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Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the website of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with South Caucasus (DSCA). Our Delegation serves the EU-Armenia Parliamentary Partnership Committee (PPC), the EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) and the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee (PAC). These three countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia - are part of the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood policy. The parliamentary extension of our relations was established through bilateral agreements, concluded with Azerbaijan in 1999, Georgia in 2014 and Armenia in 2017. As the Chair of the Delegation, I preside over our regular meetings and set the agenda for our inter-parliamentary work, in close cooperation with my counterparts in the national parliaments. The PPC, PCC and PAC meet, on a rotating basis, on the European Parliament's working places and at the premises of our partner countries' parliaments.

The EU and Georgia enjoy close relations, based on the EU Georgia Association Agreement including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which entered into force in July 2016 and strives for a political association and economic integration. Although they are not formally associated to the EU, Armenia and Azerbaijan are also moving closer to Europe, its values and principles. Relations between the EU and Armenia are based on the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), an ambitious document that provisionally entered into force on 1 June 2018. The CEPA foresees deepening our cooperation in areas such as democracy and human rights, entrepreneurship, fairer rules, environment, education and research. Negotiations on a new comprehensive agreement were launched with Azerbaijan in February 2017 and are progressing well. The future agreement will give new impetus to our political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation, notably - but not exclusively - in areas such as energy and transport.

The EU continues to support international efforts to find a peaceful solution to the protracted conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Our hope is that further strengthened bilateral relations will foster prosperity and contribute to conflict resolution, especially for ordinary people living in the affected areas. The South Caucasus may be far from the EU in purely geographical terms, but the region is close to our hearts and interests. The path towards European integration can enrich all of us, fostering economic opportunities, traditions, cultures, religions and historical heritage. I look forward to seeing the DSCA contribute to bringing Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia even closer to the EU.

As a Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, the South Caucasus have always been high on my political agenda. I strongly believe in every nation's right to choose its own path. As an Estonian, I know how important it is to have support from friends and partners on the path of democratic reforms. I am honoured to continue contributing to cooperation with the South Caucasus in my capacity of the Chair of the DSCA.
- Marina Kaljurand

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