OF THE EaP CSF ARMENIAN NATIONAL PLATFORM
On recent assaults on opposition politicians and public figures
December 19, 2014
EaP Civil Society Forum Armenian National Platform expresses its deep concern with the recent assaults on opposition politicians and public figures. Attacks were carried out against veterans Razmik Petrosyan, Manvel Eghiazaryan, Suren Sargsyan, secretary of the RA National Assembly Armenian National Congress party (ANC) faction Aram Manukyan, and ANC regional head Ashot Philiposyan causing them injuries. These incidents were preceded by car arson cases; vehicles of the members of “Pre-parliament” social-political union were burnt by perpetrators.
Chronology of the incidents, the way they were carried out, inadequate reaction of law enforcement bodies to these attacks along with the statements of deputy chief of police Lyova Yeranosyan and ruling party MPs Arakel Movsisyan and Seyran Saroyan allow to assert that the attacks were organized, or at least sponsored by pro-government circles with the final objective to create an atmosphere of fear among the general public.
Armenian National Platform of the EaP Civil Society Forum strictly condemns the attacks against the opposition and demands full disclosure of crimes, with the expectation that not only the perpetrators, but also their sponsors will be brought to justice.
EaP CSF Armenian National Platform
December 19, 2014
On 18 December the EU Delegation to Armenia held an official ceremony for the signature of fifteen EU cooperation projects in Yerevan. New actions with a total budget of approximately € 10 million will support civil society and local authorities, as well as government reforms in Armenia.
The fifteen contracts are in various fields of bilateral and regional cooperation – from agriculture and rural development through human rights and democracy to poverty reduction and sustainable urban development.
The ceremony was welcomed by H.E. Ambassador Traian Hristea, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia. “The EU remains committed to further engage with Armenia, and to strengthen bilateral cooperation in areas of mutual interest based on shared values. It is my pleasure to welcome the start of important initiatives that will benefit from EU funding,” he noted.
The majority of projects focus on supporting the respect for human rights and are implemented by international and local civil society. Over the next two-three years, they will promote civil society dialogue, strengthen freedom of expression, rule of law, advance gender equality and combat gender-based sex selective abortions in Armenia. They will also promote the integration of Syrian refuggees in the country and assist children without parents.
Other EU-funded initiatives will provide technical assistance for reforms in agriculture and rural development in Armenia, strengthening new and existing producer groups and supporting institution building of the Ministry of Agriculture. They will accompany the overall EU sector support programme for the development of agriculture and rural areas.
Poverty reduction and sustainable development is the goal of four of the new contracts to be implemented through non-state actors and local authorities. They will help minimize social and economic hardship of rural communities in Shirak, develop sustainable tourism, promote ecological bee keeping in Vayots Dzor and improve public services in Jujevan, Baghanis and Voskevan.
Another action will provide access to renewable and efficient energy in the municipalities Vayq and Spitak.
Most of the new projects are the result of global and local calls for proposals through the Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and the thematic programme on “Non-state actors and local authorities in development.”
Challenges of switchover to digital broadcasting in Eastern Partnership countries discussed at workshop in Prague
The challenges of switchover to digital broadcasting in the EU and in the Eastern Partnership countries were the focus of a workshop held in Prague earlier this month. The seminar, organised within the EU and Eastern Partnership regulatory harmonization platform (EaPeReg), brought together 20 participants from five EaP countries (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and one representative of the German regulatory body.
Most of the participants were specialists responsible for regulation of broadcasting, management of spectrum and specialists from strategy departments, a press release said. The team of trainers included one representative each from the Czech and Slovak National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), and six regulatory consultants.
The workshop is part of a series of capacity building events organized within EaPeReg. It provided a platform for sharing experience on the different aspects of the switchover to digital broadcasting and the subsequent use of the digital dividend spectrum. The presentations introduced the process of digital switchover (DSO), and focused on the strategic decisions of the various DSO stakeholders, such as the building of the digital broadcasting network and the process of analogue switch-off.
The training included case studies as well as theoretical information about the funding of DSO and organisation of the information campaign aimed to engage the public. To showcase the EU’s approach, the trainers elaborated on the 2010 decision on harmonised technical conditions of use in the 790-862 MHz frequency band for terrestrial systems capable of providing electronic communications services in the EU.
Participants from the EaP countries shared their experience, highlighting the current state of DSO process. They also had an opportunity to look into a range of case studies from Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, the UK, Ireland, France and Italy.
The event also included two study visits, to the radio spectrum monitoring centre of the Czech Telecommunication Office and to the Czech Technical University in Prague. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Armenia-European Union Human Rights Dialogue held in Brussels
The delegation of the Republic of Armenia, headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Garen Nazarian, was comprised of the Deputy Minister of Justice Arman Tatoyan, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Central Electoral Committee, Human Rights Defender Office, Police, and Mission of Armenia to the EU.
The EU Delegation was headed by Mr. Silvio Gonzato, Director for Human Rights and Democracy at the European External Action Service (EEAS).
The dialogue was held in a constructive atmosphere, during which the sides discussed issues of mutual interest in the field of HR protection, as well as cooperation issues within international organizations, particularly in the UN, OSCE, and Council of Europe.
The developments in the HR field in Armenia and the EU were touched upon. The discussions were focused on National Human Rights Protection System, judicial reforms, elections and electoral system, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and belief, civil society activity, and fight against discrimination.