The Quality of Life Should Change in Armenia by the New EU Agreement: Haykuhi Harutyunyan

Haykuhi Harutyunyan, the president of the “Protection of Rights without Borders” NGO, member of the Armenian National Platform of Eastern Partnership’s Civil Society Forum was hosted by “Liberty” Radio Station on November 28 of 2017. The agreement signed between European Union and Armenia on November 24 of 2017 was discussed.

According to Haykuhi Harutyunyan, from legal prospective, the signed agreement is a legal document between Armenia and EU: one party of the agreement, Armenia, undertakes certain commitments, including the making of possible approach to approximate the European norms and regulations, as well as their institute’s activities to Armenia and at last compile the quality of life in Armenia with the European member states’ quality of life.

“Armenia undertook a commitment to ensure the compliance of the quality of life in Armenia with the quality of life of a number of EU countries. For the implementation of this commitment, the European Union, on the other hand, undertook a commitment to support Armenia on financial, economic, technical aspects to implements the above mentioned commitments” – said Haykuhi Harutyunyan.

She reminded, that the signing of the agreement has not led to any consequence at the moment. From the legal perspective, the document still needs ratification, after which the latter will enter into force.

“Each 28 member states of the European Union has their own respective procedure and time frame prescribed for the ratification of the document. Moreover, for the ratification the parties has already agreement which sectors and which regulation will enter into force” – said H. Harutyunyan.

According to Harutyunyan, after entering into force, the parties has initial agreement which sector needs regulation and when the latter will enter into force.

As mentioned by H. Harutyunyan, the Agreement defines 9 main priorities, where the political, economic, as well as democratic procedures are defined.

“The enshrinement of the provisions on human rights, rule of law, fair trail system and their importance for the state’s further social, economic and political development are mostly highlighted for the civil society. According to the document, we should have fair trail system, protected human rights, true implementation of democratic procedures, which means that the same protection freedom of media, full protection of freedom expression, effective public participation in decision making process” – added H. Harutyunyan.

According to H. Harutyunyan, time frames and activity evaluation indexes will be defined by the Agreement. The document will also depend on other actors, such as the civil society institutes, which are given important roles by the Agreement.

“The Agreements officially recognizes the role of the civil society organizations to evaluate the processes. A platform will be established consisted of a group of non-governmental organizations, which will conduct that evaluation according to the professional activity and concrete timeframes. The given NGOs should be selected on transparent and public and changeable basis” – mentioned Harutyunyan.

As presented by H. Harutyunyan, there were cases when the opinions presented by the NGO gave positive outcomes, after which the state could not persuade that the commitments have been implemented.

“Regarding the non-implementation of the commitments, the latter may assume deprivation of financial support, which the state should receive to implement other activities, including also decrease of cooperation with other member states”.

According to H. Harutyunyan, RA by undertaking the commitment but not by implementing the latter will be deprived of all the expected opportunities of reforms and developments.

As mentioned by H. Harutyunyan, for the visa liberalization process, it will take 2 years for the Armenian citizens to have access to enter any European Union member state.Harutyunyan also touched upon the Armenia’s membership to the Eurasian Union and European Union.