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On 21 October a governmental session was convened at the Armenian Ministry of Economy to discuss EU budget support programmes, as well as future proposals.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea, expressed his appreciation for projects implemented until today: ‘The EU is Armenia’s largest assistance donor, and has been actively supporting Armenia since its independence. In July the EU announced a further package of assistance to Armenia in 2014-2017 focusing on private sector development, public administration reform and justice sector reform. Both sides are committed to further cooperation aimed at the continuous improvement of democratic institutions and judiciary, the promotion of human rights and rule of law, good governance, the fight against corruption, the strengthening the civil society, as we declared in Vilnius nearly a year ago.’
IMG_1326The Minister of Economy Karen Chshmarityan noted: ‘We tend to deepen our relations with the European Union and to expand the fields covered by the EU Budget Support. Today we have gathered here to summarise the Budget Support activities that were carried out so far. Budget Support is one of the key support instruments that the EU provides to Armenia and corresponding research shows that it is also one of the most efficient ones’.
EU budget support offers a platform for dialogue with a partner country (including government, national control bodies, and civil society) on policies and on their financing, objectives and results. This is consistent with the principles of ownership, transparency and accountability. Budget support is provided as a “vector of change” to address key development challenges. The EU provides budget support to the Republic of Armenia in the areas of economic development, education, justice reforms and rural development.
With the support of the European Union, Armenia has so far managed to improve the vocational and educational training through better courses, aligned with the labour market needs, as well as renovated colleges and a 50% increase in the number of available places for students. Efforts are ongoing for the development of agricultural cooperatives, and the improvement of the judicial and penitentiary systems in the country. Moreover, with EU support Armenia introduced an e-civil registry system for electronic management of birth, death, marriage, divorce or adoption certificates, and is now issuing biometric passports to all citizens. There have also been a multitude of other technical improvements affecting fields as varied as internal audit, public procurement, public accounting, food safety, public debt management, intellectual property rights, or customs procedures, to name but a few.