Tag Archives: Katarína Mathernová

On 19 September the European Commission’s Deputy Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Katarína Mathernová  visited Armenia on a two-day working visit, during which Eastern Partnership (EaP) Post-2020 Consultations took place in Yerevan. The Deputy Director-General Mathernová, the EU Ambassador to Armenia Andrea Wiktorin, and the RA Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Avet Adonts delivered speeches encouraging all the participants to actively contribute to the discussions and feel ownership for the EaP’s future beyond 2020, ensuring that the EaP remains relevant and inclusive. The event was attended by representatives from the RA National Assembly and Government, EU Member State Embassies, Civil Society, private sector organisations, think tanks, academia, media, youth, and other stakeholders.

Later, the Deputy Director-General Mathernová and Ambassador Wiktorin held a meeting with the RA Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan and the RA Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.  The Deputy Director-General expressed the EU’s readiness to step up the support for the implementation of the reform agenda in Armenia; this would include cooperation with Government and building on joint CEPA commitments.

On 20 September the launch event of the EU External Investment Plan (EIP) took place in Yerevan during which the Deputy Director-General Mathernová, the EU Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin and the RA Deputy Minister of Economy Varos Simonyan delivered opening remarks. The financial instruments and main components of EIP were presented, alongside the policy objectives of investment opportunities in Armenia and ways to enhance the business environment to unlock investment. The Deputy Director-General Mathernová and Ambassador Wiktorin then met with representatives of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and with Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan. In the evening, the Deputy Director-General Mathernová held a press briefing and launched a private equity fund for Armenia. This fund was established with the support of the EU and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). €16 million was provided for the launch of the Amber Capital EU-Armenia SME Fund. This fund seeks to raise a total of €70 million for investment in small- and medium-sized enterprises in Armenia.

The Deputy Director-General Mathernová highlighted the importance of this newly launched fund: “The EU is a key partner for economic development and prosperity in Armenia. The EU is proud to be adding this new innovative tool to unleash the potential for SME development in Armenia, creating jobs and providing concrete benefits to the people. We are confident that the EU-Armenia SME Equity Fund will support the growth and competitiveness of the Armenian economy, attract foreign direct investment, and help develop innovations based on the talents of Armenians”.

Deputy Prime Minister Avninyan expressed confidence that the fund would contribute to the development of Armenia’s economy significantly: “The Armenian Government has started building an innovative and inclusive economy, where SMEs will play an important role. In this period of fundamental changes, the newly established EU-Armenia SME Equity Fund will contribute significantly to the economic advancement of the country and will create new opportunities for entrepreneurs”.

The Deputy Director-General Mathernova’s two-day working visit concluded with the meeting with the RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan alongside Ambassador Wiktorin. During the meeting, they discussed EU-Armenia relations and the EU’s commitment to support the reform agenda. Mathernová highlighted, that even with the change of leadership in EU agencies, the commitment to support Armenia will not change.

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.