The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) works towards strengthening the ties between the European Union (EU) and Armenia and is currently actively advocating for the ratification of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) by all EU member states. The Federation advances the key issues of the Armenian foreign policy, such as the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the EU member states as well as the safety and the right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).
As a grassroots organization, representing a significant part of the Armenian diaspora in Europe, the EAFJD is engaged in a continuous dialogue with the EU decision-makers, in particular with the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The organization frequently holds informative meetings with European parliamentarians in order to sensitize them on the concerns of its supporters and chapters across Europe, the current developments in Armenia as well as in the region of the South Caucasus in general. The EAFJD proactively follows the work of the European Parliament (EP) and carries out the necessary work so that the concerns of its supporters across Europe are given due attention in the legislative process on the EU level.
In the course of time the EAFJD has shaped an active and dynamic network of European parliamentarians who share the aspirations of deepened EU-Armenia ties and an active parliamentary diplomacy between the EU and the Republic of Armenia. Thus, with the support of the Federation the first EU-Armenia Friendship group was established in the European Parliament in 2013. The Friendship group which was active throughout the eighth legislative term (2014-2019) was presided by MEP Dr. Eleni Theocharous (Cyprus) and consisted of around 50 Members of the Parliament. Following the EP elections in May 2019, the EAFJD has been actively working on the facilitation of the relaunch of the new EU-Armenia friendship group.
The EAFJD also facilitated the creation of EU-Artsakh Friendship group in the European Parliament which was launched in 2017 in presence of the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh. The group which aims at enhancing the relations between the sides, as well as promoting EU’s engagement in Artsakh was presided by MEP Frank Engel (Luxembourg). The relaunch of the EU-Artsakh friendship group in the newly elected EP is well in progress.
The EAFJD actively cooperates with the Members of the European Parliament in co-organizing various events, including conferences and round-table discussions in order to sensitize the EU decision-makers and the broader public on the key issues of the Armenian foreign policy. The Federation sees cultural diplomacy as an important tool in promoting mutual understanding and dialogue. Therefore, in collaboration with MEPs across different political groups, the EAFJD organizes various cultural events such as exhibitions, film screenings, book presentations in the European Parliament and other significant public and cultural institutions.
Fostering parliamentary diplomacy is one of the focal aspects of EAFJD’s work. It regularly facilitates the organization of fact-finding missions and delegations of European parliamentarians to Armenia in order for the delegates to gain first-hand information on the developments in the country and in the region. The Federation assists the participants of the missions in organizing meetings with decision-makers, representatives of the government and civil society, as well specialists engaged in the field of education and innovative technologies.
The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy has actively assisted the Armenian delegation of Euronest Parliamentary Assembly since its inception in May 2011. The EAFJD has also provided support for the activities of the Armenian delegation to another EU platform, namely the Parliamentary Partnership Committee (PPC) – formerly the PCC.
EU-Armenia relations in a nutshell
The European Union and the Republic of Armenia enjoy dynamic and constructive bilateral ties. The ever-improving relations between the sides resulted in the signing of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on 24 November 2017, in the margins of the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels. The CEPA intends to bring the EU-Armenia cooperation to a higher and broader level. The agreement provides a solid basis for further enhancement of the political, economic, social, cultural ties and reinforcing interconnectivity between both parties. The signature of the CEPA was followed by a landmark event, the first Partnership Council between the EU and Armenia that took place in Brussels on 21 June 2018. The Partnership Council is the highest body that supervises the implementation of the CEPA.
Prior to the CEPA, the EU-Armenia relations were regulated by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) signed in 1996. The sides also negotiated over an Association Agreement, which however was suspended following Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union. The EU and Armenia cooperate in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and its eastern regional dimension, the Eastern Partnership. The ENP action plan for Armenia sets ambitious objectives based on commitments to shared values and effective implementation of political, economic and institutional reforms.
Council of Europe
Besides the institutions of the European Union, the EAFJD closely follows the work of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The Federation reinforces the work of the Armenian delegation through coordinating the EAFJD chapters in Europe, so that the latter can effectively raise their concerns to the elected Members of this assembly in their respective member states.
Since Armenia became a member of Council of Europe (CoE) in 2001 the delegation of the National Assembly of Armenia has participated in the sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).