Brussels, 17 December 2012
Press points of Commissioner Štefan Füle after the Cooperation Council with Armenia
I said already in September in Yerevan that we managed to move our agenda to a higher level. And this Council only confirms that Armenia and the EU get closer to each other in concrete ways:
There are already some specific achievements – a short while ago we have signed the Visa Facilitation Agreement and protocol concerning Armenia's participation in EU programmes. For people this is a visible and tangible result of our close partnership.
But there is more on our ambitious agenda. The negotiations of the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, have progressed well. For a successful outcome which allows EU-Armenia relations to reach their full potential, we will need sustained reform efforts next year.
We welcome progress made by Armenia in the conduct of May parliamentary elections. At the same time, we trust that Armenia will address the remaining OSCE/ODIHR recommendations in the context of presidential elections in February next year. This is a crucial issue for a relation based on common values.
We welcome Armenia's efforts in the area of good governance and human rights. Important challenges remain, including ensuring independence of the judiciary and pursuing systemic anti-corruption measures.
The goals and ambitions are clearly defined. Now it is about how to turn them into reality. Armenia can of course count on EU’s support. We hope to be able to make a very positive assessment of the strengthening of our relationship during the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius next year.