EU-Armenia: Joint work on Partnership for Reform
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan in Brussels today to discuss how to further strengthen the relations between the EU and Armenia. "I welcome the ambitious reform efforts of the Armenian government, covering the most important priorities of the EU-Armenian relations. It led to further intensification of our relations on both bilateral and multilateral tracks of the Eastern Partnership," Commissioner Füle said after the meeting noting i.a. the progress made in the negotiations of the Association Agreement, in preparations to the launch of DCFTA negotiations, the conclusion of the Mobility Partnership and launch of the negotiations of the EU-Armenia Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements.
As announced by the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso one day before, the European Commission decided to provide support to Armenia's reform efforts within the framework of the EU-Armenia Partnership for Reform. In this context, Commissioner Füle and President Sargsyan agreed that EU and Armenia would jointly continue working on a document "Partnership for Reform" that would set out, in form of a matrix, priority reform actions and their implementation with the support of EU funding when feasible.
"The EU is firmly committed to supporting the Armenian reform efforts with aid volumes already substantially increased for the current programming period from their previous level, " Mr Füle said adding that based on the renewed EU Neighbourhood policy, there may also be a possibility for additional funds in line with the "more for more" approach. Key to determine this will be the assessment in the progress report scheduled to be released in April as part of the ENP package and also free and fair conduct of the upcoming May parliamentary elections in Armenia. "It is entirely up to Armenia: the more reforms it performs, the more support the EU will be ready to mobilize, including through assisting Armenia in organizing an international donors´ event," added Commissioner Füle. Currently the EU has €157 million allocated for Armenia for the period 2011 – 2013.