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Ambassador Vassilis Maragos appointed as the new Head of EU Delegation to Armenia

September 4, 2023

Ambassador Vassilis Maragos was appointed as the new Head of Delegation of the European Union to Armenia. His mission officially began in September.
Following the start of his mandate in Armenia, EU Ambassador to Armenia Vassilis Maragos had courtesy meetings with Armenian counterparts to discuss the EU-Armenia partnership. During the current challenging times, the focus was on humanitarian and emergency assistance for the more than 100,000 Karabakh Armenians who have fled to Armenia, as well as EU support to Armenia’s democratic and economic reforms, working together towards full implementation of CEPA and the Economic and Investment Plan.

The ROOF 25 information/visitor center cafe opened in Gyumri supported by the EU4Business “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” ITTD project

September 8, 2023

The EU4Business “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” ITTD project aims to boost tourism in Armenia, with a particular focus on the Northern regions. The goal is to create improved tourism experiences, generate employment opportunities, foster sustainable businesses, and enhance the overall value of responsible tourism. The project is co-funded by the UE and BMZ and implemented by the GIZ.
With the support of this project, the ROOF 25 information/visitor center cafe was opened in Gyumri. It aims to present Gyumri’s rich cultural and architectural heritage to tourists through new technologies, as well as a series of information brochures.

The EU Ambassador to Armenia met with representatives of Agshhtevi Hovit local action group (LAG) representatives

September 12, 2023

Vassilis Maragos, the EU Ambassador to Armenia, met with representatives of Agshhtevi Hovit local action group (LAG) and the EU-funded LEAD4Lori and Tavush and LEAD4Shirak projects to discuss the prospects for ensuring the suitability of LAGs in Armenia as important actors for balanced regional development.

The EU LEADER methodology aimed at promoting inclusive and sustainable growth and improved livelihoods of rural population is piloted in Lori and Tavush regions by the United Nations Development Programme and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and in Shirak region by the Austrian Development Agency.

Eight LAGs are currently operational in Tavush, Lori, and Shirak, providing financing for local development initiatives in their territories based on jointly identified priorities.
The project helps the local population in marzes: men, youth, elderly, and citizen groups, including minorities, to play active roles in inclusive, resilient, and sustainable local development that aims at designing territorial development models with the involvement of citizens in setting development agendas, decision-making, and implementation.This happens through building trust and self-confidence, developing entrepreneurial attitudes, and encouraging a sense of group cohesion within communities and between regions.

The EU Ambassador to Armenia, visited the InnoIjevan centre

September 12, 2023

As part of his visit to Ijevan, the head of the EU delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Vasilis Maragos, visited the Innoijevan Center to learn about the works of the local business and learning hub established within the Mayor for Economic Growth regional facility.

The InnoIjevan centre was established through an EU-funded pilot project implemented by the Ijevan municipality, Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises, and Co-Wo. It aims to develop sustainable entrepreneurship in Ijevan in the domain of tourism, agriculture, and food processing by establishing an ecosystem that focuses on education and skills development among youth, SME incubation and acceleration, and private-public partnerships.

Ambassador Vassilis Maragos, attended the opening event of the “Support to law enforcement and security reforms in Armenia” project

September 19, 2023

The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Vassilis Maragos, attended the opening event of the “Support to law enforcement and security reforms in Armenia” project implemented by the Central Public Management Agency (CPMA) of Lithuania. The project’s main goal is to support Armenia in its law enforcement and security sector reforms in line with the priorities identified by CEPA.

A joint statement by the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

October 5, 2023

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, at the European Political Community summit, condemned Azerbaijan’s military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh. They emphasized respecting sovereignty, pledged 10.45 million euros in immediate aid for 100,000 Karabakh Armenians, and allocated an additional 15 million euros for Armenia’s socio-economic needs. The leaders committed to strengthening economic ties through the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and EU Economic Investment Plan, supporting regional projects and providing technical assistance.
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EU announced over €10 million to support education opportunities in Armenia

October 26, 2023

At the Global Gateway Forum, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer signed part of a financial package to improve education infrastructure in Armenia. As part of the Global Gateway conference in Brussels, the President of the Republic of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan was present at the signing of the statement on the finalization of the investment grant agreement. The package includes a grant of €10 million provided by the European Commission.

The financed project encompasses the construction of two extracurricular education and teacher training centres in the municipalities of Kapan and Goris in southern Armenia’s Syunik region. The centres will be operated by the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), a non-profit organisation devoted to advancing educational opportunities and building infrastructure for children and families in rural Armenia.

The centres will provide after-school educational opportunities and access to youth services for children aged six to 18. Through a special transport network, up to 6 000 students will be brought to learn subjects like mechanics, programming, entrepreneurship, languages, arts, music and athletics. They will also enjoy access to social workers and education counsellors, study trips and presentations by external experts and professionals.

