Monday, 13 June 2016

Armenia and the EU launch a third round of negotiations

Published in Field Reports
Rate this item
(2 votes)

By Erik Davtyan

June 13th, the CACI Analyst

On May 12, a new round of talks on the new legal framework between Armenia and the European Union kicked off in Yerevan. The delegations, headed by Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Garen Nazarian and Dirk Schuebel, Head of Division for bilateral relations with the Eastern Partnership countries in the European External Action Service, discussed the provisions of the chapters pertaining to political dialogue, reforms, and cooperation in the fields of justice and freedoms. 

 

 eu-am-3In 2013, Armenia refused to initial the Association Agreement with the EU. However, as stated in the declaration of the Vilnius EaP Summit on November 28-29, 2013, the EU and Armenia have reconfirmed their commitment “to further develop and strengthen their cooperation in all areas of mutual interest within the Eastern Partnership framework, stressing the importance of reviewing and updating the existing basis of their relations.” At the EaP Riga Summit on May 21-22, 2015, Armenia and the EU took a step further and underlined that they had reached a common understanding on the scope for a future agreement. Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian expressed his appreciation of the recent progress in EU-Armenia relations at the meeting of Eastern Partnership and Visegrad Four foreign ministers’ meeting in Prague on May 3-4, 2016.

On May 23, the 7th Annual Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers’ meeting took place in Brussels. In his speech, Nalbandian welcomed the fact that due to the EU Council’s revised policy towards the EaP countries, “the principle of differentiation and tailor-made approach” will be applied. Regarding the new agreement to be signed between Armenia and the EU, Nalbandian noted that it “will reflect the depth and essence of our bilateral relations and set new guidelines for a mutually beneficial comprehensive deep partnership”.

In Brussels, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs raised the necessity of deepening relations with the EaP countries. He mentioned that the EU needs to reinforce its cooperation with the EaP countries through implementation of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs), visa liberalization and closer sectoral cooperation. The Latvian Foreign Minister also called for negotiations on new agreements with Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Armenia took another step towards closer cooperation with the EU by joining “Horizon 2020,” the EU’s research and innovation funding program as an associate member. The agreement was signed on May 19 by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Levon Mkrtchyan, Armenia’s Minister for Education and Science. As Johannes Hahn, the EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations noted, this was “a concrete example of the EU’s commitment to further enhance its relationship with Armenia.”

Another issue that was high on the EU-Armenia agenda was the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. On April 27, Nalbandian received the ambassadors of EU member states accredited to Armenia and presented the situation caused by the unprecedented military escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh in early April. This meeting was followed by a visit of EU’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, Herbert Salber, to Yerevan. On May 10, he met with Nalbandian and President Serzh Sargsyan. Along with Armenia-EU relations, the interlocutors also discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Salber expressed his intention to visit Nagorno-Karabakh “as soon as it is agreed among all parties.”

On May 16, the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev, met in Vienna to take part in a discussion initiated by OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, also attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov and France’s State Minister for European Affairs Harlem Désir. In Vienna, Sargsyan also met with the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. Mogherini expressed readiness to support measures aimed at confidence building in the conflict zone. This point was also emphasized by the head of the EU delegation in Armenia, Piotr Świtalski, the day prior to the meeting in Vienna.

 

Image attribution: www.news.am, accessed on June 10, 2016

Read 6754 times Last modified on Thursday, 09 June 2016

Visit also

silkroad

AFPC

isdp

turkeyanalyst

Joint Center Publications

Silk Road Paper Svante E. Cornell and S. Frederick Starr, Modernization and Regional Cooperation in Central Asia: A New Spring, November 2018.

Book S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, ed., Uzbekistan’s New Face, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

Article Svante E. Cornell, “Turkish-Saudi Rivalry: Behind the Khashoggi Affair,” The American Interest, November 6, 2018.

Article Mamuka Tsereteli, “Landmark Caspian Deal Could Pave Way for Long-Stalled Energy Projects,” World Politics Review, September 2018.

Article Halil Karaveli, “The Myth of Erdoğan’s Power,” Foreign Affairs, August 2018.

Book Halil Karaveli, Why Turkey is Authoritarian, London: Pluto Press, 2018.

Article Svante E. Cornell, “Erbakan, Kısakürek and the Mainstreaming of Extremism in Turkey,” Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, June 2018.

Article S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, “Uzbekistan: A New Model for Reform in the Muslim World,” Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, May 12, 2018.

Silk Road Paper Svante E. Cornell, Religion and the Secular State in Kazakhstan, April 2018.

Book S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, The Long Game on the Silk Road: US and EU Strategy for Central Asia and the Caucasus, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

Article Svante E. Cornell, “Central Asia: Where Did Islamic Radicalization Go?,” Religion, Conflict and Stability in the Former Soviet Union, eds Katya Migacheva and Bryan Frederick, Arlington, VA: RAND Corporation, 2018.

 

The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.

Newsletter

Sign up for upcoming events, latest news and articles from the CACI Analyst

Newsletter