Delegation to the EU-Armenia Parliamentary Partnership Committee, EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee : Inter-parliamentary meetings

Inaugural meeting of the EU-Armenia PPC, 24 October 2018, Strasbourg 

Following the provisional entry into force of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the inaugural meeting of the EU-Armenia Parliamentary Partnership Committee (PPC) took place on 24 October 2018 in Strasbourg.

The unanimously adopted statement includes points on:

- the crucial role played by the European Parliament and the National Assembly of Armenia, on the basis of their democratic legitimacy, in the development of the Eastern Partnership dynamics;

- the signature of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the EU and Armenia, on the side-lines of the last Eastern Partnership Summit on 24 November 2017, which is a milestone in the history of bilateral relations between the EU and Armenia, as well as a solid legal basis to invigorate the -political dialogue and broaden the scope of economic cooperation as well as joint work in sectors such as energy, transport, environment and climate change, creates a framework for new opportunities in trade and investments, and paves the way for increased mobility for the benefit of the citizens;

- the EU's and Armenia's common commitment to democracy, the rule of law, good governance and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; ;

- the role of the newly-created EU-Armenia Parliamentary Partnership Committee to give new impetus to the inter-parliamentary co-operation between the European Parliament and the National Assembly of Armenia, under Article 365 of the CEPA;

- the events, also known as "velvet revolution", which brought about a peaceful political transition, the election of a new Prime Minister by the National Assembly of Armenia and the formation of a new government during the spring of 2018;

- the ambitious reform programme of the newly-formed Armenian government, which aims at making a clean sweep of the political, economic and social matters that plague Armenia and lays much emphasis i.a. on the dismantlement of unjustified monopolies, the citizen's active participation in public life, the eradication of all forms of corruption, the promotion of a transparent and meritocratic public service, the effective oversight on law enforcement agencies, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, and the development of sustainable agriculture, tourism and renewable energy;

- the importance of a thorough and lasting implementation of the CEPA, paired with an adequate level of EU financial and technical assistance, is key to meet all the socio-economic challenges which Armenia is facing;

- the EU's bilateral support, under the Single Support Framework 2017-2020, which totals around €160 million and focuses on areas such as economic development and innovation, improving the rule of law and the business environment, electoral assistance, connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change;

- the importance of Armenia's active participation in the COSME and Horizon 2020 programmes, in regional programmes funded under the European Neighbourhood Instrument in the fields of environment, energy, transport, culture and youth, in cross-border cooperation actions, and in the initiatives open to all the Eastern Partners such as Erasmus+, Erasmus Mundus, eTwinning Plus, TAIEX, SIGMA, and the Neighbourhood Investment Facility;

- the possibility to open a visa liberalisation dialogue with Armenia, provided that the conditions for a well-managed and secure mobility are in place;

- the recommendations made by the Council of Europe's Venice Commission and OSCE/ ODIHR, notably when it comes to the reform of the Electoral Code and the importance to tackle remaining shortcoming and malpractices;

- the place of gender equality, non-discrimination and women's empowerment are among the 20 Deliverables for 2020;

- the recent adoption of the law for the prevention of violence in the family, the protection of the victims of violence in the family and the restoration of the harmony in the family, as well as the subsequent signing of the Council of Europe's Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (also known as the Istanbul Convention);

- the necessity to work for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in accordance with the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and their 2009 Basic Principles, which are supported by the European Union and the European Parliament;

- the forthcoming 70th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide will mark on 9 December 2018 and the importance, for all the EU Member States, to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.

17th EU-Armenia PCC, 19-20 December 2017, Yerevan 

The 17th EU-Armenia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) meeting was held in Yerevan on 19-20 December 2017.

