May 30, 2024
Meeting Of The Armenian National Platform Of The Eu’s Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum With Armenian Diplomatic Leaders

On May 20th, 2024, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia hosted a Delegation from the Armenian National Platform of the EU’s Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF). The meeting, initiated by Edgar Khachatryan, National Facilitator of the Armenian National Platform of the EAP CSF, and supported by Tigran Balayan, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the Kingdom of Belgium and head of Mission of Armenia to the European Union, aimed to update platform representatives on recent developments in Armenia-EU relations, discuss current challenges, and explore potential solutions.

Ambassador Balayan and Ambassador Samvel Mkrtchyan, head of the European Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, welcomed the platform’s civil society representatives. Ambassador Balayan provided insights into the strategic priorities for enhancing Armenia-EU cooperation.

During the meeting, participants expressed concerns about the limited involvement of civil society in the development of policies related to Armenia’s European integration and offered their expertise for future consultations. Key topics included the prospects for initiating a Visa-liberalization dialogue and addressing challenges such as the readmission agreement and border-management policies.

Discussions also focused on the professional capacities of state institutions to implement strategies under the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and their ability to meet the demands for higher-level cooperation with the EU. Environmental NGOs highlighted the need for a professional review of environmental provisions in CEPA and the importance of facilitating NGO consultations with the Armenian representative in the COP-29 Bureau.

Additionally, the CSOs critically discussed current Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, highlighting the EU’s role in enhancing Armenia’s resilience amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, Azerbaijani governmental aggressions, and wider global geopolitical turbulence. They also examined the feasibility of imposing sanctions on Azerbaijani war criminals from the 2020, 44-day war and the subsequent complete ethnic cleansing of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh. The attendees also highlighted the urgent need for targeted efforts to protect Armenian cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh and to secure the return of Prisoners of War.