ArmInfo. The European Union is the donor number 1 for Armenia. The EU's share in the support programmes in Armenia is more than 50%. The EU's annual financial support to Armenia makes up nearly 50 mln EUR. Since Armenia gained independence, the EU has provided over 500 mln EUR to Armenia, H.E. Piotr Antoni Switalski, Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Armenia, said at a press conference on October 24, when announcing the launch of the EU4Business Week in Armenia.
According to Ambassador Switalski, the major part of the financial support is provided as budget assistance, which demonstrates Armenia's high rating in terms of finance management, performance and accountability. He said that probably the public thinks that the EU has no feedback about the efficiency of the provided funds. The EU has a very tough methodology of assessing the consumption of the grant funds. The EU thoroughly studies the budget support programmes and makes analysis-based conclusions about their efficiency, because the EU is anxious to make the process of European support to the upcoming reforms in Armenia more effective.
For instance, the funds provided for education reforms have been spent in a proper manner and the result is obvious. On the other hand, the young people graduating from educational institutions are jobless. In this context, he said, it turns out that the final result of the work done cannot be qualified as satisfactory. So, everything is relative, he said.
Ambassador Switalski urged media outlets to take part in the process of assessing the efficiency of the EU- funded programmes and to come out with specific proposals.
To note, Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, H.E. Piotr Antoni Switalski and the RA First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Investments, Garegin Melkonyan announced today the launch of the EU4Business Week in Armenia during the opening of the Eastern Partnership 8th Business Development Panel in Yerevan. Running from 24 to 28 October 2016, the EU4Business Week will highlight the EU support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through series of events and include other activities facilitating private-public dialogue for the benefit of businesses both in the Eastern partner countries and in Armenia.
According to the Armenian Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, the agenda of cooperation with the EU is quite large. A support programme worth 45 mln EUR is underway in a variety of fields: as much as 29 mln EUR will be spent on justice, 25 mln EUR - on development of rural communities, 12 mln EUR - on human rights. In addition, negotiations are being held with the EU to launch a 15 mln EUR programme aimed at upgrading qualifications and creating new jobs, as well as a 10 mln EUR programme aimed at improving the state funds management policy, and a 5 mln EUR programme that looks to conduct civil society reforms. "An active phase of discussions is also underway to adjust the strategic directions of cooperation with the EU for 2017-2020.