PACE Resolutions should Not Lead to Negative Sentiments Towrads Europe

On the agenda PACE Winter Session two anti-Armenian draft resolutions are included, which have become a subject for a series of discussions. Let us refer to some of the important provisions that will allow to fully review the process and to refrain from any labeling and “cliché”.

In case of being adopted, will these resolutions express Europe’s approach towards these resolutions? Do the PACE parliamentarians, voting for or against the drafts, perceive the problem objectively? What role does this issue have in the context of EU-Armenia relations?

PACE is the parliamentary format of the Council of Europe, which purpose is to serve as a platform for cooperation and dialogue between the legislative bodies of the member states. Let us recall that the settlement of conflicts in general is not part of the mission of the Council of Europe, including PACE. The organization has three priorities: democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Therefore, the reference to the Karabakh conflict, especially to its political components and the settlement process, is in no way objective and justified unless the issues of confidence building measures, the problem of conflict-affected people, including of the violation of the rights of NKR citizens are put on its basis.

PACE also does not represent the official position of its member states. The EC decision-making body is the Committee of Ministers, where the Foreign Ministers of the CoE member states are represented, while it is deputies that are included in the Parliamentary Assembly, who have different views and different interests, thus vote according to their own approaches.

In addition, the CoE does not represent the position of the European Union. The Council of Europe includes 47 countries that are members of the EU and non-members, who are united around the above-mentioned democratic principles and based on it around the prospects for the development of their own countries.

The EU’s approach towards the settlement of Karabakh conflict is expressed by other EU institutions, including, for example, by the European Parliament. Last week, in the final document of the EU-Armenia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee this approach was once more fixed, and it was noted that the Commission “supports the creation of a mechanism to investigate ceasefire violations, as repeatedly called for by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs; that the Minsk Group Co-Chairs noted on 26 September that Armenia has agreed to discuss the details of this mechanism, urging Azerbaijan to do the same; expects from the EU to play a more active role in supporting further confidence building measures to spread the ideas of peace, reconciliation and trust.”

Consequently, the EU does not try to intervene in the settlement of the conflict, which cannot be said about PACE draft resolutions, which are political in nature, calling on both sides, especially the Armenian – to take certain actions.

Despite all this and the dissatisfaction from the PACE draft resolutions, it should be noted that the Council of Europe is an important organization for Armenia that played a major role in the democratization of Armenia, in the process of development of human rights, and Armenia is a full and integral part of the Council of Europe. The voting of deputies (they do not possess full information) in many cases done for this or that reason, cannot lead us to the negative sentiment towards the PACE and the Council of Europe.

Armenia should continue to cooperate closely with the European Union and all the European institutions, including with the Council of Europe and PACE, deepening and developing bilateral and multilateral relations with the delegates of other member countries as well as strengthening its own positions within the organization.

Anna Karapetyan

Expert, “Insight” Analytical Center