Dynamics of Relations between Armenia and European Union5 m. | 2019-05-03
Armenia continues to consistently develop relations with both European Union and member states. The best manifestation of it was the Prime Minister Nikol Pahinyan’s visit to Germany, the statements and accents made during which prove that the visit would give a new impetus to Armenian-German cooperation.
What are the tendencies, which makes us suppose that Armenia-EU relations move to a new qualitative dimension?
First of all we should mention the dynamics of the meetings. After the change of power in 2018, already 3 high-level Armenian-German meetings took place. And if the previous 2 meetings, which took place in July 2018, in Brussels, which was an informal meeting with Angela Merkel, and the second one was Angela Merkel’s official visit to Armenia, which took place at the invitation of Armenia, was mostly of cognitive character and was aimed to clarify the agendas, reconfirm agreements, then the Armenian Prime Minister’s visit to Germany, which was aimed to record the current progress and to achieve clear agreements on possible cooperation.
The next important circumstance, touching upon the positive side of the Armenian-German relations, its positive dynamics, are the emphases in statements made by German Chancellor and President. Particularly, they mentioned that there was a high political dialogue in the Armenian-German relation, economic cooperation is at a fairly high level and it is necessary to make concrete steps to deepen and strengthen the cooperation. Angela Merkel even mentioned that there was a clear decision between the sides: to develop these relations and promote democracy. And all this, of course should take place after the power change in Armenia, when there is a rapid pace and development of the democratization process in the country, when the society has a positive attitude and confidence towards the Government.
Besides political dialogue, there is also quite a serious progress in terms of economic relations. Angela Merkel mentioned in her speech, that Germany will do its best and will support Armenia, so as the German economy will have its presence in Armenia.
It should be stated, that Germany is Armenia’s first trade partner and is the second after Russia in the number of imports. This proves, that the markets of both countries are quite interesting for each other and the unprecedented fight against corruption in Armenia as well as the improvement of business environment can further contribute to the deepening of economic relations.
What progress did we have during the visit to Germany in terms of economy? Memorandum of Understanding was signed referring to the IT cooperation. And as it was frequently mentioned by the Armenian authorities, the information technologies are one of the pillars of the Armenia’s economic development and serious investments are expected in this field.
Armenian-German relations develop in the humanitarian field as well. Let’s remember the agreement signed between the University of Cologne and the Polytechnic University of Armenia in the same IT field, as well as the agreement on the cancer treatment in the health field.
It is planned to open a Cancer Treatment Center in Armenia, so as the Armenian citizens will no longer have to go abroad, particularly to Germany to get this treatment.
Summing up the visit to Germany, what are the results that we have? We see that the statements made and agreements reached show that Armenian-German relations move to a new quality level. To insure that this new quality level and changing relations become more developed and efficient a number of steps should be applied in different terms. First of all we can record, that the newly elected National Assembly of Armenia can have its own role in it.
Particularly, using the entire toolkit of parliamentary diplomacy can contribute both to the development of inter-parliamentary relations and to the strengthening and development of the Armenian-German relations in general. Inter-regional cooperation that is the strengthening and development of cooperation between the Armenian regions and German lands is also important. Any significant steps haven’t been taken yet, and in case of possible toolkit, I think, it can become a serious impetus in the Armenian-German relations.