EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström welcomes signing of the EU-Armenia Readmission Agreement
On 19 April 2013 the European Union and Armenia signed an agreement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation. A visa facilitation agreement with Armenia, opening the way for easier travel and people-to-people contact across Europe, was already signed on 17 December 2012.
“The signature of a readmission agreement is a concrete step forward in EU-Armenia relations,” said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs. “The visa facilitation and readmission agreements are very tangible results of the Eastern Partnership and will promote interaction between citizens of the EU and Armenia and strengthen our cooperation in the fight against irregular immigration. I am very pleased that both agreements have now been signed – this means that Armenians will be able to travel more easily while facilitating the effective management of irregular migration”.
In September 2011, the Commission proposed to open negotiations on agreements to facilitate the procedures for issuing short-stay visas as well as on the readmission of irregular migrants between the European Union and Armenia.
- The visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Armenia was signed on 17 December 2012. It makes it easier and cheaper for citizens of Armenia, in particular those who travel most, to acquire short-stay visas allowing them to travel throughout the EU.
- The readmission agreement sets out clear obligations and procedures for the authorities of both Armenia and the respective EU Member State as to when and how to take back people who are irregularly residing on their territories. A special accelerated procedure will apply to persons apprehended in common border regions who can be returned more quickly.
- The European Parliament now needs to give its consent before both Agreements can be concluded.
So far, the EU has signed visa facilitation and readmission agreements with ten countries including Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia. Negotiations are ongoing with Azerbaijan, and negotiating mandates are in place for Belarus. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic has launched a Call for Proposals for small projects in the Eastern Partnership region in 2013 targeting the priorities of the Civil Society Forum.
The projects should concentrate on the priorities of the Working Group 1 on “Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability” and Working Group 4 on “Contacts Between People”. A preference will be given to applying organisations from the Eastern Partnership countries.
The Ministry is also looking for projects with an “Eastern Partnership appeal” addressing issues common to several Eastern Partnership countries in order to overcome single-country optics. Please not that projects focused only on one particular country will therefore not be considered eligible.
The requested funding for the project should not exceed €20.000 and implementation should start on 1 June 2013 and end by 15 October 2013.
Projects proposals should be submitted in English by 10 May 2013.
More information and the necessary form for submitting a project proposal are available here.
The second Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress (EEIC) will be organised in Lublin, Poland on 1-3 October 2013. The Congress will be a fusion of last years EEIC and the Eastern Partnership Culture Congress organised in 2011. Therefore the conference will centre on dialogue of culture and education circles, local and central governments, creators and decision makers and a special programme “Culture for the Eastern Partnership” will be organised within the framework of the conference.
More information on the conference is available here.
Registration of participants for the conference is possible until 15 September 2013 here. For those participants needing a visa, registration is open until 15 August 2013)
During the 2013 EEIC a contest for the best projects of cross-border cooperation will be concluded. Deadline for submission of a project is 14 June 2013 and submissions should be made here.
A leaflet with all the information on the conference is available in English and Russian.