The EU cooperates with Armenia in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and its eastern regional dimension, the Eastern Partnership. The key goal is to bring Armenia closer to the EU.
The European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) is the key EU financial instrument dedicated to the Neighbourhood for the period 2014-2020. It replaces the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) of 2007-2013. Other funding sources are the thematic programmes, focused on human rights and civil society.
EU assistance to Armenia takes mainly the form of country Action Programmes funded every year under the ENI. Armenia benefits also from regional and multi-country Action Programmes funded under the ENI.
Bilateral cooperation with Armenia contributes to the objectives of the Eastern Partnership.
The strategic framework, key results and indicative financial allocations for the EU’s bilateral cooperation with Armenia in 2014-2017 are set out in the Single Support Framework . The three priority sectors are:
- Private sector development;
- Public administration reform;
- Justice sector reform.
Complementary support for the modernisation of public institutions and for civil society can be provided within and outside the priority sectors.
In 2014-2017, ENI bilateral assistance to Armenia may range between a minimum of €140 million and a maximum of €170 million. These figures are indicative: final allocations will depend on the country's needs and commitment to reforms.
Armenia can also benefit from additional financial assistance granted through the multi-country 'umbrella programme': the incentive-based mechanism that rewards progress in building deep and sustainable democracy with supplementary financial allocations ('more for more'). See more .
Ongoing bilateral programmes (under the ENPI) concentrate on reforms in justice, management of public finances, modernisation of public administration, education, regional development, agriculture and rural development. Support for public institutions and promotion of EU best practices are important elements of ongoing and future cooperation across all sectors. Civil society initiatives are supported with the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility.
In 2007-2013, the EU committed €281.5 million for bilateral assistance to Armenia under the ENPI. This included €40 million made available in 2012-2013 under the Eastern Partnership Integration and Cooperation (EaPIC) programme (now replaced by the 'umbrella programme').
EU assistance to Armenia was partly reviewed at the end of 2013 after the country's decision not to pursue the creation of a free-trade area with the EU. Planned programmes linked to the promotion of trade with the EU were dropped or reoriented to other priorities.
Armenia participates also in regional programmes funded under the ENPI/ENI (mainly in environment, energy, transport, culture and youth), in the Eastern Partnership Flagship Initiatives, in cross-border cooperation and in initiatives open to all Neighbour countries: Erasmus+, TAIEX, SIGMA, and the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF). The NIF in Armenia targets primarily investment projects in transport infrastructure, financing of small business, waste management, water, energy efficiency.
In addition to the ENI, Armenia is eligible for funding under the EU thematic programmes: the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities, Human Development and Migration & Asylum.