Tag Archives: EUAG

The EU Advisory Group (EUAG) held its 16th and last Advisory Board Meeting on 11 November in the presence of the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea, and the Chief of Staff of the Office to the President of Armenia, Vigen Sargsyan.
The board gave a positive assessment of EUAG activities throughout the whole implementation of the project, which was echoed by Ambassador Hristea: ‘Today we hold the last formal meeting of the EU Advisory Group board, while EU assistance to Armenia is set to continue. During five years of EUAG activity, relations between the EU and Armenia have developed significantly. The EU remains committed to support Armenian reform efforts and appreciates Armenia’s willingness for further cooperation. Future directions will benefit from the policies, strategies and plans developed with support from the EUAG. We will jointly build on this impressive track record of achievements’.

Chief of Staff of the Office to the President of Armenia, Vigen SargsyanSargsyan spoke about the possible further development of EU-Armenia relations: ‘Despite the participation of Armenia in the Eurasian Economic Union, our country is determined to continue its association with the European Union in the spheres of mobility, good governance, democracy, human rights and multi-faceted economic relations. In April 2014 the President of Armenia adopted the list of activities on the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan. Our objective is to keep the context of previous discussions between the EU and Armenia, providing their compatibility with other integration formats’.
The Annual Report of the EU Advisory Group for January-September 2014 highlighted the support and recommendations provided by EUAG in the areas of migration and mobility, in particular regarding the Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements, which came into force on 1 January 2014, as well as asylum reception capacity. Support was also given in the area of human rights, in particular advice on the upgrade and implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan adopted in early 2014, as well as recommendations on the national gender machinery and non-discrimination.
The EU Advisory Group presents final achievements  (1) The report highlights the policy advice provided to the National Assembly on enhancing its government oversight function, strengthening the role of committees in the law-making process and closer relations with national parliaments in the EU. The EU Advisory group also provided comments for improving the draft anti-corruption strategy, strengthening the coordinating and monitoring of justice reforms, as well as the overall quality of the national judiciary and prosecution. The Group also helped improve law enforcement capacities in the areas of crime analysis, financial investigation, cybercrime and human trafficking.
In addition, the EU Advisory Group delivered its last assessment on the key challenges and work ahead for Armenia, which summarized recommendations and findings on justice, migration, law enforcement, EU approximation and governance, EU-Armenia parliamentary cooperation and human rights.
The EUAG supported Armenia in the implementation of its reform agenda and the development of its international commitments. It provided tailored policy advice on legal, security, democratic, economic and institutional issues to the Armenian presidency and other institutions. The project was implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in Armenia.

On 6 October 2014, the EU Advisory Group (EUAG) organised a working discussion on the draft Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan. The meeting was aimed at presenting comments and recommendations on the draft and to discuss mechanisms for implementation.

The draft strategy defines the institutional setting of the fight against corruption and outlines the strategic directions of work in the following areas: building and upholding integrity in the public service; promoting transparency and openness; ensuring greater civic participation in decision-making processes; installing strong systems of criminal, administrative and disciplinary liabilities in cases of misconduct; improving the investigation and prosecution of corruption-related crimes.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the state bodies responsible for the development of the strategy, representatives of NGOs and civil society, and international organisations.

The draft strategy also focuses on four additional sectors nominated by the Armenian government as critical: healthcare, education, the police, and state revenue. The working discussion covered compliance of the new Anti- Corruption Strategy with international and EU best practices, and attempted to build upon lessons learned from the implementation of the previous strategy.

On 12 September the EU Advisory Group (EUAG) held an event in the Armenian National Assembly to summarise its activities in the fields of EU Approximation and Governance and EU-Armenia Parliamentary Cooperation. The Chair of the Standing Committee on European Integration, Naira Zohrabyan, highlighted the contribution EUAG had made to parliamentary development in Armenia: ‘We will continue cooperation with the EU in the areas in which we need to adopt best practice – human rights, anti-corruption and customs. Our communications will not be interrupted, regardless of political developments’.

Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations, Artak Zakaryan, noted that, while the EU-Armenia cooperation agenda had not changed, it needed to be enriched: ‘We need to determine the areas where deeper cooperation is required and develop corresponding documents. Areas of greatest interest to us are social issues, human rights, and democracy. The political interests of Armenia cannot be limited to the European Union; nevertheless, it is hard to overestimate the support and the efforts provided by the Delegation to us’. He added that, next year, the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly would be held in Armenia, which would be a significant step forward for Armenia and offer a vivid example of fruitful cooperation with EUAG.

Political officer of the EU Delegation to Armenia Andrej Didenko spoke from the EU’s perspective: ‘The EU consistently supports parliamentary development, regarding it as the milestone for democratic governance. It is important to connect parliaments, to connect citizens, and to open borders. We expect that the National Assembly will now raise national awareness on the European Union. EUAG has contributed remarkably to areas like sector strategy, human rights, justice, among others. We urge you to continue applying obtained techniques and persist in parliamentary development’.

EUAG was set up in April 2009 to support the political and economic reform process initiated by the government of the Republic of Armenia. In line with the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan, the EUAG provides tailor-made policy advice on issues ranging from human rights and public administration reform to trade.