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Panel Discussion on “Building Resilient Future: The Role of Youth in Addressing Contemporary Challenges Across Armenia and Europe”

December 4, 2023

EU Ambassador Vassilis Maragos participated in a Panel Discussion organised by the European Youth Parliament on “Building Resilient Future: The Role of Youth in Addressing Contemporary Challenges Across Armenia and Europe”. Together with Mr Artur Martirosyan, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, as well as Freedom House Representative Andranik Shirinyan, and UNDP expert Hovhannes Yeritsyan, he engaged in vivid and active discussion with young people from Armenia and the EU on youth issues and on better understanding Europe. The Ambassador laid out EU’s commitment to engage and support youth action and encouraged young people’s involvement in political, civil, and economic life, promoting democracy, inclusivity, and the green and digital transition.

Mid-Journey Artbox Celebration

December 4, 2023

On the 4th of December, a Mid-Journey Artbox Celebration was organised in the framework of the “KATAPULT” Creative Accelerator Program”, implemented by the Armenian General Benevolent Union Armenia (AGBU) in partnership with Creative Armenia (CA). The artists and creators from all four Artbox programmes – incubator, accelerator, hub and entrepreneur – presented their projects.
Designed and developed by Creative Armenia, Artbox is funded by the European Union in Armenia and launched in partnership with AGBU Armenia within the framework of the KATAPULT Creative Accelerator Programme․ Artbox is a creative incubator and accelerator programme that advances the boundaries of the Armenian creative economy by providing practical, strategic, and long-term support to artists and creators across art fields through its signature and deliverable-driven methodology. It is particularly aimed at cultivating business mindset and skills among creators and guiding them to create projects and products that can be commercially viable and investable. 

The third meeting of EU-Armenia Justice dialogue

December 7, 2023

Third meeting of EU-Armenia Justice dialogue took place on December 7 with participation of the Ministry of Justice, judiciary including Supreme Judicial Council, the EU including Member States, civil society and business representatives, marking an important milestone in promoting judicial reforms in Armenia in line with CEPA priorities. Following progress in implementation of sector strategies, disbursement of €3.6 million in the framework of EU Justice sector budget support programme was announced at the event.

Presentation and discussion of 10 advisory opinions developed by the EU-Armenia Civil Society Platform

December 11, 2023

On December 11, EU Ambassador Vassilis Maragos participated in the presentation and discussion of 10 advisory opinions developed by the EU-Armenia Civil Society Platform in the framework of the EU-funded project “Civil society monitoring of CEPA implementation in Armenia”. The European Union-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) requires commitment from all stakeholders for its implementation, especially from civil society organisations (CSO). A proactive involvement of civil society in policymaking and governance reforms is crucial to delivering the political transformation in Armenia and deepening the EU-Armenia cooperation.

EU Allocated €11.45 Million Humanitarian Aid for Nagorno-Karabakh Refugees

December 14, 2023

The European Commission allocated 11.45 million of Humanitarian Assistance to refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh and to host communities. Grant Agreements were signed with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, World Food Programme, People in Need, Action Against Hunger USA, International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Austrian Red Cross (Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz) for winterization, food and livelihood assistance, health services access including mental health and psychosocial support, housing support, and protection assistance.  

“EU4ENERGY Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Armenian Communities” project launched

December 15, 2023

The project “EU4ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY IN ARMENIAN COMMUNITIES” was launched with a budget of 2.8 million co-financed by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The project will promote small-scale Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy solutions for low-income rural or urban households and settlements and will pilot innovative and potentially scalable energy efficiency solutions.

EU Announced €5 Million Grant for Education in Armenia

December 15, 2023

On December 15, in a meeting with Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Zhanna Andreasyan and the Minister of Finance Vahe Hovhannisyan, the EU Ambassador Vassilis Maragos announced the payment of 5 million grant within the 30 million “EU support to education in Armenia” Budget Support programme. European Union and Armenia are strategic partners in the area of education reforms. The Budget Support programme focuses on improving secondary education in rural areas with pilots in the Syunik region.

