Key Parliament Committee OKs EU Mission Extension

Key Parliament Committee OKs EU Mission Extension

The Standing Commission of the National Assembly on European Integration approved on Tuesday, March 12 a proposal to extend the period of deployment of a European Union monitoring mission in Armenia.

Back in 2022, based on the request of the Armenian side, the EU Council made an unprecedented urgent decision to deploy a Civilian Mission of the EU Monitoring Capacities on the interstate border of Armenia and Azerbaijan for a period of two months. The latter was deployed along the eastern border of Armenia from October 20 to December 19, 2022. On January 23, 2023, the EU Council made a second decision to deploy a new Civilian EU Monitoring Mission in Armenia for a period of two years from the start of its mandate. Moreover, on December 11, 2023, the EU Council made a decision to expand the composition of the Civilian Mission, which made it possible to increase the monitoring capacities of the mission along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. This was stated by the RA Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paruyr Hovhannisyan at the sitting of the Standing Committee on European Integration on March 12. On the agenda was the draft law on Ratifying the Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the European Union on the status of the European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA).

“The deployment of the EU Civilian Mission in Armenia is aimed at establishing lasting peace and ensuring stability in the region. The Armenian side attaches great importance both to this and to all the initiatives aimed at deepening cooperation in the security sector with the European Union,” Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paruyr Hovhannisyan noted, informing that the EU has launched civilian missions in a number of European, African, and Asian countries since 2003 by operating 37 civilian and military missions. Currently, there are 21 missions: 12 civilian and 9 military missions. “It can be noticed that the Civilian Mission contributed to the reduction of incidents: The relevant EU institutions, the member states are more informed about the situation. At the same time, the presence of the observers creates a more positive psychological atmosphere for the population.”

According to him, the smooth operation of the Civilian Mission is important not only from the viewpoint of ensuring stability on the eastern borders of Armenia, but also from the perspective of the rapid processes of rapprochement of EU-Armenia political relations.

Hovhannisyan answered the MPs’ questions by presenting clarifications regarding the number, functions, and roles of the representatives of the Civilian Mission, highlighting the continuity of the multi-vector policy in the field of security. The draft was endorsed. It was proposed to include it in the draft agenda of the regular sittings.