Tag Archives: farewell press conference

On 22 July, the EU Ambassador Piotr Świtalski gave a press conference on EU-Armenia relations and the completion of his diplomatic mission in Armenia. The Ambassador thanked everyone for attending: “Our cooperation between the EU and Armenia is on the right track. I believe that the Armenian people appreciate what we have done and continue to do. The EU NEIGHBOURS east project carries out opinion polls in the six EU Eastern Partnership countries every year. According to the 2019 survey, 62% of Armenians have a positive image of the European Union, 92% of Armenians feel relations with the European Union are good, 61% of people in Armenia trust the EU, 71% of Armenians are aware of the EU’s financial support to the country, and two thirds feel that EU support is effective. This high level of support is essential. I think people have a natural instinct to understand the logic of things, but only a minority of citizens are aware that the EU and its Member States are the biggest donor in Armenia, and we are probably the only donor which has increased our support in the recent months so drastically.

“When I look back at my job here, it has been very rewarding in professional and human terms. For a diplomat it is very difficult even now to reveal all sides of our activities that are not visible to the public. That said, from day one of my mission I tried to be as transparent as possible. It will not be a surprise for anyone that there was so much that went on that was not visible to the public. It is too early to sum up everything that has happened in Armenia on my watch, but overall I feel satisfied. People appreciate what we have done during the past, very important, years for Armenia.
“Before, the average level of our annual bilateral support to Armenia was €35 million. In 2019 this support will reach €70m. However, there are also other funds through which we support our neighbours. This money will be invested in concrete projects – we are currently discussing with the Armenian Government over where to direct this money. I believe that by the end of the year we will formalise all documents.
“The EU is very transparent and we are also talking with the Government about the future. The EU will start technical discussions on the next Multiannual Financial Framework. We know what we have till 2021, what will happen after that will be now discussed in Brussels. It is very important for Armenia that this level of support, which for 2019 was unprecedentedly high, is sustained in the future.
“Finally, I should express my deep gratitude to the media community of Armenia for very productive cooperation, I have enjoyed it. My messages to you – protect your freedom, expose fake news, make a distinctive difference between opinion and facts, and combat hate speech”.