The project supports the flagship initiative for Armenia “Investing in education, notably in the Syunik region” under the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership.
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Visit to Syunik

October 28, 2023

On October 28, EU Ambassador Vassilis Maragos and his team visited Syunik, Armenia’s southernmost region covered by a Team Europe Resilient Syunik Initiative, a flagship under the Economic and Investment Plan. He visited the Women’s Development Resource Center in Goris, where, together with EU’s partner CSO People in Need, he met a group of amazing women and elderly refugees, witnessing the impact of EU support. In Kapan, he met with Mayor Gevorg Parsyan, and together, they visited TUMO boxes, learning about the opportunities that TUMO provides to children in Syunik through EU support. 500 children have already benefited from TUMO training programmes, helping them to develop talents and skills.

EU Supports Launch of Armenian Patrol Police Service in Syunik

October 28, 2023

The launch of the Patrol Polic Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Armenia in Syunik was organised in the presense of the RA Prime Minister. The EU Ambаssador Vassilis Maragos and US Ambassador Kvien took part in the event. The EU is proud to support police reforms in Armenia, training 700 officers, providing 75 patrol cars, and reaching 8 marzes. Humanitarian Support, investment in education and the future of young people and the rule of law are top priorities for EU-Armenia cooperation and an excellent basis for further strengthening EU-Armenia relations.

EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, announced a significant boost in humanitarian aid to Armenia during his visit

November 1, 2023

EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, announced a significant boost in humanitarian aid to Armenia during his visit. The additional €1.7 million had an aim to strengthen the existing EU response to the mass influx of displaced people from Nagorno Karabakh. This funding, coupled with the previously announced €10.45 million, bringed the total humanitarian support to over €12 million in 2023. Lenarčič highlighted the importance of preparing for winter challenges faced by the displaced Karabakh Armenians, focusing on providing winterized shelter and warm clothing.

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Media Literacy Week 2023 in Armenia was launched

November 7, 2023

The EU-funded “Youth in Action: Youth Empowerment and Leadership Development in Armenia” project targets youth CSOs, youth initiatives, youth workers, including youth leaders and mentors, young politicians, young and digital influencers, video bloggers, podcasters, and decision-makers at local and national levels. Youth leaders will also enhance their media literacy, public speaking, communication, and networking skills to be able to deliver the right messages to society.
This year the Media Literacy Week 2023 in Armenia was launched with a contribution of this project. The EU has been at the forefront of addressing information manipulation. Media literacy is vital for preserving democratic values, and the EU is committed to supporting Armenia in resilience-building against information manipulation, cooperating with state and non-state actors, and funding projects to fight disinformation and build critical thinking, media literacy, and responsible digital citizenship skills, particularly among the Armenian youth.

The EU-funded Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility project organised a Communication Labs kick-off event in Yerevan

November 9-10, 2023

The EU-funded Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility project aims to strengthen the role and increase the capacity of CSOs and activists in the Eastern Partnership to engage in the policy-making processes and policy dialogue, promote reforms and public accountability, foster local democracy, local development, and engage citizens in public debate.
The project organised a Communication Labs kick-off event in Yerevan as part of their dedicated capacity-building programme for civil society organisations. The event aimed to help work jointly on creating communication campaigns through peer discussions and interchange. Twelve civil society organisations from Armenia were selected to participate in the Communication Labs with their campaign ideas. As a final stage of the capacity-building programme, the selected campaign ideas from Armenia obtained EU funding for implementation and launch.

InFact-2023 fact-checking award ceremony within the framework of the “European Media Facility Armenia – Building Sustainable and Professional Media” project

November 13, 2023

Six journalists got prizes during the InFact-2023 fact-checking award ceremony on November 10. The event was organised within the framework of the “European Media Facility Armenia – Building Sustainable and Professional Media” project. It is funded by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and within the “Combatting Disinformation and Enhancing Quality Journalism in Armenia” project funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Armenia and the Embassy of Switzerland in Armenia via Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The overall aim of the project is to contribute to a vibrant Armenian media sector that is able to fulfil its role as a watchdog for Armenian society. In particular, the project aims to support independent Armenian media to become more professional and financially sustainable.

The ceremony for fact-checking journalistic publications is carried out by Hetq and the InFact Facebook group, involving specialists from various Armenian media outlets. The platform enhances fact-checking culture through exchanging experiences, training in fact-checking tools, and thematic discussions.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan’s visits to Brussels

November 15, 2023

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan conducted official visits to Brussels over the past three months. During his time in Brussels, he engaged in meetings with prominent figures, including Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament; Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission for Promoting Our European Way of Life; Simon Mordue, Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the European Council and Oliver Varhelyi, the EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement.  

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The EU Delegation to Armenia organised a training on the use of this modality for the Government officials

November 21, 2023

The EU Delegation to Armenia organised a training on the use of this modality for the Government officials. In total, over 70 employees of Government institutions such as the Ministry of Finance, Justice, Economy and Environment, to name a few, attended the training delivered by the European Union officials based in Brussels.
Budget support is an essential development aid modality utilised by the European Union. Since 2016, the modality has accounted for EUR 195.8 million in Armenia, implementing important reforms such as human rights, COVID-19 resilience, education and justice reforms as well as the upcoming EUR 15 million budget support programme aiming to support the integration of displaced persons from Nagorno Karabakh.

The presentation of the Draft Climate Law of Armenia funded under the EU regional programme EU4CLIMATE

November 22, 2023

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.