ARMENIA: EU advisors support the country’s ambitious reform agenda
YEREVAN, Armenia – 26 October 2010 – EU advisors in Armenia have contributed to strengthening national capacities and building capable institutions, advancing the Government’s ambitious reform agenda. UNDP is providing operational and strategic support to the partnership of the Government of Armenia and the EU Advisory Group, which providing policy advice on its reform agenda – as part of implementing the European Neighbourhood Policy.
Major reforms in trade, sanitary and phyto-sanitary sectors, as well as in protection of intellectual property rights were initiated by the advisors, which were well received by the national authorities.
To support the Government’s anti-corruption policy and public administration reforms, the EU Advisory Group reviewed the draft law "on public service" and the concept "on transparency of political activity."
As follow up to actions of the Customs Integrity Risk Assessment report, the advisors commented on the Customs Anti-corruption Action Plan elaborated by the State Revenues Committee and further supported its implementation.
In the area of protection of human rights, the draft concept on the National Human Rights Protection Plan was submitted to the Working Group for Development of the National Human Rights Protection Plan.
Further assistance was provided to the Human Rights Defender of Armenia in his capacity as the National Preventive Mechanism for the purposes of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).
As part of strengthening parliamentary diplomacy, four Armenian political parties represented in the National Assembly of Armenia have applied for membership to two different EU political families. The Diplomatic Academy, which opened in February 2010 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hosts senior diplomats and professors from all over the world. The lecturers are invited by the EU, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia.
Public debt management and customs administration are two other areas where the EU Advisory Group proposed a new vision and tools for the legal and institutional frameworks matching the EU standards and best practices.
Funded by the European Union with 2.8 million euros, 17 advisers from different EU member states focused on addressing corruption, administration reform, human rights, establishment of Diplomatic Academy under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, assistance to the National Assembly, preparation for negotiations on a free trade agreement with the EU, public debt management, contribution to the preparation of a multi-pillar pension system, improvement of the customs administration and the communications policy of the Government of Armenia.
Currently the third phase of support is being negotiated with the EU for the coming two years with an expected budget of additional 4.2 million euros under the funding mechanism of the European Neighbourhood Partnership.
The EU Advisory Group began working on 1 April 2009 focusing assistance on areas of good governance and sustainable economic development as the key pillars of the Government’s reform agenda.
This was the first time the EU deployed a team of high level advisers to support reforms and the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan.
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