President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan officially launched negotiations on DCFTA on Tuesday this week.
The talks from 6 March regarded a peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, development of EU-Armenia cooperation, joint actions within the frames of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO, and also the operation in Afghanistan. The issues addressed during the meeting were the internal situation and state of democracy in Armenia in the context of the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled on 6 May. Additionally, the President of the European Commission together with President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy confirmed that Armenia made a huge progress in negotiations over the Association Agreement with the EU.
“I trust that you, Mr President, will continue to pursue reforms to strengthen democratic institutions, to enhance the independence of the judiciary, to encourage political pluralism and media freedom, and the protection of fundamental freedoms”, said Barosso at a press conference concluding the meeting. “I was also happy to hear that you once again confirmed your intention to do all you can to ensure that the Parliamentary elections in May and the Presidential elections next year will be conducted in conformity with international standards,” informed HermanVan Rompuywhile shaking the Armenian leader’s hand.
For a long time, the Armenian lobby has been calling for negations, and now they are gratified to hear that they have started. On this occasion, EuFoA published a document titled “Free trade with Europe: boosting competitiveness and growth”. It contains basic information helping to understand the DCFTA and Armenian context in this programme.
It seems that presently President Sargsyan and the Republican Party of Armenia he represents have a full support of the EU in May parliamentary elections. If his campaign team rises to the challenge and international circles recognizes the upcoming voting process as democratic, then the current leader of Armenia will have nothing to fear in the presidential elections next year.
Translated by KD