News & Analysis

EU reviews financial assistance to Armenia

The European Commission is to review the amount of financial assistance it sends to Armenia following criticism from the country’s prime minister Nikol Pashinyan (above, left), made in Brussels after his meeting with Vice-President of the European Commission and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini (above, right).

Mr Pashinyan said that new government of Armenia intends to develop policies which will help the democratic development of the country, to build a competitive and business-friendly environment and protect human rights. In this context, he stressed the importance of the EU in the advisory and financial fields of Armenia’s democratic development, but was also critical about the EU, when he said that its strategy had not changed during the four months since he took over as prime minister, and that he was looking for something more tangible, such as more cash.

“The EU has not increased support for Armenia,” he wrote on Facebook. “Democratic Armenia expects and needs a more serious attitude and more help.”

As a response, the head of the European Delegation to Armenia, Piotr Switalski said that before criticising the EU it is essential for Armenia to come up with clear ideas and proposals for future cooperation. Mr Swatalski added that around 110 million euros, provided to Armenia by the EU, have not been used.

“Before speaking about new financing it is necessary to look at what has happened so far. As much as 110 million euros are waiting to be spent, and their use depends only on Armenia,” said Mr Switalski.

During her recent visit to Armenia, Katerina Mathernova, deputy director general for neighbourhood and enlargement negotiations at the EU Commission, noted that the EU has so far provided one billion euros to Armenia, to help it improve and shape different policies. According to Mrs Mathernova, one of the main reasons for her visit to Armenia was to discuss and explain how the EU works, and what kind of funds it provided before the peaceful revolution that put Mr Pashinyan in office.

Photo: EEAS