EaP CSF ARMENIAN NATIONAL PLATFORM STATEMENT On the Importance of Critically Assessing the Situation in the Country

June 26, 2017

Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum expects from the authorities of the Republic of Armenia constructive approaches to the criticism of political processes, progress of reforms and the situation in the fields of democracy and human rights. Unfortunately, in recent months we have witnessed a number of times a declinatory attitude towards such criticism. In particular, we find unacceptable the sharply negative reaction of the RA officials to assessments of the representatives of the Armenian civil society and international institutions regarding the 2017 Parliamentary and Yerevan Council of Elders elections and in this context the invented accusations of “slandering” the state or “intervening in its domestic affairs”. Such manifestations are especially of concern in light of the initialing of Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Armenia.

We, the members of EaP CSF Armenian National Platform, are convinced that the deepening of relations with the European Union implies that both sides should in principle reassess the partnership achievements in all dimensions. The combination of rigorous self-assessment of both the RA authorities, and the country’s civil society and expert community and the candid assessments and critical view of the EU representatives can only bring momentum and efficiency to the course of reforms, giving an opportunity to fully benefit from the financial and moral support provided by our partners.

Thus, we call on the Armenian authorities to reject the attempts of limiting the open discussion on issues of certain concern and to contribute to an independent and impartial analysis of all the initiatives and projects comprising the RA-EU cooperation agenda, as well as to the development of monitoring mechanisms.