The final statement included points on:
  • recalls the crucial role of the European Parliament and of the National Assembly of Armenia in the development of the Eastern Partnership dynamics;
  • welcomes the signature of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the EU and Armenia, in the fringes of the Eastern Partnership Summit that was held in Brussels on 24 November 2017;
  • stresses that this historical Agreement is based on the EU's and Armenia's common commitment to democracy, the rule of law, good governance and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • urges both the EU and Armenia to stay committed to a thorough and lasting implementation of this Agreement;
  • urges the National Parliaments of the EU Member States to ratify the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement without undue delay;
  • welcomes the steady progress that has been made in Armenia's reform agenda;
  • recalls that the EU has already planned to provide, under the Single Support Framework 2017-2020, a bilateral financial support totalling around €160 million, focusing on areas such as economic development and innovation, improving the rule of law and the business environment, electoral assistance, connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change;
  • calls on closer cooperation to improve energy security and efficiency;
  • reckons that the EU assistance should reflect the growingly ambitious goals of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, provided that Armenia meets the required conditions as far as the reforms jointly agreed with the EU are concerned, in line with the principles of differentiation and "more for more";
  • stresses that the EU financial support will be strictly conditional on concrete reforms steps and their effective implementation, notably in terms of upholding the rule of law, ensuring good governance, and defending human rights as well as the plurality and freedom of media;
  • encourages Armenia's active participation in the COSME and Horizon 2020 programmes, in regional programmes funded under the European Neighbourhood Instrument in the fields of environment, energy, transport, culture and youth, in cross-border cooperation actions, and in the initiatives open to all the Eastern Partners such as Erasmus+, Erasmus Mundus, eTwinning Plus, TAIEX, SIGMA, and the Neighbourhood Investment Facility;
  • recommends to the European Commission to allow for a more intensive participation of Armenia in EU-supported programme;
  • welcomes the achievements in strengthening people-to-people contacts;
  • calls on the European Commission to focus on tangible deliverables for the citizens;
  • welcomes the adoption of the law for the prevention of violence in the family, the protection of the victims of violence in the family and the restoration of the harmony in the family, as a major, positive step forward;
  • deplores the continued human losses caused by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; deeply regrets the regular violations of the cease-fire agreement, which repeatedly claim the lives of both military personnel and civilians, whilst hampering the socioeconomic development of the entire region;
  • reiterates its unwavering support to the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and to their 2009 Basic Principles as well as its appreciation of their endeavours to advance towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict;
  • welcomes the joint statement made by the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan on the fringes of the Geneva Summit of 16 October 2017, calls on the authorities of both countries to hold high-level talks in good faith and commit to genuine confidence-building measures and renewed dialogue;
  • welcomes the efforts and the EU's strengthened role in conflict resolution and confidence-building; welcomes its new initiatives aimed at supporting and completing the aforementioned efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, by promoting confidence- and peace-building activities across the conflict divide and bringing the civil societies closer;

16th EU-Armenia PCC, 20-21 January 2016, Strasbourg 

The 16th EU-Armenia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) meeting was held in Strasbourg on 20-21 January 2016.

The final statement included points on:
  • opening EU-Armenia negotiations for a new comprehensive framework agreement,
  • the progressive differentiation approach promoted within the Eastern Partnership,
  • the need for a strong parliamentary dimension in any future agreement,
  • the annual EU-Armenia Human Rights Dialogue,
  • the Armenian National Assembly's effort to align national legislation with the UN Convention Against Torture,
  • the 6 December Constitutional Referendum results,
  • OSCE/ODIHR election observation missions' recommendations ,
  • the EU's adoption, on 16 December 2015, of a new support programme,
  • the continued human cost of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,
  • the negotiation process under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group,
  • EU exchange and mobility programmes,
  • commemorations of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide,
  • the EP Plenary's call to normalise Armenia-Turkey relations.

15th EU-Armenia PCC, 19-20 March 2015, Yerevan 

The 15th meeting of the EU-Armenia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) was held on 19-20 March 2015 in Yerevan.

Issues covered in the final statement, which was adopted unanimously, include:
  • the European Parliament resolution of 1987 on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide,
  • the possibility of normalising Turkey - Armenia relations,
  • progressive differentiation provided by the Eastern Partnership framework,
  • the human cost of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,
  • the negotiation process under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group,
  • EU-Armenia cooperation,
  • reviewing and updating the existing basis of relations,
  • the EU-Armenia Human Rights Dialogue which took place on 11 December 2014,
  • the ongoing Scorecard exercise, to be presented to the EP on 1 January 2016,
  • the EU-Armenia Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements, which came into force in January 2014,
  • the commitment of Armenia and the European Union to further develop and strengthen cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.

14th EU-Armenia PCC, 5-6 February 2014, Strasboug 

Co-chaired by Mr Samvel Farmanyan and Dr Milan Cabrnoch, the 14th meeting of the EU-Armenia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) was held in Strasbourg on 5-6 February 2014.

Several points in the proceedings provoked deep debates, notably the ones referring to the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. With no agreement reached on this specific part of the text, the Chair of one Delegation felt that, unfortunately, no joint recommendations could be adopted. No draft was, thus, formally put to the vote and the PCC, therefore, did not produce any jointly agreed statement.

Topics covered in the meeting included:
  • an overview of the EU-Armenia relations
  • discussions on the future of EU/Armenia relations
  • regional issues, particularly the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.