Tag Archives: EU Delegation

ARS_7577On 2 June the last Europe Day celebrations took place in Yerevan after being held in 6 Armenian cities. This year, Europe Day celebrations were held under the motto “Europe is here”. For the first time in the history of Europe Day celebrations in Armenia, the EU Delegation held a musical contest in which participants had to design an anthem for this motto. The initiative brought together very talented young people who performed the anthem in the marzes and also in Yerevan. In 2018 Europe Day celebrations started in Ijevan on 12 May and continued into Hrazdan on 13 May, Vanadzor on 19 May, Gyumri on 20 May, Kapan on 26 May, and Yeghegnadzor on 27 May. The open air festival in Yerevan was launched by a cycling race. More than 150 cyclists participated, starting at Northern Avenue, they were joined the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski.

ARS_8034An information fair and concert started several hours later. Prior to these activities, the Ambassador gave a press briefing: ‘Europe Day is a day of solidarity, freedom and unity. These values link the EU and Armenia; Europe is in Armenia more than ever. Indeed, the EU is very active in Yerevan. In the past 7 years we have allocated more than €25 milion to the capital of Armenia. We helped to modernise the metro system and Nubarashen landfill. We continue to conduct energy efficiency projects that involve more than 200 kindergartens and public buildings. We are committed to help to replace street lighting in Yerevan and so much more! With €20 milion allocated to a project involving TUMO, we will now exceed investment of €40 milion in Yerevan. Therefore, these European symbols on Northern Avenue feel right at home!’

ARS_8463Europe Day celebrations in Yerevan included informational events during which the EU-Armenia cooperation and partnership, as well as diversity of European culture, were presented. The information fair included presentations and demonstrations by EU-funded projects and initiatives; these are projects that aim to ensure equal development of all Armenian marzes in many areas: human rights, agriculture, culture, education, tourism, business support, civil society, migration, youth, and more. Visitors had the opportunity to walk around and learn about these projects, participate in cultural activities and competitions, to get Europe Day branded gifts and souvenirs, to enjoy dancing and music, and to taste delicious European foods. The main guests of the evening event in Yerevan were popular Armenian singer Iveta Mukuchyan and French star VJ Zyper.

January, the first month of 2017 was an Innovative month. The Armenian second “Public Sector Innovation Week” series of events took place from 19-27 January. The week of events was organised as part of the EU-funded “Innovation for Development” project, which is being implemented by UNDP/Kolba Innovations Lab.
The first event of “Public Sector Innovation Week” was devoted to a 4-day workshop about the design and development of future “Open Governance” facility in Armenia. How do new technologies affect public administration? How do public sector representatives respond to these changes? These questions were discussed on 23 January during a non-formal PechaKucha meeting.
On 27 January, the week concluded with a “Public Innovation” award ceremony. In 2016, Kolba Innovations Lab, with the support of the Armenian government, released a call for civil servants to come up with innovative ideas for the public sector.  State employees of the Ministry of Justice and the Administration of Prime Minister submitted 23 applications to resolve small-scale issues through innovative means.
Piotr Świtalski, the EU Ambassador in Armenia, Bradley Busetto, the UN resident Coordinator in Armenia, Vache Gabrielyan, the Armenian Deputy Prime Minister, and Arpine Hovhannisyan, the Armenian Minister of Justice, attended the awards ceremony.

ARS_4815Ambassador Świtalski highlighted the importance of innovation in the public sector: ‘Let me make a clear distinction: when we say innovation, we don’t mean invention. There is a big difference between invention and innovation. Making inventions is not so difficult, but innovation is very challenging because you need a system – a proper, modern governance to bring all of the ideas to life. The EU is happy that we can support projects like this. We want to be associated with creativity and innovation. When we hear from the new government that the future of the country should be based on a vision of an intellectual Armenia, it looks like a perfect match. The project seemed risky at first but we are thrilled at the number of applicants and the positive feedback. I hope that it will leave a mark’.
Minister Hovhannisyan mentioned that these types of project motivate young people to implement their innovative ideas: ‘I am happy to be here not because it’s a joint programme but because of the project theme. I am also happy that the Ministry of Justice has assumed the role of leader in the implementation of innovation programmes, such as the recently launched www.e-draft.am which publishes drafts of legal acts, and unified offices for the joint provision of state services, etc. We must think without hesitation and move forward fast’.
The six best and most innovative ideas were awarded prizes and certificates. UNDP/Kolba Innovations Lab, with the help of the EU, will support incubation projects in idea incubation and implementation phases. Encouraging awards were also given out during the ceremony.

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On 27 January, Impact Hub Yerevan invited everyone to the launch of “The Art of (anti) Corruption” project. This campaign is a year-long series of events in partnership with the European Union. The campaign seeks to raise awareness and educate citizens on the complicated effects of corruption on Armenian society through artistic and cultural interpretations of corruption in the country and beyond. It will use various art forms to break down perceptions that corruption in Armenia is inevitable.
The campaign kicked off with an “Ideathon” evening. The aim of the Ideathon was to bring creative minds together to come up with appropriate messages for the programme to best reach the general public in Armenia.

ARS_5016Piotr Świtalski, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia attended the event and highlighted the importance of the project: ‘The EU is helping Armenia to combat corruption; corruption is one of the greatest obstacles to Armenia’s development both today and tomorrow. We have helped Armenia in different ways and at different levels – we support both government and CSO anti-corruption initiatives. This project is interesting because it’s new, innovative, and important. It’s important because it will use innovation to reach diverse audiences and prepare them for fighting corruption. Combining anti-corruption efforts at different levels Armenia can adopt and use international best practice’.

ARS_4984Sara Anjargolian, Co-founder & CEO of Impact Hub Yerevan, welcomed the EU’s support for the initiative: ‘All of us need to do something about corruption. We decided together that art can act as an effective bridge between different topics. We will work with the European Union over the comingyear and put on various events. This evening we have gathered, people from different spheres, to understand what kind of messages we would like to spread during those events via art’.
Anti-corruption messages will be used during variety of events over the course of the year, including videos, comedy sketches, art exhibitions,cartoons/comics, andTEDx talks.