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 Thursday, June 13 2024 13:26
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Armenia-EU Partnership Committee holds 5th meeting under CEPA

Armenia-EU Partnership Committee holds 5th meeting under CEPA

ArmInfo. The fifth meeting of the RA-EU Partnership Committee within the framework of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was held in  Yerevan on June 11-12, at which issues of implementation of CEPA and  bilateral cooperation between Armenia and the European Union were  discussed.

According to the press service of the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  Armenia and the EU emphasized the dynamic course of development of  the partnership. The parties agreed to intensify efforts to implement  CEPA and solve socio-economic problems and unlock their full  potential. The EU welcomed Armenia's achievements in line with  universal values and its continued commitment to reform.

The parties touched upon the ongoing negotiations on the new RA-EU  partnership agenda, setting ambitious goals in all areas of  cooperation, financial support for which will be provided through the  "Sustainability and Growth" program in the amount of 270 million  euros planned for 2024-2027. The program plans to support strategic  investments, especially in transport, digital and energy  infrastructure, ensuring investments in business sector development  to create jobs and economic growth. The parties welcomed the positive  progress in the implementation of the Economic and Investment Plan,  within the framework of which investment funds in the amount of 600  million euros have already been collected.  The Partnership Committee  reviewed developments in the areas of the rule of law, justice  reform, law enforcement, anti-corruption and human rights protection.  The EU praised the progress made, including the signing of an  international cooperation agreement with Eurojust and the  strengthening of management capacity in the field of migration in  preparation for the possible launch of a dialogue on visa  liberalization.

The EU welcomed progress in increasing the independence of the  judiciary and strengthening anti- corruption and immunity mechanisms,  while emphasizing the importance of continuing reforms, improving the  effectiveness of the judiciary, and the accountability of law  enforcement agencies.

The EU stressed the need to make further efforts to eliminate  discrimination on any basis. Armenia and the EU emphasized the  importance of active participation of civil society in all areas. The  EU called on Armenia to continue to ensure the participation of civil  society in public discussions on legislative proposals.

The parties touched upon the involvement of the forcibly displaced  Armenian population after Azerbaijan's military operation in  Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2023, as well as EU support in matters  of housing and employment.

The Partnership Committee also reviewed progress in the areas of  transport, energy, environment, climate change and disaster risk  management. Armenia and the EU discussed issues related to promoting  connectivity, strengthening energy security and energy transformation  in Armenia, including by promoting Armenia's participation in the  Caucasus Electricity Grid project and the Black Sea Submarine  Electric Cable initiative. The Armenian side emphasized the need to  promote other regional connectivity programs.  While welcoming  Armenia's efforts to protect the environment and combat climate  change, the EU also called on Armenia to make efforts to increase  renewable energy production, achieve climate neutrality and improve  water management.

The parties also confirmed their commitment to continue cooperation  in the field of improving nuclear security.

The EU called on Armenia to prioritize strategic programs in various  sectors in line with ongoing discussions on the priorities of the new  partnership program and the road map for the implementation of the  Sustainability and Growth Agenda.

The parties also discussed the possibilities of ensuring road and air  safety, expanding the geography of flights, and also emphasized the  importance of the administrative implementation of the Agreement on  the Common Aviation Space. The parties discussed issues related to  the emergency response to the recent floods in northern Armenia and  expanding cooperation in the field of civil defense. The meeting  provided an opportunity to consider cooperation in the field of  customs and economic development. The parties committed to continue  close cooperation to prevent circumvention of relevant EU sanctions.  During the discussion, the results of the development of employment  and social policy were also summed up. The parties welcomed the  strengthening of cooperation in the areas of exchanges in the fields  of sports, culture, education and scientific research.

The partners also touched upon regional events, the process of  normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and the EU mission in  Armenia, highly appreciating its role in ensuring security and  stability in the region. The EU welcomed the progress made in the  demarcation process and reaffirmed its full support for the  sovereignty and territorial integrity of Armenia, as well as the  inviolability of Armenia's borders based on the 1991 Alma-Ata  Declaration.

The parties discussed strengthening dialogue on security and defense  issues, as well as Armenia's current application within the European  Peace Instrument.

The EU welcomed Armenia's "Crossroads of the World" initiative aimed  at establishing peace and normalizing relations in the region, and  expressed support for the opening of regional transport routes based  on the principles of national sovereignty, national jurisdiction, as  well as equality and reciprocity.

The meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of  Armenia Paruyr Hovhannisyan and Deputy Managing Director, European  External Action Service for Europe and Central Asia, Luc Pierre  Devigne.  

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