On February 21, 2018, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian, signed the EU-Armenia Partnership Priorities in Brussels. The document aims to facilitate the implementation of the cooperation between the partners under the framework of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), adopted in February 2017.

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and its Armenian National Platform have been consulted on the establishment of this Partnership Priorities. As mentioned in the document, civil society is an important actor in the context of the Eastern Partnership and both the EU and Armenia will further facilitate its involvement in the priorities. In fact, the agreement sets up an independent Civil Society Platform composed of Armenian and EU organisations that will be created on the basis of the EaP CSF Armenian National Platform and will monitor the implementation of the agreement and make recommendations to the Armenian authorities and to the EU.

Civil society is explicitly mentioned along the document as a cross-cutting issue for the four established priorities. More concretely, the first priority “Strengthening institutions and good governance”, aims to develop a favourable environment for civil society, including social partner’s organisations, and its participation in decision making processes. As well, the “Economic development and market opportunities” priority puts a strong emphasis on monitoring the implementation of the strategies through consultation with relevant civil society organisations.

EU-Armenia Partnership Priorities

  1. Strengthening institutions and good governance
  2. Economic development and market opportunities
  3. Connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate action
  4. Mobility and people-to-people contacts

The Partnership Priorities will be key in guiding EU financial assistance to Armenia until 2020. For that period, the EU has earmarked around €160 million for Armenia to invest, among other areas, in education and innovation, which are key for Armenia’s economic development.