How to deepen EU-Armenia relations

Former prime ministers, commissioners, ministers, and sitting parliamentarians release report calling for more Europe in Armenia; more Armenia in Europe.

Armenia is pivoting to the West. The European Union has an interest in supporting this reorientation in order to strengthen Armenia’s democracy and help bring lasting peace to the South Caucasus.

The Friends of Armenia Network, led by former Danish Prime Minister and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, today released a report which outlines a detailed vision for making Armenia’s Western trajectory irreversible.

This approach includes proposals for building up Armenian resilience and lessening its dependence on Russia; deepening trade ties between Armenia and the European Union; and enhancing Armenia’s border security and security cooperation with Europe.

Ultimately, the report argues that Armenia’s accession to the European Union is central to making Armenia’s foreign policy pivot and democratic transition last.

Speaking following the release of the report, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said:

“Armenia is a democracy in an incredibly difficult geopolitical neighbourhood. Prime Minister Pashinyan’s government has made the courageous decision to diversify Armenia’s foreign policy and move towards the West.

“The world’s democracies—and the European Union, in particular—must act to support Armenia in this pivot.

“This support has become even more important following Azerbaijan’s 2023 offensive against the ethnic-Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh and the continued threat posed by Azeri forces.

“Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has shown that the European Union must do far more to stand up for democracies in its direct neighbourhood.

“Europe has an opportunity to support a stable democracy and lasting peace in the South Caucasus. Today’s report outlines the tangible steps that can and should be taken, ultimately leading to Armenia joining the European Union.”

The full report is available here: FAN Report – Deepening EU-Armenia relations

List of signatories:

Anders Fogh Rasmussen: Chairman of the Friends of Armenia Network, Founder of Rasmussen Global, NATO Secretary General (2009-2014), Prime Minister of Denmark (2001-2009).

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz: Member of the European Parliament (2019-…), Prime Minister of Poland (1996-1997), Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (2001-2005).

Štefan Füle: European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy (2010-2014), Minister of European Affairs of the Czech Republic (2009).

Charles Flanagan: Member of the Irish Oireachtas (2020-…), Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence (2020-…), Ireland’s Minister of Justice (2017-2020), Ireland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (2014-2017).

Raimundas Lopata: Member of the Lithuanian Seimas (2020-…), Chair of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Armenia (2020-…)

Dietmar Nietan: Member of the German Bundestag (1998-2002, 2005-…), Treasurer of the Social Democratic Party.

Anne-Laurence Petel: Member of the French Assemblée nationale (2017-…), Chair of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Armenia (2022-…).

As observers:

Dalia Grybauskaitė: President of Lithuania (2009-2019), EU Commissioner for Budget (2004-2009).

Thorniké Gordadzé: Georgia’s State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration (2012), Georgia’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs (2010-2012).

Peter Semneby: EU Special Representative to the South Caucasus (2006-2011).

The report was drafted by the independent Friends of Armenia Network and does not represent the policy of the Armenian government.

Since March 2023, Rasmussen Global has been working with the Armenian government to improve connections with the European Union and the wider democratic world.

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