By Emil Danielyan
An intergovernmental body coordinating relations between the European Union and Armenia met in Brussels on Tuesday, focusing on economic issues and the EU’s broader involvement in the South Caucasus, according to official Armenian sources.
The Foreign Ministry in Yerevan said participants of the regular meeting of the EU-Armenia Cooperation Council agreed to step up bilateral “political dialogue” by creating “new mechanisms for broader EU engagement and political consultations in the region.” It said the matter will be discussed in detail during the upcoming visit to Yerevan by top EU officials.
A ministry statement says the council’s meeting, chaired by Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian and Denmark’s European Affairs Minister Berthel Haarder, also addressed ways of brining Armenia’s legislation into conformity with European standards and facilitating commercial ties.
The EU countries are Armenia’s number trading partner, accounting for more than one third of its external trade. The volume of commerce has grown steadily in recent years.
The Cooperation Council was formed two years ago in accordance with an Armenia-EU “partnership and cooperation agreement.” Brussels had signed similar agreements with neighboring Azerbaijan and Georgia. The Azerbaijani and Georgian foreign ministers also arrived in Brussels this week for similar discussions with EU officials.
On Monday, the three South Caucasus ministers held a joint meeting with the EU’s top foreign policy makers: High Representative For Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten. The Armenian foreign ministry statement says the meeting addressed the EU’s role in the region.