Ratification of EU-Armenia agreement top issue of our diplomacy this year – parliament official

11:10 • 19.01.18



The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which Armenia signed with the European Union in November, will be among the top priorities of our parliamentary diplomacy in 2018, according to a senior parliament official.


In an interview with Tert.am, Armen Ashotyan, Head of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Foreign Relations, said a special interagency commission has been created under a presidential decreee to prepare the document for ratification. Meantime he ruled out the need of elaborating any roadmap, noting that the transitional provisions agreed allow for embarking on implementation processes immediately after ratification by parliament.  


“No final ratification by the European Parliament will be required for the implementation of several projects,” he said, agreeing at the same time that the procedure is very important in terms of treating the deal as a full-fledged political document.


As another major advantage, Ashotyan highlighted the partnership priorities enshrined in the agreement. “Armenia is the only [EU] Eastern Partnership member state to ever sign such an agreement.  It outlines the [reforms] in mutual priority sectors important for implementation until 2020,” he added.


Asked to comment on the parliament’s role in the implementation of the document, Ashotyan said their major task will deal with oversight functions to raise public awareness of, and ensure the society’s active participation in, the process. “From that perspective, our commission’s role is going to be really pivotal. Moreover, we have already started negotiations with several international organizations to make the parliament’s oversight more effective.

 

“The agreement reflects also the parliament’s status to upgrade the cooperation between the National Assembly and the European Parliament to an absolutely new level. There will be a parliamentary partnership committee (instead of just parliamentary cooperation) to enable the National Assembly to make that body’s activities more multifunctional,” he said. 

 

Ashotyan further addressed the possible obstacles, which he said exist mutually. “Bilateral agreements define the rights and obligations of two parties. We expect rapid and swift processes in the ratification of the document by the EU member states. And we expect the current members of the European Parliament to ratify it until the first half of next year. As regards our funcitons, we will implement our commitments in line with the European standards, and quality. Everything is just beginning only now. So is important to impart flesh and blood to this agreement,” he added.

 

Tigranuhi Martirosyan





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