ArmInfo. Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia Suren Papikyan held a farewell meeting with Head of the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan Natalia Voutova on June 30. According to the press service of the Ministry, during the meeting, Suren Papikyan thanked Natalia Voutova for her active role in strengthening local democracy in Armenia. According to the Minister, the development of local democracy will continue to be an important component of the joint agenda of the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Council of Europe, deepening the existing cooperation in various directions.
Highly appreciating the advisory support of the Council of Europe to the Armenian team, Suren Papikyan referred to recent legislative changes. "With amendments to the Electoral Code, we are moving to a higher level of local democracy. We give all political forces in Armenia the opportunity to participate in local self-government and take responsibility for creating a healthy climate on the ground, developing communities and balanced local self-government," said the Minister.
In turn, Natalia Voutova noted that there is a need for the development of local democracy in Armenia. "Local government is the root of democracy," she stressed. In this context, the Minister also called for continued dialogue with the Council of Europe and the implementation of the final roadmap, including further steps towards institutional development and independence of the Union of Communities of Armenia.
The interlocutors exchanged views on the upcoming elections to local self-government in 2021. They also pointed out the importance of steps towards reform in the system of administrative-territorial administration in the next 5 years.