RA Political Parties’ Position on European Integration
European integration is one the priorities of foreign policy of the Republic of Armenia (RA). The importance of European integration is valued by any political force active in the country. RA chose the road to European integration from the very first days of independence by becoming OSCE member on January 30th, 1992.
As on May 6th Parliamentary elections are to be held in Armenia, we will try to draw parallels comparing the positions of leading parties from their programmes on one of the most important directions of RA foreign policy.
We will only mention the parties that, according to sociological survey, will most probably overcome the necessary threshold and will be represented in the National Assembly.
The list of the parties:
Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP)
Armenian National Congress (ANC)
Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)
Armenian Republican Party (ARP)
Rule of Law Party
Prosperous Armenia Party attaches importance to the deepening of relations with EU and finds that in this context it is necessary:
- to undertake all the necessary steps to bring the RA legislation into conformity with EU standards, as well as to integrate into European structures;
- to contribute to development of mutually beneficial relations with EU countries in all the spheres, enhance and deepen the cooperation with NATO, the main structure that guarantees European security.
The section on Eurointegration of the Heritage Party’s program says:
“European integration for Armenia is not a final goal in itself. It is a means for achieving more prosperity, welfare and security. By integration Heritage Party understands mutually beneficial collaboration, acquisition of a high level of mutual understanding and assistance.
The Heritage Party considers the European way as a priority from among the other trends of RA foreign policy. Throughout the centuries Armenia has been one of the carriers of European civilisation despite the geographical borders drawn for Europe. Heritage party is assured that the Big Europe open for expressions of other cultures is the very macro-civilization that has the potential to enrich Armenia with its culture and at the same time to benefit from the Armenian culture. European macro-civilisation is where the diversity is respected, where everyone is under the same laws of democracy despite the diversity of identities. Consequently, Armenia should outline the goal of conforming with democratic international standards quickly and fully, and becoming a full member of international democratic society, implementing all the necessary steps in that direction. Valuing the importance of time in the modern world as well as during the history, we are against groundless procrastination. Any decision or step leading to full democracy cannot be considered anachronistic “.
Armenian National Congress does not have a published joint program. That is why we will look into the programs of the parties included in ANC to have an insight into the main positions on foreign policy. The parties are selected according to the number of members. We have outlined Armenian National Movement (7,500 members), Armenian Democratic Party (30,000 members) and “Armenian Motherland” party (13,200 members).
ANM outlines integration into international, particularly European structures as the foreign policy priorities.
“Armenian Motherland” party mentions that we should integrate, but preserve the national identity.
Armenian Democratic Party also considers European integration as a priority direction in the foreign policy.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) mentions that the goal of the party is Armenia’s EU membership.
Armenian Republican Party (ARP) finds it necessary to contribute to the state’s multilateral development through mutually beneficial collaboration with EU member countries and through the policy aimed at full integration.
Rule of Law Party attaches importance to active involvement into European structures with the final aim of EU membership. The party considers European integration as the main direction of RA foreign policy.
Generally, it can be concluded that all the parties attach great importance to European integration and consider it as the main priority of RA foreign policy. The main difference is that some consider the EU membership as the main goal, and the others consider integration into the structures generally and the deepening of relations.