“ONE YEAR WITH YOU” event in Oshakan

December 19, 2023

Mr. Frank Hess, Acting Chargé d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to Armenia, attended the “ONE YEAR WITH YOU” event in Oshakan on December 19, marking a significant milestone in EU-Armenia cooperation in the youth sector. The occasion celebrated the first anniversary of EuroClub Oshakan, established by Young European Ambassadors and supported by EU funding. EuroClub Oshakan has organized around 100 activities, engaging over 1200 young people from Oshakan and nearby communities. These activities, including awareness-raising efforts led by Young European Ambassadors, aim to enhance EU involvement in the Oshakan community. In line with the 2023 European Year of Skills, EuroClub Oshakan has initiated various clubs such as BEE ACTive (Active Citizenship Club), AngloBridge language club, Photography, and Environmental Clubs, providing opportunities for lifelong learning. The event was attended by representatives from EU member state embassies, local authorities, youth organizations, NGOs, and Young European Ambassadors.

EU and Armenia Reviewed CEPA Implementation on Sixth Anniversary

January 16, 2024

The Delegation of the European Union and representatives from the Government of the Republic of Armenia convened for a gathering marking the sixth anniversary since the signing of the Comprehensive Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The purpose of the meeting was to evaluate the status of CEPA implementation and enhance its efficiency. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to enhance the implementation of CEPA for more efficient cooperation, reflecting their shared dedication to further strengthening the EU-Armenia partnership. CEPA provides a framework for Armenia and the European Union to work together for the benefit of the citizens of Armenia.

EU and Armenia Forge Human Rights Partnership in 13th Dialogue

January 18, 2024

On January 18, the European Union and Armenia convened their 13th Human Rights Dialogue in Yerevan. Both parties pledged to reinforce their collaboration, promote human rights, provide tangible advantages to Armenian citizens, and foster a more inclusive society. This year’s discussions encompassed various topics, including equality, freedom of assembly, expression, and information, electoral and constitutional reforms, as well as the enhancement of labor rights. The EU delegation was led by Ms. Dorota Dlouchy-Suliga, Head of Division in the European External Action Service, and the Armenian delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Paruyr Hovhannisyan.

KPI4HE Project to Enhance Higher Education in Armenia launched

January 30, 2024

The KPI4HE project commenced on January 30, with the objective of enhancing governance in the higher education system, strategic planning at universities, and overall management practices, thereby contributing to the quality, inclusivity, digitalization, and sustainability of higher education in Armenia. The European Union places significant emphasis on the Armenian education sector, with substantial Budget Support allocated primarily to secondary education, piloting initiatives in the Syunik region. The development and implementation of a National framework for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in higher education, along with the establishment of Institutional Research and Planning Services (IRPS) and a review of State Institutional Accreditation Standards, are envisaged to pave the way for further advancements in Armenia’s higher education landscape.

Conclusion of EU-funded Together for Social Communities Project

February 1, 2024

The closing conference for the EU-funded Together for Social Communities project occurred on January 31, 2024. This event brought together representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, local authorities, members of local inter-sectorial networks from nine communities across Syunik, Armavir, Shirak, and Tavush, as well as project beneficiaries and implementing partners. The purpose was to review accomplishments and insights gained from implementing local social services based on local social plans. Additionally, participants engaged in discussions concerning ongoing policy reforms related to social service delivery and decentralization. The project, initiated in February 2021, was carried out by Hilfswerk International in collaboration with the Association of Armenian Social Workers, Partnership and Teaching NGO, and Family and Community NGO. Funding was provided by the European Union and the Austrian Development Cooperation.

“Capital Cities Collaborating on Common Challenges in Hazardous Waste Management – Yerevan, Warsaw, Tirana” launched

February 2, 2024

‘Thanks to the EU-funded project ‘Capital Cities Collaborating on Common Challenges in Hazardous Waste Management – Yerevan, Warsaw, Tirana’ the Yerevan Municipality has been progressing on its environmental initiatives, making Yerevan cleaner, greener and healthier for its citizens.

On 2nd February the Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Armenia Mr Frank Hess attended the launch ceremony marking the expansion of Yerevan Municipality Waste Sorting and Recycling Programme following the EU-funded investment in waste trucks and containers. The European Union is promoting the implementation of the Green Deal – the EU’s commitment to future generations. In this context, the EU promotes the share of know-how and the best practices from its experience in the protection of environment and sustainability, as demonstrated by this project.’

