli held opening speeches.

ARS_1946Ambassador Świtalski stated that the Rome Treaties were examples of documents that could change history: ‘Europe, the most peaceful, prosperous and generous of all continents, continues to have the characteristic feature of never being satisfied with its achievements. It may sound pretty provocative to say, but Armenians also have significant interest in Europe’s prosperity. A bright future for Europe means a better future for Armenia; a stable and strong Europe means more support and assistance for Armenia’s modernisation and democratisation processes. I am sure that the new framework agreement will allow us to reach a new level of relations’.

ARS_1975Ambassador Ricciulli noted that the history of European unification involved successfully confronting challenges: ‘While it is undeniable that the European Union is facing significant challenges, it is also true that now is the time Europeans show how much they appreciate close cooperation. Today’s exhibition will highlight the great successes that we have achieved on this important journey’.

This year in May, in the framework of Europe Day events, the exhibition will be presented in six Armenian cities, also giving opportunity to the residents of Armenian regions to visit it.