Nagorno-Karabakh joins European Union political structures
On 17 April, during its annual General Assembly taking place in Bautzen, Germany, the European Free Alliance party (EFA), a pan-European political family, voted in favour of integrating the Democratic Party of Artsakh (DPA) into its ranks.
“The EFA associated membership granted today is important not only because it contributes to a further international exposure of Karabakh. It also shows that Nagorno-Karabakh’s political development is in line with EU standards and that its democratic progress is comparable with what we have in the EU” explains Mr Lorenzo Ochoa, Director of European Friends of Armenia.
The DPA initiated its contacts with EFA over a year ago, which intensified with the time. As a result, the DPA President, Mr Ashot Ghulyan was invited to the previous EFA General Assembly and has led the integration process that included 2 EFA study trips to Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as his recent visit to Brussels in October 2014. The associated membership was granted today to the DPA after President Ghulyan’s hearing in front of the General Assembly. This membership represents the first EU structure ever accessed by any Karabakhi political institution or body.
According to European Union treaties, pan-European parties are key pillars in forming European awareness, expressing political will and cohesion in Europe. The European Free Alliance is a European political organisation gathering European parties striving for sovereignty or self-government for their respective regions or countries. The Alliance supports the right of self-determination and advocates the right of people to decide their own future. It has around 40 national and regional member parties from over 17 countries of the EU. It has 12 representatives sitting in the European Parliament.
“European Friends of Armenia has played a central role in building what is now a strong relationship between the DPA and EFA, getting in contact with EFA’s Bureau and its staff, raising awareness among EFA MEPs about the complex situation in Nagorno-Karabakh which gave way to different visits to the country. EuFoA’s follow-up activity not only brought about successful initiatives concerning Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia in different European parliaments and institutions within the framework of several EFA member nations, but has been decisive as well to accomplishing DPA’s membership in EFA”, comments EFA’s delegate, Miguel Martinez Tomey, who was originally the rapporteur on the DPA accession.
It is important to underline that the associated status in EFA, just like in most EU political families, is designed to integrate the political parties from non-EU member states.
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