The 8th plenary session for negotiations over the Armenia-EU Associated Agreement was held in Brussels
January 26, 2012
The 8th plenary session for negotiations over the Armenia-EU Associated Agreement was held in Brussels on January 25-26. The Armenian delegation was led by RA Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, envoy Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, and leading the negotiations from the European side was Director for Eastern Europe of the EU Service for the Foreign Affairs of Europe, envoy Gunar Vigand.
The negotiations registered progress for the main goals and principles, as well as in the issues related to political dialogue, foreign and security policies and justice.
The sides expressed satisfaction and mentioned that they had held talks and had temporarily closed 22 chapters related to the economic, financial and field-related cooperation in the future agreement.
The sides expressed certainty that the next plenary session would make it possible to launch negotiations over the corresponding divisions of the Associated Agreement regarding the establishment of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Zone between Armenia and the European Union.
During the meeting, an agreement was reached on initiating negotiations over the facilitation entrance visas for citizens of Armenia visiting EU countries with the European Commission’s Internal Affairs Administration.
The next plenary session for the negotiations over the Associated Agreement will be held in Yerevan in late March.
€81.5 million available for ENPI partners under new Erasmus Mundus projects
The European Commission has issued a call for proposals worth more than €170 million for 2012 in the framework of the EU-funded programme Erasmus Mundus II. Of this, €81.5 million is available for ENPI countries, south and east, under Erasmus Mundus Partnerships, aiming at a minimum mobility of 3,150 individuals. The deadline for submission of applications is 30 April 2012.
This year’s Erasmus Mundus call benefits from increased funding in line with the European Commission’s recent Communication “A new response to a changing Neighbourhood“, which reconfirmed the importance that the EU attaches to its relations with its neighbouring countries, in particular in the higher education sector. This has resulted in increased budgets for the higher education programmes aimed at neighbouring countries, which support the modernisation of higher education systems (Tempus), and which finance teaching and learning mobility flows to Europe for students, teachers and university staff from these countries (Erasmus Mundus).
The Tempus programme also has an open call for proposals, launched in November, under which €66.6 million has been earmarked for the EU’s southern and eastern neighbourhood countries. The deadline for the Tempus call is 23 February 2012.
The Erasmus Mundus call (EACEA/42/2011) aims to support projects under the programme’s three actions:
Action 1: Erasmus Mundus Joint Programmes
Action 1A: Erasmus Mundus Master Courses (EMMC)
Action 1B: Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorates (EMJD)
Action 2: Erasmus Mundus Partnerships
Action 2 – STRAND 1: Partnerships with countries covered by the ENPI, DCI, EDF and IPA instruments (former External Cooperation Window)
Action 2 – STRAND 2: Partnerships with countries and territories covered by the Industrialised Countries Instrument (ICI)
Action 3: Promotion of European higher education
Projects to enhance the Attractiveness of European higher education
Action 1 — Erasmus Mundus Joint Programmes
This action that aims at fostering cooperation between higher education institutions and academic staff in Europe and third countries with a view to creating poles of excellence and providing highly trained human resources. This call has no direct budgetary impact in 2012, aiming at selecting, for Action 1A, around 15 new applications and up to 23 renewal applications, and, for Action 1B, around 10 new applications.
Action 2 — Erasmus Mundus Partnerships
This action aims at fostering structured cooperation between European and third-country higher education institutions through the promotion of mobility at all level of studies for students (undergraduate and masters), doctoral candidates, researchers, academic and administrative staff (not all regions and lots may include all types of mobility flow). The overall available amount for Strand 1 under this call for proposals is approximately €169,440 million, aiming at a minimum mobility flow of 6,185 individuals. The available budget for Strand 2 is €1.2 million aiming at a minimum mobility of 25 individuals.
For ENPI countries, €81.573 million has been allocated under this call, aiming at a minimum mobility of 3,150 individuals. This breaks down as follows:
Lot 1, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia – €17.712 million
Lot 2 Jordan, Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian territory, Syria – €17.712 million
Lot 3 Israel – €3 million
Lot 4 Russia – €7.5 million
Lot 5 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine – €35.649 million
Action 3 — Promotion of European Higher Education
This action aims at promoting European higher education through measures enhancing its attractiveness, profile, image, visibility and accessibility. Action 3 provides support to transnational initiatives, studies, projects, events and other activities related to the international dimension of all aspects of higher education. This Call for proposals aims at selecting around six projects, with one of the priorities for this year’s Call the selection of projects with a particular regional focus on Neighbourhood countries. The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects under the present Call for proposals is €1.5 million.
The deadline for submission of applications under all three Actions is 30 April 2012.
Higher education institutions from all ENPI countries are eligible to take part as full partners in Erasmus Mundus projects, though applications must be submitted by a European institution. A partner search tool (link below) is available to help applicants.
The Erasmus Mundus programme’s overall aim is to promote European higher education, to help improve and enhance the career prospects of students and to promote intercultural understanding through cooperation with third countries, in accordance with EU external policy objectives in order to contribute to the sustainable development of third countries in the field of higher education. (ENPI Info Centre)
Call for proposals – press release, relevant documents and guidelines
Erasmus Mundus Partnerships – Guidelines to the call for proposals