EU-Armenia Partnership Council Meeting: Strengthening Relations and Humanitarian Aid

13 February, 2024

The EU-Armenia Partnership Council met for the fifth time in Brussels on 13 February 2024. It was chaired by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr Josep Borrell, while the Armenian delegation was led by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Mr Ararat Mirzoyan. Mr Gert Jan Koopman, Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General European Neighbourhood and Enlargement also attended.

The meeting confirmed the mutual interest and commitment of the EU and Armenia to strengthen and deepen their relations based on common values. To this end, they agreed to launch work on a new EU-Armenia Partnership Agenda, establishing more ambitious joint priorities for cooperation across all dimensions.

The EU and Armenia reviewed the implementation of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, and welcomed the progress achieved as outlined in the recently published Partnership Implementation Report. The Partnership Council then discussed political dialogue and reform, democracy, rule of law and human rights, economic, trade and sectoral cooperation, as well as migration, mobility and the prospects of launching a visa liberalisation dialogue.

Lastly, participants exchanged views on regional matters and foreign and security policy. At this occasion, the EU also announced an additional €5.5 million in humanitarian aid to support the displaced Karabakh Armenians. The parties stressed the absolute necessity of establishing durable peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility project, funded by the EU was concluded

February 16, 2024

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility project, funded by the EU, marked the successful completion of its Communication Labs initiative. Armenian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have devised ten effective campaigns tackling pressing concerns, including combating misinformation, advocating for integrity, and empowering marginalized groups. Three CSOs were recognized for their efforts and were each granted EU funding to launch their respective campaigns. 

EU Ambassador greeted the newly selected Young European Ambassadors in Armenia

February 22, 2024

Vassilis Maragos, EU Ambassador to Armenia, attended the presentation of the Draft Climate Law of Armenia funded under the EU regional programme EU4CLIMATE and implemented by UNDP. The ‘EU4Climate’ initiative supports the development and implementation of climate policies by the Eastern Partnership countries, contributing to low emission and climate resilient development, as well as to their commitments to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“It is time for action, we are together in the fight against climate change, we are together already facing the consequences of climate change in the planet like draughts, floods and other extreme weather events,” he said. EU4Climate supports countries in implementing the Paris Agreement and improving climate policies and legislation with an ambition of limiting climate change impact on citizens’ lives and making them more resilient to it.

A delegation of the European External Action Service and the European Commission visited Armenia

November 29, 2023

A delegation from the European External Action Service and the European Commission visited Armenia to enhance EU-Armenia relations under the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement. Discussions focused on strengthening cooperation in energy, transport, digital, research, and innovation. Both sides expressed interest in continuing justice and police reform collaboration, exploring visa liberalization, and enhancing cooperation on migration. The EU also pledged support for the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The visit inaugurated the EU-Armenia Investment Coordination Platform, facilitating EU investments in Armenia. Notably, two projects were signed to improve energy efficiency in kindergartens and support Armenian SMEs. The EU reaffirmed its commitment to reinforcing the EU Mission in Armenia and engaged with government officials, civil society, and UN agencies during the visit.

The launch of another energy efficient kindergarden in Yerevan renovated by EU

November 30, 2023

Thanks to EU support, 6 kindergartens have already been renovated, 9 kindergartens will undergo major renovations, 35 kindergartens will benefit from EE and renewable energy measures. 

As the largest contributor to the Eastern European Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) Fund, the European Union is pleased to contribute to creating a safer, more inclusive and healthier environment for children, meanwhile helping Armenia use less energy and financial resources.

Kindergarten No. 109 was also renovated by the EU and was put into operation in Yerevan. Well-maintained, safe and energy-efficient conditions were provided for around 170 children.

Through its investments, the E5P aims to address multiple Sustainable Development Goals, from sustainable cities to clean water and sanitation to climate action and others. The E5P projects are expected to result in CO2 savings equivalent to almost 1 million tonnes as well as multiple other benefits in terms of urban air pollution reduction, waste and waste water reduction.