New EU Initiatives Aimed at Efficiency of European Integration

Frequent recent reciprocal visits of high-profile officials of European institutions and active policy in this direction keep the European integration processes in the spotlight. Rather broad opportunities have been created for the civil sector in terms of deepening the multilateral EU cooperation through formation of the EaP Civil Society Forum.

The next regular session of the Steering Committee will take place in Brussels on 17-18th July.

EU set up a clear aim in 2011 through European Neighbourhood Policy: to involve non-governmental organisations from the partner countries into official dialogue and this format was conditionally named “partnership with societies”. EU is preparing to provide 11 million Euros to EaP region in the framework of the Civil Society Facility.

It is worth mentioning that apart from the abovementioned programme, the next EU initiative, European Endowment for Democracy is on the last stage of preparation.
It turns out that taking into account the existing transparency in EU-RA relations, EU is getting an opportunity to constantly monitor the efficiency of reforms taking place in Armenia.   EU initiatives turn into mechanisms of accountability.

The final results of the programmes accomplished by EaP countries through initiatives of European structures confirm that fact. Particularly, «European Integration Index» programme implemented by International Renaissance Foundation and Open Society Foundations was spread in May 2012. According to this programme, the progress of the 6 EaP countries was evaluated by a number of criteria which are interrelation, rapprochement and management.  Although according to the report Armenia is the 4th after Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine according to total evaluation, it comes as the second according to «rapprochement» index. This fact is often mentioned by EU officials. The President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy’s positive evaluation of Armenia’s European Integration during his recent visit to RA confirm the progress recorded in the sphere of European Integration of RA.

Meantime, RA  adopted a new clear political strategy to deepen relations with separate European countries.
Besides the frequent visits by high-profile officials from European countries to Armenia, it should be mentioned that ,for example, very recently the foreign Ministries of Armenia and the Netherlands held political consultation in Yerevan. The officials discussed the initiatives of international institutions including the opportunities for mutual programmes and cooperation within the Eastern Partnership initiative.

Christine Hovsepyan