Tag Archives: Head of the European Commission’s Neighbourhood and Enlargement Unit responsible for Armenia Vassilis Maragos

Katarína Mathernová, the Deputy Director General (DDG) for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission visited Armenia from 19-21 July. The visit was an important milestone in the EU-Armenia relations as it was the first high-level visit by the European Commission to the country since the new Government took office.

56On 19 July, accompanied by the EU Ambassador Piotr Świtalski and the Head of the European Commission’s Neighbourhood and Enlargement Unit responsible for Armenia Vassilis Maragos, the Deputy Director-General had a meeting with civil society representatives to discuss key issues of governance and human rights, as well as the European Union’s support to civil society. Next day, Katarína Mathernová participated in the opening of the EU External Investment Plan (EIP) Conference in Armenia. The event was organised by the EU Delegation to Armenia to introduce the EIP and its components as well as opportunities to public and private stakeholders. On the same day, the Deputy Director-General had meetings with the RA Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan and the RA Minister of Economic Development and Investments Artsvik Minasyan. Katarína Mathernová also visited the EU Delegation to Armenia and met the Delegation’s staff.

DSC_2125Later, Katarína Mathernová participated in the launch of an EU-funded e-Governance project. During the event general interoperability platform for all e-gov services, starting with border crossing points of the country, combined with presentation of previous EU assistance in e-gov services were introduced. The EU Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, the RA Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan, and the Head of the European Commission’s Neighbourhood and Enlargement Unit responsible for Armenia Vassilis Maragos also participated in the event.

DSC_2335The Deputy Director-General summed up the day with a press conference and answered different questions on important issues: ‘It is great to be back in Yerevan, it is not my first time here. I was here in 1986 when some of you were not even born – it is fantastic to see the changes. Congratulations on the April revolution – it is very close to my heart as I come from Slovakia. In 1989 we had our own velvet revolution in Czechoslovakia. I would like to quote the words of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini: “Armenia and the EU have never been closer”. Indeed, we signed EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) back in November. The agreement has the potential to bring a lot more trade and economic exchange with the EU, from which Armenian businesses and citizens will benefit. We are very much looking forward to supporting the implementation of this important agreement. We are also very excited about the direction the new Government has outlined in its reform plan and we stand ready to support the Government, civil society and the citizens in this new direction with the means we have available. The timing of this visit is very fortuitous as the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, was in Brussels last week for the NATO Summit and held meetings with the EU officials. I thought this would be on occasion to continue the discussions with the Government’.

On 21 July, within the framework of her working visit, the Deputy Director-General participated in the “No-Tie Seminar: EU-Armenia Cooperation and the Way Forward”, which was co-chaired by the European Union and Government of Armenia. The EU-Armenia cooperation framework, as well as EU modalities and instruments, were discussed in light of enhanced collaboration and the possibility of tangible results for the citizens of Armenia. The three-day working visit of Katarína Mathernová was concluded with the visit to the production site of herbal teas and dried fruits opened in Geghard community of Kotayk marz with the support of the EU-funded ENPARD programme.