‘Good follow-up chance for Brussels meetings’ - Katarína Mathernová on Armenia visit
YEREVAN, JULY 20, ARMENPRESS. Katarína Mathernová, Deputy Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission, has announced in Yerevan that the purpose of her visit is requirement assessment and adjustment of assistance of the government.
“This visit is very convenient because your Prime Minister was in Brussels at the NATO summit and had many meetings there. This is a good chance to continue all the discussions and negotiations which took place there,” she said.
Speaking about the CEPA between Armenia and EU, the EU official said they will do their best to contribute to the full implementation of the agreement. “We are very happy over the orientation which the new government has mentioned among its priorities. We will do everything to support the government and the civil society in their activities,” Mathernová said.
She said they will hold seminars with Armenian officials tomorrow to present the mechanisms with which it will be possible to work more productively with the EU.
Speaking about EU funding, she said they have active agreements with Armenia which are currently under implementation or pending implementation. She said these are nearly 240,000,000 Euro worth of assistance deals.
Asked by a reporter whether this 240,000,000 was added after the revolution, Mathernová said: “This agreement existed before the velvet revolution, but this year’s allocations are a part of the “more for more” allocation. With this we are accepting the reforms initiated by the government. We don’t work solely with the principle to provide money only because a revolution has taken place. The purpose of my visit is to understand the needs of the government and to make adjustments in our assistance.”
Speaking about Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s statement in Brussels that Armenia has greater expectations from the European Union, she said that during this visit they can have intensive discussions with the government to understand what assistance has been provided and what the government requires.
“I think there are certain things to be clarified and explained, perhaps there is a certain misunderstanding. Numbers can be confusing if you look at only one mechanism of assistance and not study the entire picture. This statement of the Prime Minister hinted us to revise these numbers and understand what we have provided in general, and we too were surprised that what was provided was a lot more than we ourselves thought,” Mathernova said.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan