BRUSSELS (Combined Sources)–The two-day Convention of European Armenia’s officially commenced on October 18 at the European Parliament–Brussels. Located in the very heart of the European district–the Parliament is the main institution of the Union.
Organized by the European Armenian Federation–the first ever convention is designed as a forum for all organizations and political–economic–cultural–and religious groups to share ideas and concerns on topics of importance to the Armenian communities across Europe including Armenian culture and identity in Europe–EU-Armenia relations–and the stakes involved in European Union enlargement.
European citizens of Armenian descent currently number more than two million–stemming from three large waves of immigration that resulted from the genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey (1915)–war in the middle-east (1975)–and the fall of the USSR (1991). Though well integrated in the economic–social–and cultural life of their new countries–they have kept their identity and interest in Armenian issues.
As the 21st century dawns–Armenia and the Armenia’s are confronted with new expectations–new hopes–but also with new dangers. With this in mind–the conference will address the challenges Armenia faces in a changing international environment–its strategies for success–as well as the European diaspora’s role in assisting Armenia in this regard.
Speakers include: Alexis Govciyan–President of "Europe de la Mmoire" (Europe of Remembrance); Jules Mardirossian–Chairman of the Armenian Studies Documentation–and Information Center in France; Marie Anne Isler-Bguin–Chairwoman of the EU-South Caucasus Delegation; Vahan Zanoyan–International expert on energetic issues–and CEO of Petroleum Finance Corporation; Mourad Papazian–Chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–Western Europe–among others.
"With this first European Convention–we are not aiming to establish any superstructure that would replace the various organizations dealing with Armenian issues in Europe. Rather–we aim to create a framework for free expression that will enable the shared positions and opinions of the European communities to emerge," said Hilda Tchoboian–chairwoman of the European Armenian Federation.
Within the prestigious setting of the European parliament–the European Armenia’s will be able–for the first time–to share their hopes and concerns with the Union’s political decision-makers.