STRASBOURG—The European Commission on Wednesday adopted the first part of the Annual Action Program 2011 for Armenia, which will help to strengthen the technical and administrative capacity of key Armenian institutions responsible for the implementation of future Armenia-EU cooperation on trade, visa liberalization, socio-economic reforms and improved quality of governance.
“The ‘Arab Spring’ led to increased expectations of governance reforms across the European Neighborhood,” Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, emphasized.
“The impact that the changes had on the Eastern neighborhood, Armenia included, cannot be ignored. Today’s adoption of the Annual Action Program shows that the EU remains strongly committed to empowering societies in the neighborhood partner countries to take ownership of these reforms, which are very much needed for the well-being of their people.”
For the period 2011 to 2013, the EU’s priority areas of cooperation with Armenia focus on improving democratic structures and good governance and facilitating trade and investment and socio-economic reform, in line with the recently-released European Neighborhood Communication.
The National Indicative Program (NIP) 2011-2013 for Armenia identifies three priority areas of cooperation:
1. Democratic structures and good governance;
2. Trade and investment, regulatory alignment and reform;
3. Socio-economic reform and sustainable development.
The Annual Action Program (AAP) 2011 part I deal primarily with the Eastern Partnership Comprehensive Institution Building (CIB) program, which is central for preparing the foundations for the AA and DCFTA.
The support package will address three key reform challenges in Armenia:
1. Preparing for the negotiations of the Association Agreement between the EU and Armenia,
2. Advancing reforms in justice, liberty and security and
3. Preparing for the negotiations of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. In this respect, the government of Armenia has already identified institutions that require reform.
The EU will therefore support the creation and implementation of Institutional Reform Plans in each of the selected entities.