Apparently the EU sees Armenia as a country of Caucasus. In that case it’s policy doesn’t focus on the individual country, but on a unity, being part of one complete region. And quite often there are some issues that cause many controversial opinions. Like 2 days ago, the European Parliament expressed its concern about the construction of a new Armenia-Artsakh highway.
In that case the EU policy in Armenia is not always optimistic when concentrating on the fact that the EU has the same benefits from Armenia as from Azerbaijan, a country that is in territorial conflict with Armenia. Of course the EU provides funding for a peaceful settlement of the conflict of Nagorno Karabakh. But on the other hand, it is much more focused on the protection of civil society than on the settlement of the main issues by leaving this task to the democracies of Russia and the USA. However!
So far Armenia collaborated with the EU, having an intention to increase its economy and having a territorial security based on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). In turn, the agreement is supposed to strengthen the democracy and the protection of human rights in the region.
So for me the role of the EU in my region is important in terms of security. And I can’t think in the same way as my friend from Italy does, who hasn’t the danger of territorial integrity, and who thinks that going away from the EU bears the advantage to become a larger and more powerful country in the world by giving the example of Brexit despite the issues of currency(euro). But I will not go deeper into this topic because it has many issues that are very specific for each country. I just would like to show the role that the EU plays for development and developing countries. Italy, that is an impactful member state in the Union, can doubt about his future activity in the EU, while developing countries as Armenia can find the activity of the European Union more beneficial, because of the free market relations, trade and investments, even being far to become a member country. Or take the example of Poland, which is economically not well developed, but finds its membership beneficial. Moreover I would say the EU policy towards Armenia is much more productive for young people. And one of the key features of EU policy is, that is has the intention to integrate many nations in Europe. It offers the educational and development programs for youngsters.
So I will give my example. I think the influence of EU policy in my region is going to become larger, making integration faster, because of the participation of young people in EU projects as Erasmus+, Erasmus Mundus are. I know that it is not going to solve our economical issues, but it will influence on peoples behaviour and mindsets, who will push forward to use the many opportunities of this institution, by serving it to the welfare of our country․ And I am hopeful, that the issue of visa liberalization is also going be solved, although we haven’t started even the negotiations on it yet. Probably I am too optimistic, but I think from the political starting points of the Velvet revolution, that happened in Armenia in 2018, there is also potential for a positive influence on the country. If we will not fail it of course, by concentrating too much on the current situation in Armenia.
So by summing up all of this I would say development and integration policy of EU in our region are going to improve not only the economy of my country, but also the territorial security, the high level of the human rights protection and the social development of the population. And here I am not thinking as a journalist who sees the different parts of the society with their various opinions, stereotypes or approaches towards Europe and the EU, but as the person who saw both sides of this institution being an ESC volunteer in Germany. And I think the main point of EU policy is the distribution of european values among the neighbour countries, which I got to know and would like to share with my peers, to make them think about the possibilities which will make their future better.
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