ArmInfo. The deepening of relations with the European Union within the framework of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is among the foreign policy priorities of official Yerevan. Deputy head of the Armenian Foreign Ministry Avet Adonts stated this in the parliament of the Republic of Armenia at the hearings dedicated to the Armenia-EU relations.
At the same time, he assured that the high-level political dialogue with the EU is dynamically, consistently developing and deepening. "At the same time, the European Union is one of the key trade and economic partners of Armenia, and interaction is carried out under the GSP + preferential regime. Along with this, the EU is an important partner of Armenia in implementing the ambitious agenda of the reforms of the Armenian government, especially in such key areas as the judicial system and the police, the fight against corruption, the protection of human rights, energy, the environment and other industries to which the EU provides significant assistance, "said the deputy minister.
At the same time, Adonts stated that relations between Armenia and the European Union are actively developing both in bilateral and multilateral formats. In this regard, he recalled that the basis for the development of the bilateral relations agenda is the CEPA, signed in 2017, the implementation of 80% of the provisions of which began back in 2018. According to the Armenian diplomat, this document is a kind of constitution of relations between Yerevan and Brussels.
"The remaining 20% of the provisions of the document will come into force after all EU countries have ratified CEPA. To date, the ratification process has been fully completed in 22 EU countries; another 5 (Spain, Austria, Greece, Portugal and Italy) are close to completing the process. Austria should complete the procedures the other day, "the diplomat said, adding that the Armenian government attaches importance to increasing the role of civil society in the implementation of CEPA, which has been repeatedly mentioned.
In this contact, he pointed out the importance of consultations with the participation of civil society representatives that took place last year, and as a result, a roadmap for action was developed, and informed that the second round of these consultations is planned to begin shortly.
Reporting on close industry cooperation, Adonts emphasized that in addition to this, active discussions are being held with the EU on geopolitical issues. "In this regard, I would like to emphasize that the EU continues to contribute to the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs aimed at a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," the deputy minister said.
He also touched upon one of the most important points of the CEPA - the beginning of the dialogue on visa liberalization between Armenia and the European Union, assuring that official Yerevan is taking consistent steps in this direction and noted that the controversial subject because of which the dialogue does not start is in the field of view of European partners. "The Armenian side in this regard organized study visits to a number of EU countries to clarify the positions. The Armenian side at these meetings constantly indicates that the beginning of a dialogue on liberalization implies only a dialogue, and not immediately simplified entry at the border," he said, adding that Armenia satisfied all the requirements in the framework of the implementation of agreements on liberalization of the visa regime and readmission at the first stage, which was confirmed by the European side.
Adonts also expressed his conviction that Armenia can become a bridge between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Armenian side is promoting this approach on European platforms.