The EU Advisory Group discusses achievements at the end of 2012 | EUNewsletter

The EU Advisory Group discusses achievements at the end of 2012

11 February 2013

In the third quarter of 2012, the European Union Advisory Group (EUAG), an EU funded and UNDP implemented project in Armenia, continued its work to support the shaping of reform policies in the country in line with the European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan.
Willem van der Geest, the Team Leader of the EUAG to Armenia, stated that there was a common objective to foster closer political and economical relations between the EU and Armenia, and it is the purpose of the EU AG project to support this process with policy advice.
He noted the importance of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), with regard to which significant progress has been made with the assistance of the EU AG. ‘DCFTA is an important step in improving access for the Armenian companies to the EU market… Presently two out of the 15 chapters have been provisionally agreed’, stated van der Geest.
In this area, the activities of the EUAG covered coordination and advisory inputs in support of the negotiation process. The DCFTA team, in consultation with the ministries and agencies concerned, monitored the status of implementation of technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, and intellectual property rights.

Two major public seminars were also organised by the EUAG in 2012. The first seminar focused on the challenges and opportunities for Armenia arising from ongoing negotiations to establish the DCFTA between Armenia and the EU. The second seminar provided guidelines for Armenian civil society on how to increase its role in the Armenian socio-political landscape, based on EU best practices.

Another important development, where the EU AG provided policy advice, was the signature of the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Armenia.

Once in force, the agreement will clarify what kind of information people need when applying for a European visa and facilitate the process. Secondly the fee for visas will be harmonised. Visas will cost €35 instead of €60. Certain groups of Armenian citizens, for example business representatives and students, will be able to receive visas more easily and will have the opportunity for multiple entry or for a longer period. The new rules are likely to enter into force in 2013.
In general the EUAG welcomed the good collaboration with ministries and agencies. However, the EUAG Team Leader stated that the capacity in ministries and agencies was often inadequate to deal with the kind of changes and reforms necessary.

The EU Advisory Group discusses achievements at the end of 2012

In the third quarter of 2012, the European Union Advisory Group (EUAG), an EU funded and UNDP implemented project in Armenia, continued its work to support the shaping of reform policies in the country in line with the European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan. Willem van der Geest, the Team Leader of the EUAG to Armenia, stated that there was a common objective to foster closer political and economical relations between the EU and Armenia, and it is the purpose of the EU AG project to support this process with policy advice. He noted the importance of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), with regard to which significant progress has been made with the assistance of the EU AG. 'DCFTA is an important step in improving access for the Armenian companies to the EU market... Presently two out of the 15 chapters have been provisionally agreed’, stated van der Geest. In this area, the activities of the EUAG covered coordination and advisory inputs in support of the negotiation process. The DCFTA team, in consultation with the ministries and agencies concerned, monitored the status of implementation of technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, and intellectual property rights. Two major public seminars were also organised by the EUAG in 2012. The first seminar focused on the challenges and opportunities for Armenia arising from ongoing negotiations to establish the DCFTA between Armenia and the EU. The second seminar provided guidelines for Armenian civil society on how to increase its role in the Armenian socio-political landscape, based on EU best practices. Another important development, where the EU AG provided policy advice, was the signature of the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Armenia. Once in force, the agreement will clarify what kind of information people need when applying for a European visa and facilitate the process. Secondly the fee for visas will be harmonised. Visas will cost €35 instead of €60. Certain groups of Armenian citizens, for example business representatives and students, will be able to receive visas more easily and will have the opportunity for multiple entry or for a longer period. The new rules are likely to enter into force in 2013. In general the EUAG welcomed the good collaboration with ministries and agencies. However, the EUAG Team Leader stated that the capacity in ministries and agencies was often inadequate to deal with the kind of changes and reforms necessary.