What’s in the Armenia-EU Enhanced Partnership Agreement?

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EU-European-Commission headquarters in Brussels

EU-European-Commission headquarters in Brussels

On November 24, Armenia and the EU officially signed the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

For Armenia, signing CEPA marks a substantial step toward developing western democratic reforms. The agreement bolsters bilateral relations between the two governments, opening a path to expand economic activity. In return, Armenia has agreed upon fundamental goals that are in the financial, political, and moral interest of the Armenian people.

CEPA’s main points include cooperation on the following:

1. Developing a common defense policy, including various security-building measures and fighting terrorism.

2. Domestic reforms by increasing the effectiveness of democratic institutions, rule of law, respect for human rights, transparency, accountability, progress of legal reform, creation of statistical data for governance, and enhancing the fight against corruption.

3. Developing financial sectors by exchanging expertise and best practices, reforming financial institutions and primary industries (such as energy and agriculture), adopting laws that prevent distortions of fair competition, and facilitating reforms in favor of bilateral investments.

4. Improving research and innovation, employment protection, educational and training systems, environmental protection, and development of widespread availability of information and communication technology.

5. Compliance with international intellectual property regimes.
CEPA is a positives change in the Armenia’s vision for the future. Since 2015, Armenia has been an exclusive participant in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which has come with virtually no economic development and a stagnant GDP.

In short terms, the last three years have been lost.

Prior to joining EAEU, Armenia was in talks with the EU to establish stronger bilateral relations. However, the country’s elite chose to abandon the path to Europe in exchange for greater solidarity with Russia—a concession that was not returned during the April 2016 clashes.

Armenia’s has historically been reluctant to steer far from its northern neighbor. This shift to more constructive policies occurred only after Armenia experienced the extreme pressures of the April clashes, protests, and the hostage crisis. But CEPA is a purely voluntary cooperation, meaning that Armenia can walk away at any time, notwithstanding minimal repercussions under the agreement.

Armenia’s transformation into a true western democracy relies on agreements like CEPA. With participants like Deputy Foreign Minister Garen Nazarian, who is not only a distinguished diplomat of Armenia but also an advocate for human rights, these transformations can succeed.

Maintaining interests to deepen relations with the EU are essential in preventing Armenia from reverting to its prior economic strategy. Creating that interest, without further war, is imperative. And this burden falls on the citizens of Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora.


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  1. State of Emergency said:

    Mother Russian will throw Armenia under the bus every chance it gets. It’s nonsensical to believe that a thugocracy with a KGB thug at the helm will do anything positive to advance human right or strengthen democratic institutions in their country let alone in Armenia.

    • Edward Demiraiakian said:

      I’m in agreement that Russia not only acts in its own intersts first, but Armenia intersts them only as far as the territorry it occupies. They would hate to be pushed back to South Ossetia and Abchazia; Hundreds of miles north of the Turkish Armenian border. Azerbaijan has too many eyes on its oil for Russia to just occupy it withouttheUK, USA and EU intervening. So in Azerbaijans case, the the control of the pipeline, for transit fees and Geopolitical influence is the only oim. Aside from sifoning off every Azerbajani dollar with the sales of weapons systems. To Armenias ire, What the Armenians and the Azerys don’t realize is that in a cleptocracy like Azerbaijan, the only way to steal massive amounts is trough Millitary sales. Those thefts will manifest itself in time of conflict by way of shortages of ammunition, mediication, fuel and spare parts. Historically any
      Azery military adventure usually looses steam after a short time, and they end up suing for cease fire, etc. Next time they attack, the Armenians need to retaliate and clear a “cordon sanitaire”of at least 15 miles beyond the present line of contact in order to properly protect its border settlements. Who would blame Armenia after all the losses it has incurred defendinding that line. By now, everyone is very frustrated with Azerbaijans attitude and behaviour. Recent Corruption allegations in the EU did not help zerbaijan’s image. The best defence is offence.

  2. Kevork said:

    Stay out of the EU. Globalists are behind this. Who wants unelected politicians dictating to us?

    • Edward Demiraiakian said:

      I can easily envision the EU mandating that Armenia takes in its share of Muslim African or Arab or even Turkish “refugees”. Did we miss what is hapening in Poland, Hungary, Checkh Republic, etc., where the EU is shouting orders and making threats? They are given quotas to take in. Economic cooperation? Anyday, Political union, Never.

  3. George Iosifyan said:

    I highly doubt the agreement will bear any fruit. As long as the so called “country’s elite” is more interested in personal gains rather than people’s welfare, nothing will change.
    I along with many other Armenians from diaspora tried to help our country by investing in it only to be cheated and robbed by government officials. Even now after winning court cases against the government they won’t admit their wrongdoings. That is why we are going to international courts and in particular in the States to bring “country’s elite’ to justice, including application of Global Magnitsky Act. One thing I know for sure, sooner or later Justice will prevail.

    Here is the proof of my point:

  4. Norserunt said:

    Bravo Yerevan; take as much money from Western/Globalist criminals as possible while keeping them at an arms length.