BRUSSELS—The European Union will invest €160 million in Armenia over the next four years, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said. Mogherini made the announcement at a debate on EU-Armenia relations during the European Parliament’s plenary session on July 4.
“We are ready to support many different fields of action, and just to name a few examples, from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to helping to improve the business environment or investing in energy efficiency, and the list could continue,” Mogherini said.
“We are ready to use our new External Investment Plan to incentivize private investment in strategic sectors for the Armenian economy,” she added.
Mogherini said it was a great pleasure to welcome the new Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan to Brussels for the first Partnership Council with Armenia. She noted that this was very soon after the new government took office in what was a smooth, democratic, peaceful transition.
“Let me say that we could not have chosen a better moment to have this first meeting and it was indeed for me a pleasure to conclude, in one way, a long journey, and at the same time, to begin a new journey together,” Mogherini said. “As you all know, last November we signed a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with Armenia. Last April, the Armenian Parliament ratified the Agreement unanimously, with the then-government and the opposition voting together.”
“I can say, having worked both with the previous government and now the new one, I really personally believe that all Armenian parties understand very well that a partnership with the European Union is something vital for the country,” she said.
“It is not about geopolitics, it is not about spheres of influence, it is not a partnership against somebody else, it is a partnership for, first of all, our citizens — the citizens of Armenia, our own citizens in the European Union — for economic growth, for job creation and for better and stronger democracies. It is a partnership that can help advance the demands raised by the Armenian people, also in this latest month,” Mogherini added.
“The Foreign Minister informed me of the ambitious — very ambitious — reform agenda of the new government, and the first concrete action it has already taken in the fight against corruption. During the Partnership Council, we also agreed on the importance of an effective and independent judicial system, also as a precondition for economic and social development. This is the right time for Armenia to work on a new Criminal Code and a new Criminal Procedural Code,” Mogherini said.
“These are important reforms – not because the European Union asks for them, but because the people of Armenia ask for them. They have been asking for these reforms for long and now, I think, we have the instruments — including this agreement — to accompany and encourage a government that is putting these reforms at the core of their action,” she said.