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European Commission - Fact Sheet

New EU support for reform efforts in Armenia

Brussels, 16 December 2015

The European Commission has adopted a new support programme of €30 million to help Armenia provide better work opportunities, strengthen the country's fiscal governance, and improve the participation of Armenia's civil society in the democratic decision making processes.

The European Commission has adopted a new support programme of €30 million to help Armenia provide better work opportunities, strengthen the country's fiscal governance, and improve the participation of Armenia's civil society in the democratic decision making processes.

The action, "Better Qualifications for Better jobs" (€15 million) willseek to improve the efficiency of Armenia's labour market and the employability of its workforce, with a particular emphasis on agricultural employment.

This action will for example improve the mechanisms to identify and match labour supply with private and public sector demand through more effective data collection and usage. It will also help develop qualifications and employability of jobseekers, for instance through the development of a national system of professional orientation, the development of career guidance centres and the improvement of lifelong learning opportunities. In addition it will provide for a particular focus on the employment perspectives and qualifications for agricultural vocational education and training (VET) graduates through improved quality assurance systems, national apprenticeship schemes and better academic governance structures.

The "Public Finance Policy Reform Programme" (€10 million)in Armenia, addresses the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of public spending in Armenia in line with international standards and practices. This should also help prevent corruption.

Concretely this comprises a more business friendly tax environment with a wider tax base, strengthening the accountability and transparency of the budget and its spending through better accounting as well as auditing practices; working with civil society and the National Assembly to ensure a more participatory budgeting process, and ensuring that the Armenian taxpayer gets better value for money through improved procurement practices.

The "Civil Society Facility" (€5 million)will strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations to effectively contribute to democratic decision making processes. The project will improve the organizational capacity of CSOs as well as their capacity to engage in policy formulation/monitoring. As a result CSO should be in a better position to respond to citizens' needs, to engage in policy formulation and oversight, and to successfully pilot social entrepreneurship projects.

Background

While Armenia's economy has been growing over the past decade, the country has been exposed to external economic weaknesses. In this context the EU supports Armenia's development efforts aiming at strengthening employment opportunities, developing the country's human capital, improving social protection and strengthening the public administration-, rule of law and governance systems.

The funding comes through the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), the main financial and cooperation instrument through which the funding is given to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries, including Armenia.

The three main priorities of the current programming period (2014-2017) are: (i) private sector development, (ii) public administration reform and (iii) justice sector reform.


For more information

Website of EU Delegation to Armenia:

http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/armenia/index_en.htm

Eastern Partnership:

http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/neighbourhood/eastern-partnership/index_en.htm

EU Neighbourhood Info Centre:

http://www.enpi-info.eu/

MEMO/15/6340


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