Yesterday (18 May), representatives from Armenia and the EU were in Brussels for the fourth meeting of the Armenia-EU Partnership Council.
According to the diplomatic readouts, the meeting took place “in a particularly difficult international context”, which has created challenges for both the EU and Armenia in terms of security and economic stability. It was chaired by the Armenian foreign minister, Ararat Mirzoyan, and the EU delegation was led by the High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission, Mr Josep Borrell.
This is the first meeting of the Partnership Council since the Armenia-European Union Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) came into force back in March 2021. The CEPA “provides a framework for the EU and Armenia to work together in a wide range of areas”, including the rule of law, human rights, public safety, and a cleaner environment, and aims at bringing Armenian laws and regulations closer to EU standards while deepening cooperation between Armenia and the bloc.
During the meeting, the implementation of CEPA was reviewed, with the EU reportedly positively appreciating the changes already undertaken and encouraging the government to pursue its reform agenda. A number of issues relating to bilateral cooperation were touched upon, including in the fields of transport, bilateral trade, nuclear safety and visa liberation dialogue. Both sides reiterated their commitments to working together to further strengthen cooperation.
Commenting on the importance of the meeting, Mirzoyan highlighted that the Council Partnership was a unique platform to advance Armenia-EU relations which represented “a huge step towards a better understanding, a higher level of partnership and also a higher level of peace and prosperity for our citizens”.
Mirzoyan also touched upon the peace process with Azerbaijan. On Armenia’s new six-point plan, he said that Armenia had “not received a positive reaction from Azerbaijan”, but noted that efforts were being made in order to enable negotiations to proceed, and stressed Armenia’s readiness and commitment to have peace and stability in the region. He also highlighted that the issue of status for Nagorno-Karabakh was crucial, and said he expected the EU to support negotiations in accordance with the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
It was announced last week that the first meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani committee on border demarcation and delineation would take place on Monday or Tuesday of this week, however no such meeting has yet been held. Mirzoyan clarified that “there are some technicalities” which need to be sorted out, but hoped that it would take place "in the upcoming days or weeks".