EU-Armenia Parliamentary Meeting concludes positively

Parliamentarians from the European Parliament and the Armenian National Assembly held a very constructive consultation in Yerevan on 7-8 April 2009 and adopted a common resolution on current issues of EU-Armenia relations. The meeting once more proved the strong interest of both sides to keep and intensify good relations, without neglecting the issues that are of concern. For co-chair Marie Anne Isler Béguin, it was the last Armenia-visit as head of the European Parliament’s South Caucasus Delegation and a conclusion of her dedicated work for deep co-operation with Armenia.

Below we provide

  • The meeting’s summary by the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia
  • An article by RL/RFE about the MEP visit to jailed members of the Armenian opposition (this was arguably the most delicate agenda point of this PCC trip)
  • The adopted common Resolution final Statements and Recommendations

 

10th Meeting of Armenia-European Union Parliamentary Cooperation Committee Summed Up

14 April 2009, Source: http://www.parliament.am/news.php?do=view&ID=3268&cat_id=2&day=08&month=04&year=2009&lang=eng

 

On April 8 the works of the 10th meeting of Armenia-European Union Parliamentary Cooperation Committee continued. The meeting presided over Co-Chair of Armenia-European Union Parliamentary Cooperation Committee Mrs. Marie Anne Isler Béguin.

 

A number of issues were included in the agenda of the committee, which the Armenian and European parliamentarians touched upon and expressed their views. MP Mr. Armen Ashotyan presented the problems of Armenia-European cooperation in the spheres of health care, education and culture, the reforms being implemented and the programmes. Mr Ashotyan said that as a result of the influence of global financial-economic crisis some budgetary programmes have been moved to the end of the year but have not been reduced. He highlighted the enlivening of cooperation in the humanitarian sphere with EU countries and the availability of distinct programmes.

 

MP Mr. Karen Chshmarityan gave a speech on the macro-economic development in Armenia, influence of the global financial-economic crisis on the economy, reduction of its consequences and ways of prevention. According to Mr. Chshmarityan, though the crisis, nevertheless, had an impact on the economy of Armenia, in particular, on the rates of growth of construction and industry. Touching upon the economic policy being pursued Mr. Chshmarityan noted Armenia had chosen and continued to pursue free economic policy, which had favourable impact on overcoming the crisis. As a second stabilizing circumstance he noted that the country had pass to the floating money currency. He considered an obstacle of development of trade-economic relations between Armenia and EU countries not understandable order of providing entry visas to Europe and its simplification by the EU assistance.

 

Mr. Raul de Luzenberger, Head of delegation of European Commission in Armenia made clarifications on this problem. He noticed that united discussions were going on the problem of providing visas in EU countries, a number of problems exist, and Armenia should take certain steps in the settlement of the problem. MP Mr. Gagik Melikyan presented the tendencies of the poverty reduction and the development of labour market in Armenia and the envisaged steps, i.e. the road construction to be implemented by the financial assistance of the international organizations, the planned house construction in the disaster area, the repairing of the drinking and irrigation water, the construction of Iran-Armenia railway and new nuclear energy block.

Mrs. Marie Anne Isler Béguin, Co-Chair of the Committee considered concerning the information about the construction of the new nuclear energy block, proposing to think once again about its expediency, taking into account the seismic danger of the region. MP Mr. Hovhannes Margaryan spoke about the programmes being implemented on the environment protection in Armenia, in particular, the rise of the level of Lake Sevan, mine clearing of border areas and making them cultivate, issues of security of poisonous chemicals. MP Mr. Armen Rustamyan presented the positions of Armenia on regional issues. He touched upon the settlement problem of Nagorno Karabakh conflict, armed conflict between Georgia and Russia, which had a negative impact on Armenia and regional cooperation.

 

At the end of the meeting Armenia-European Union Parliamentary Cooperation Committee adopted a text of announcements and recommendations, which consisted of 41 items and contains issues regarding Armenia-EU relations, inner situation of Armenia, human rights, rule of law, economic policy, regional problems and Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Armenia-European Union Parliamentary Cooperation Committee completed the work of the 10th meeting. Co-Chairs Mrs. Marie Anne Isler Béguin and Mr. Avet Adonts thanked for effective joint work and expressed hope that Armenia-EU would continue to develop and find new ways of cooperation.

 

A delegation of the European Parliament has visited a maximum-security prison in Yerevan to meet with several Armenian opposition leaders arrested following last year’s disputed presidential election, it emerged on Tuesday.

 

7 April 2009, Source: Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, http://www.armenialiberty.org/content/article/1604105.html.

The European Union lawmakers arrived in Yerevan earlier this week to attend a regular session of an EU-Armenian commission on inter-parliamentary cooperation. The political situation in Armenia and its government’s human rights record were among the issues on the meeting’s agenda.
The head of the delegation, Marie Anne Isler Beguin, refused to name the jailed oppositionists that she and the other members of the European Parliament visited on Monday. “It’s a secret,” she said. Other sources told RFE/RL that the visiting lawmakers met with Former Foreign Minister Aleksandr Arzumanian, former Deputy Prosecutor-General Gagik Jahangirian and two opposition parliamentarians.

“The reason for our visit is that these cases are known in the European Union and we wanted to have a discussion with them and to have our own opinion and … to know much more about these cases,” said Beguin. Beguin said she and her colleagues also wanted to clarify whether the Council of Europe is right to demand the release of many of more than 50 loyalists of opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian remaining in prison. “It’s the Council of Europe, not the European Parliament, that is really involved in that question,” she stressed.

In three resolutions on Armenia adopted over the past year, the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has said that many of these oppositionists were prosecuted on “seemingly artificial or politically motivated charges.” The EU has been far more cautious on the matter.

 

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