Tag Archives: strategy

The “Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy” was presented by Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski on 4 July 2016. Below are some quotation highlights from the Ambassador’s speech.

The Role of the EU
The new “Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy” was presented on 28 June in Brussels by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP), Federica Mogherini. This is a very significant document; it outlines the visions of the world the EU cherishes and the lines of action that the EU is planning to undertake as a global actor. Why the new strategy? The answer is very simple – the world has changed significantly and there are very important challenges. These include, in particular, security threats to the immediate EU neighbourhood that affect the lives of Europeans, influence the way EU thinks about the world, and affect other global problems. The strategy explores these risks and challenges, but it also looks at the new opportunities that are helping many people in the world to beat poverty, and giving individuals new objectives. The EU, through this strategy, wants to send a very simple message: Europe wants to be stronger, and the EU wants to be seen as a more active player and security provider in global affairs; we aspire to be stronger.

Key Priorities of the Global Strategy
In many countries of the world there is an expectation that EU contributions be more visible; this applies to the South Caucasus and Armenia. The EU has many assets that make it a very important global player; the EU is the number one trade partner for most countries around the world; the EU is the largest investor and biggest global contributor to development, including in Armenia. The Global Strategy has five priorities:
1. The security of the EU
2. State and Societal Resilience in the Eastern and Southern neighbourhoods
3. An Integrated Approach to Conflicts and Crises
4. Cooperative Regional Orders
5. Global Governance for the 21st century
In these difficult and challenging times, the EU wants to be stronger and be seen as a more meaningful global actor; this opens new perspectives for mutual cooperation between the EU and Armenia.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
It is clear that recent months have brought new dynamics into the process of the settlement of the conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. The Vienna Summit opened a new chapter of efforts to find a fair and comprehensive solution to the problem, which were discussed in another recent summit in Saint Petersburg. The EU fully supports the efforts undertaken within this framework, and the leading role played by the co-chairs of the Minsk Group. Quite soon, the EU Special Representative will come to Yerevan and meet officials; his visit is yet more proof that the EU supports peace efforts. At the moment this is very delicate, and quiet diplomacy and confidential approaches are paramount. This is not the time for public diplomacy, but the EU will continue to support the peace process. The implementation of the agreements at the Vienna Summit have the potential to have a positive effect on the conflict-resolution dynamics.

You have seen statements made by the leaders of European member states and by EU leaders, and you know the general political context. From my perspective, representing the EU in Armenia, this vote has not changed anything about our commitment to Armenia or the region. There are no implications for our policies, no implications for bilateral dialogue on the framework agreement, and any other forthcoming important issues. To Armenians, I want to say that what has happened in Britain is very serious; Europe will deal with it in a very serious way, but there are no direct or indirect implications for our agenda with Armenia. Of course you may ask how we can talk about a “stronger” Europe with the British vote. However, look at the EU’s assets and its role in trade, foreign investment and development assistance. With or without Britain (of course with Britain it will be bigger), the EU will remain a great force in these areas.

EU-Armenia Framework Agreement
Last week we met the Armenian Prime Minister. Our direct and constructive discussions were very encouraging. I thank the PM and other members of the government for those discussions. We discussed the business environment and European investments. Ambassadors of the EU member states left the meeting with new inspiration. The dynamics of the last round of the negotiations on the new framework agreement were really impressive. As Ambassador, I can say that it was the best round of negotiations yet, which sends out optimistic signals for future EU-Armenia relations.

New Electoral Code
The next national elections will be crucial for Armenia. Therefore, we are supporting preparation efforts for the next elections to be inclusive. I am very glad to note that the agreement between the government and opposition parties on the technological aspects of the next elections reflects inclusion. Of course, the agreement does not solve all possible issues and we know that very serious and deep disagreements exist between the governing coalition, the opposition, and CSOs concerning the new electoral code; however, this agreement has been regarded widely outside Armenia as a historic deal, as an example of overcoming very deep and sharp political differences for the sake of something bigger, the future of the country, and fair elections.

The Fight against Corruption
We have noticed positive signs in government activities recently. I have participated in the anti-corruption council chaired by the Prime Minister; I can tell you very openly that this was the best discussion on how to fight corruption that I have witnessed in many years, not only in Armenia. We are aware of very concrete decisions taken by the Prime Minister to speed up the implementation of some of the measures aimed at fighting corruption.

The public discussion on 2015-2025 Agricultural and Rural Area Development Strategy was organised by the OXFAM at Armenian Ministry of Agriculture on 30 March, 2015. The discussion was held within the framework of the EU-funded project called “Improving Regional Food Security in South Caucasus through National Strategies and Smallholder Production”.
A national working group was formed within the framework of the programme, which will create the 2015-2025 Agricultural and Rural Area Development Strategy, focussing on food security. There are experts from the field of agriculture, beneficiaries and international NGOs in the national working group. Parallel to this national group OXFAM also created other working groups in 10 different marzes of Armenia.
ARS_5506John Barker, the International Aid/Cooperation Officer of the EU Delegation to Armenia, stated that the EU will continue its contribution in the field of agriculture in Armenia: “It’s wonderful that we have this regional programme, which not only addresses food security in its most general sense but is also providing its direct assistance to the Government and Ministry of Agriculture in revising and updating the strategy for the sector”.
Margarita Hakobyan, Head of Oxfam Armenia, mentioned in her speech about the achievements of the work that has been done: “During the work on the 2015-2025 strategy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Oxfam came to an agreement that food security would be included in the development strategy as one of the components. There are several specialists and work groups; it is unique for the strategy to be created by so many people and on different levels, starting from small farmers and regional governments to the national level, where many NGOs, specialists, coalitions are included in order to make the best use of it and achieve the purpose of its creation”.
The Armenian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Armen Harutyunyan thanked in his speech the EU and the EU Delegation in Armenia for the support. “For 2015-2025 Agricultural and Rural Area Development Strategy there were created various groups with competent experts who were able to find and identify main problems that are in the agriculture sector. During the work all the agriculture sectors were revised and all the results are presented in the draft”.
After the opening remarks there were also many speakers from government, private sector and field experts who had their presentations and speeches on rural development.