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Seventh meeting of EU-Armenia Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom and Security held

19/03/2016

The seventh meeting of the EU-Armenia Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom and Security was held on 18 March at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia. During the meeting, co-chaired by Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Vigen Kocharyan, the fight against corruption and terrorism, judicial reforms, migration issues, border management, visa facilitation, as well as issues on mutual legal assistance and protection of personal data were discussed. The event brought together representatives from the government agencies of the Republic of Armenia and the EU.

Deputy Minister Vigen Kocharyan stressed the importance of enhancing the Armenia-EU dialogue and co-operation in different spheres. Stating that the issues of justice, freedom and security are considered one of the key spheres of such co-operation, the Deputy Minister noted that it will also be reflected in the fundamental agreement prescribing the legal ground for EU-Armenia co-operation currently being prepared. Presenting the Anti-Corruption Policy of the Republic of Armenia, the Deputy Minister of Justice emphasised that the fight against corruption is one of the priority objectives of the Armenian authorities and that a number of institutional and legislative reforms are being carried out in this regard. According to the Deputy Minister, it is envisaged to engage the best international experts in the development of further steps, as well as to ensure the active participation of civil society in the activities for implementation of the anti-corruption programmes. 

Upon the request of EU partners, Vigen Kocharyan also presented the course of reforms being carried out in the judicial sector. The Deputy Minister emphasised that the new Constitution stipulates more efficient and productive guarantees for strengthening the independence of the judicial system. Those guarantees will ensure both internal and external independence of the court and will provide more opportunities for the court to operate freely.

Dirk Schuebel, Co-chair of the Subcommittee, Head of Division for bilateral relations with the Eastern Partnership countries in the European External Action Service, and Piotr Świtalski, Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Armenia, assured that the EU is ready to continue to support Armenia in the process of reforms and to enhance bilateral co-operation. They emphasised that Armenia has developed a sound strategy and action plans for judicial and other sector-related reforms as well as stated that along with the problems to be addressed, significant progress has been made.

The EU representatives appreciated the efforts of Armenia in the fields of transparency of governance, development of the public sector, migration management, the fight against terrorism and border control, as well as expressed their readiness to continue and enhance the co-operation.

 

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