On May 10, 2016 in the office of Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPP) EaP CSF Armenian National Platform organized a conference, in the agenda of which was to shortlist through ballot voting the applicants to the 8th EaP Civil Society Forum Annual Assembly to be held in Brussels on November 28-30, 2016. Elections were held and the results were finalized.
On May 16, 2016 in the EPP office EaP CSF Armenian National Platform delegates’ meeting was held. The meeting was devoted to the amendments and supplements to the Armenian National Platform organizational principles. The participants introduced their recommendations, and a discussion took place on a number of points.
A decision was made to create a working group, which will consider all the recommendations and will present the amended version of the ANP organizational principles for the ANP confirmation.
On May 13-15, 2016 Yerevan Press Club with the support of Armenian Branch of Friedrich Ebert Foundation organized a seminar in Aghveran on “Regional Developments and their Implications on the Integration Processes of Armenia”.
Naira Gevorgyan, Head of the Armenian Branch of Friedrich Ebert Foundation made an opening speech, presenting the activities of the Foundation in the South Caucasus and stressing the importance of public discussions on integration processes.Reports were delivered by MP Khachatur Kokobelyan and MP Edmon Marukyan, who spoke on the perspectives of Armenia’s membership to the EaEU and security challenges of Armenia in the context of the country’s integration policies respectively.
Writer, publicist Vahram Martirosyan’s report was devoted to the topic “Discussions around European Values as a European Value itself”.
Publicist Zaruhi Hovhannisyan introduced a report on the “Shift in Public Perception of Geopolitical Developments and its Implications on External Politics of Armenia”.
Mikayel Hovhannisyan, EaP CSF Armenia Country Facilitator presented to the seminar participants the actual developments within the EaP Civil Society Forum, and Boris Navasardian, Yerevan Press Club President spoke on the coverage of the discourse on integration models by the media.
Brussels, 19 May 2016
Researchers and innovators from Armenia will now have full access to Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation funding programme, under the same conditions as their counterparts from EU Member States and other associated countries.
The agreement associating Armenia to Horizon 2020 was signed today by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Levon Mkrtchyan, Armenian Minister for Education and Science.
Commissioner Moedas said: “EU research, science and innovation is open to the world for collaboration. Armenia is now the 16th country associated to Horizon 2020, the world’s largest public funding programme for research and innovation. This will bring new and different expertise and ideas, and enrich our international research cooperation.”
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: “Through Horizon 2020, research institutions and the private sector in Armenia will have a unique opportunity to access funding for cutting edge research and development. The opening of Horizon 2020 to Armenia is a concrete example of the EU’s commitment to further enhance its relationship with Armenia.“
This Agreement allows for Armenia’s enhanced cooperation with the EU in research and innovation, which are vital for successful and modern economies. It shows the commitment of the Union to develop the scientific and innovation capacity of its partners associated to the programme. It also represents another step towards reaching the EU goal of opening research and innovation to the world.
Armenia has until now been able to participate in Horizon 2020 only as a third country. This means its entities have not counted towards the minimum number of participants required for a project, and have not had access to some important parts of the programme such as support to innovative businesses. Its representatives have not had access to key policy bodies.
Thanks to this agreement, its research institutes, universities and individual researchers will now have access to all opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 in diverse areas, from fundamental science to demonstration projects, on an equal footing with researchers and organisations from EU Member States and other countries associated to the programme. Armenian SMEs and businesses will also be able to benefit from increased support to develop new ideas and bring products and services to the market.
With a budget of €77 billion for 2014-2020, Horizon 2020 is the largest multinational programme dedicated to research and innovation. Until now, Armenia participated in Horizon 2020 as a third country. Association covers the years 2016-2020 and opens up new opportunities to the country’s universities, research institutions and enterprises.
In the Seventh framework programme (2017-13), which preceded Horizon 2020, Armenian organisations participated in 35 signed projects. In Horizon 2020, they already participate in five projects.
The EU is strongly supporting Armenia and will allocate between €140 – 170 million via the Single Support Framework (SSF) in the years 2014-2017. The focus of the assistance is on private sector development, public administration reform, and justice. In addition, support is being provided for the implementation of EU-Armenia agreements (such as Horizon 2020) and for civil society.
A truck scanner worth USD 1.5 million has been installed at the Sadakhlo Border Crossing Point between Armenia and Georgia thanks to an EU-supported initiative to further advance integrated border management in the South Caucasus. The scanner will improve the process of cargo inspection, accurate tariff collection and identification of illegal goods, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that implements the EU-funded project.
“Georgia’s achievements in reforming the management of its borders has been fully recognised by the European Union while evaluating the country’s progress with the implementation of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan and proposing a visa waiver decision for Georgian citizens,” EU Ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman said. “Our assistance promotes ongoing reforms and contributes to border management, in this case the improvement of border monitoring,” he added.
With the total budget of EUR 4.3 million, the EU/UNDP initiative has helped the governments of Armenia and Georgia to tackle smuggling and trafficking, ease people’s movement at the border crossing point, equip and train customs officers and border guards, and promote professional cooperation between the border management agencies of the two countries. The European Union and UNDP also assisted the Government of Georgia to prepare and endorse the Border Management Strategy of Georgia for 2014-2018. (EU Neighbourhood Info)