Tag Archives: Stop the FLow of Corruption

_V1A0241On 27 May the Europe Day celebrations reached their final stop: Northern Avenue, Yerevan. The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, welcomed the Mayor of Yerevan, Taron Margaryan, to launch the final celebrations and addressed a large crowd in the centre of the city: ‘During Europe Day we celebrate the values, the foundations of the EU which link us with Armenia. We have done a big tour over the last three weeks. We started on 6 May here in Yerevan with the “Europe for Peace” concert. We then travelled throughout Armenia: Gymuri, Vanadzor, Dilijan, Kapan, Goris, and Yeghegnadzor. Today we have a closer meeting with the residents of Yerevan, a beautiful European city. I want to thank our member states embassies, the people involved in the implementation of our projects, and the team who organised these events for their hard work during the last month. We want to demonstrate to you that Armenia is very important to us. We want Armenians to learn what the EU is doing here – we are, by far, the biggest donor to Armenia and we want to make progress together. The atmosphere is good for our relations, for example, a few days ago, the EU-Armenia Cooperation Council took place in Brussels in a very friendly and constructive atmosphere. A very ambitious agenda has been charted for the future and I think it is good for Armenia. The EU will stay engage here and we will work hard to ensure you all benefit’.

ARS_3877The TmbaTa folk band from the TUMO Centre in Yerevan performed the Anthem of Europe to kick off the musical celebrations, while Ambassador Świtalski, Mayor Margaryan and other diplomats toured an information fair divided into several zones: EU4Business, EU4Agriculture, EU4Education, EU4CivilSociety, EU4HumanRights, EU4Youth, EU4Enviroment, EU4Energy and EU4Innovation. More than 50 EU-funded projects and EU member states embassies presented their activities.

_V1A0390Projects which attracted the most attention included the “Stop the Flow of Corruption” anti-corruption awareness campaign, which began on 1 February 2017, launched by the EU Delegation to Armenia. This campaign will continue throughout 2017 to raise awareness of the negative effects of corruption and to highlight the EU’s efforts in fighting against corruption in Armenia. Sergey Sargsyan from Arm Comedy and Marat Atovmyan from the Armenian Lawyers’ Association gave examples of the negative effects of corruption to the attendees.

_V1A1022Alongside the information fair there were award ceremonies for the ICMPD MIMBA photo exhibition, the #EUAroundU contest and the Europe Day Street workout performance. This involved a dance performance by “STRONG CSOs for a Stronger Armenia” project representatives and more performances by TmbaTa and the Armenian Progressive Youth band, as well as UFAR Tempus and Erasmus+ students. The Street Workout team organised a flash mob and invited people to join in their workout. The final concert involved performances by Polish singers Adryan Jan and Cesco, who filled Northern Avenue with nice music and dancing. To finish they performed a special new song dedicated to Armenia to show their love and respect to all Armenians.

On 1 February, the EU Delegation to Armenia launched a campaign to raise awareness of the negative effects of corruption and to highlight EU’s efforts in support of the fight against corruption in Armenia.
The campaign “Stop the Flow of Corruption”, developed in cooperation with the Armenian Government, anti-corruption experts, representatives of the civil society and the private sector, portrays typical examples of corruption (i.e. bribery, conflict of interests, oligopoly) and their harmful effects to the economic growth. It also shows what the EU and Armenia are doing together for reducing corruption within the society.
Piotr Świtalski, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Suren Krmoyan, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Justice, and Karen Zadoyan, the President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association, attended the press conference and made statements.

ARS_5323The Ambassador welcomed the efforts of everyone involved in the development of the campaign: ‘The EU Delegation to Armenia wants to make 2017 a year anti-corruption. We believe it is a year of opportunity, we can make a decisive step forward.  We decided to start the campaign when Transparency International put Armenia lower in the Corruption Perception Index. This campaign is a good opportunity for Armenia to climb up again. For these efforts to be successful we need public support and societal feedback’.

ARS_5280Deputy Minister Krmoyan thanked the EU for its support: ‘Armenia’s government has a consistent position in the fight against corruption and we have been taking clear steps. For example, in recent months, with the help of our partners, we have criminalised illicit enrichment. Challenges are making us use alternative methods to fight corruption. We have limited resources, but we are firm in our struggle’.

ARS_5298Zadoyan highlighted the importance of the campaign: ‘We all encounter different forms of corruption every day. But where are the problems hidden? Where we can deal with those forms of corruption? The problems are hidden in two places. The first one is administrative, the second – political. Huge work has been done in both areas – 9 years ago, when we were talking about criminalisation of illicit enrichment, no one believed it could happen. But now it is a reality. 2017 will be year of challenges, but we are ready to fight’.
The “Stop the Flow of Corruption” campaign will continue throughout 2017 and will highlight different aspects of corruption and ways to fight it.