European Commission - Press release
Better mobility between the EU and Armenia
Brussels, 27 October 2011 –Today Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Jerzy Miller, Poland's Minister of the Interior and Administration, and Edward Nalbandian, Armenia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, officially launched a new Mobility Partnership. Together with ten Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Sweden) they signed a Joint Declaration on carrying out a series of initiatives in the field of migration. These will strengthen relations between Armenia and the EU by promoting mobility and cooperation on migration issues.
"The launch of this Partnership with Armenia is a very important step towards bringing European and Armenian citizens closer. The Mobility Partnership, together with other instruments such as future Visa Facilitation and Readmission agreements, will be key in increasing the mobility of European and Armenian citizens in a well-managed and secure environment", said Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström.
"This Mobility Partnership is a clear sign of the readiness of the European Union and the countries of the Eastern Partnership to move towards a closer integration. Fostering mobility and people-to-people contacts is fundamental for the promotion of social and economic development and mutual understanding between the people in Armenia and in the EU ", stated Stefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy.
With this Mobility Partnership, the EU and Armenia will step up their dialogue and cooperation in key areas. Practical initiatives will be launched to enhance Armenia’s ability to manage migration and inform, integrate and protect migrants and returnees.
The partnership will also support Armenia's efforts to improve the way it deals with issues relating to asylum and the protection of refugees, and to the prevention and reduction of irregular migration and human trafficking. Ten EU Member States as well as the European Training Foundation (ETF) are involved in this partnership, which remains open to other Member States wishing to take part.
The Mobility Partnership with Armenia is the fourth of its kind, following those launched with the Republic of Moldova and Cape Verde in 2008 and with Georgia in 2009.
Mobility partnerships are flexible and non-legally binding frameworks for well-managed movements of people between the EU and a third country. Their goal is to ensure, through dialogue and practical cooperation, that there is a responsible and joint management of migratory flows that protect the interests of the Union, of its partners and of the migrants themselves. They are part of the process of implementing the global approach to migration developed by the EU over the last few years.
The launch of a Mobility Partnership with Armenia confirms the EU's commitment to continue actively cooperating with its Eastern Partners on the issue of well-managed and secure mobility.
On 16 September the Commission adopted recommendations for negotiating directives for concluding readmission and visa facilitation agreements with Armenia (IP/11/1053) and Azerbaijan (IP/11/1052), as well as first assessment reports in the context of the visa dialogues with Moldova and Ukraine.
The JHA Eastern Partnership package was complemented by a Communication, adopted on 26 September, on cooperation in the Area of Justice and Home Affairs within the Eastern Partnership (IP/11/1075).
For more information
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs
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