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.