European Parliament’s delegation supports ambitious reforms in Armenia
YEREVAN, JUNE 19, ARMENPRESS. A delegation of nine MEPs, led by Foreign Affairs committee Chair Mr David McAllister, visited Armenia on 18 June to take stock of EU-Armenia relations and reform efforts, the EP office said.
A nine-MEPs strong delegation met Prime Minister Mr Nikol Pashinyan, the Speaker of the National Assembly Mr Ara Babloyan as well as ministers, national MPs and civil society representatives to assess the political situation in Armenia, EU-Armenia relations and new reform efforts since the recent political turmoil, resulting in a change of government.
“The European Parliament has followed very carefully what happened in Armenia during the months of April and May 2018. The level of civic involvement of Armenia citizens and peaceful support for changes and fighting against corruption have been very impressive. This is a key moment for Armenia. To strengthen its democracy, to deepen its relations with the EU and to make long-lasting peace. Armenia’s citizens want this, Armenia’s leaders have committed to this and the European Union will be there to help every step of the way,” said EP’s delegation chair Mr. David McAllister (EPP, DE) after the visit.
“On 4 July, the European Parliament will also cast its final vote on the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement. The ratification of this new agreement is just the beginning - successful implementation is key to ensure the modernisation of Armenia. Successful implementation will help attract EU investment, stimulate trade with the EU and provide concrete benefits for the Armenian people,” he added.
“I know that there are calls for us to start negotiating a new deal to allow visa-free travel for Armenian. Let me be very clear. We are ready to support the launching of such a dialogue. I understand that existing agreements are being implemented. But we also need to see a reduction in the number of migrants from Armenia illegally staying in some EU Member States. And again, key reforms such as on fighting corruption need to bear fruit,” he said.
The results of the mission will feed into the European Parliament’s final vote on the EU-Armenia comprehensive and enhanced partnership agreement, to be held in Strasbourg in July 2018.
In addition to Mr. McAllister, the EP’s delegation was composed of eight MEPs: Chair of the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly - Ms Rebecca HARMS (Greens, DE), Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Armenia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee - Mr Sajjad KARIM (ECR, UK), Foreign Affairs committee Rapporteur on Armenia - Mr. László TOKES (EPP, HU), Ms Željana ZOVKO (EPP, HR), Ms Neena GILL (S&D, UK), Mr Boris ZALA (S&D, SK), Ms Eleni THEOCHAROUS (ECR, CY) and Mr Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS (ALDE, LT).
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan