EU To Provide Armenia With Fresh Aid


 

YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — The European Union (EU) has pledged to provide between 140 million and 170 million euros to Armenia for the private sector, public administration and justice reforms over the next three years.

The commitment is contained in a memorandum of understanding launching the Single Support Framework for EU support to Yerevan that was signed in Brussels on November 3 by newly appointed Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and Armenian Economy Minister Karen Chshmaritian.

“The EU and Armenia are committed to continuing cooperation in areas of mutual interest based on shared values,” Hahn said, on his first official working day as commissioner. “We support the country’s modernization efforts and we will continue encouraging necessary reforms in Armenia.”

The deal represents the most significant agreement between the European Union and Armenia since Yerevan decided to join the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union. That decision, announced by Armenian President Serge Sargisian in Moscow in September 2013, effectively put an end to years of negotiations between Yerevan and Brussels to conclude an Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) component.

He also announced the first package of EU assistance for 2014 under the new Single Support Framework. The fresh funding of 19 million euros (about $23.8 million) will focus on small businesses and human rights protection in Armenia.

Pledging to continue to support reforms in Armenia, the European Union at the same time emphasized that the figures of allocations are indicative: final allocations will depend on the country’s needs and commitment to reforms.