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EU-Armenia Accord Set To Take Effect


Belgium - EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian sign the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement in Brussels, 24Nov2017.

European Union member states have completed the ratification of the EU’s Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Armenia which was signed more than three years ago.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said the EU notified Yerevan about the “completion of the ratification process” on Wednesday.

“The Agreement will fully enter into force on March 1, 2021,” the ministry announced in a statement.

The 350-page agreement commits the Armenian authorities to carrying out political reforms that will democratize the country’s political system and boost human rights protection. They must also gradually “approximate” Armenian economic laws and regulations to those of the EU.

The CEPA was signed in November 2017 as a less ambitious substitute for an Association Agreement which Armenian and EU negotiators nearly finalized in 2013. Then Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian scuttled the signing of that agreement with his unexpected decision to seek his country’s membership in a Russian-led trade bloc.

The Foreign Ministry described the CEPA as a “solid legal basis” for deepening Armenia’s ties with the EU in a wide range of areas.

“The effective implementation of the Agreement will bring tangible results to our citizens by promoting democracy, political, economic and social stability through extensive reforms and will over time have a positive impact on the welfare of our citizens,” read its statement.

Arman Yeghoyan, the chairman of the Armenian parliament committee on European integration, likewise expressed confidence on Thursday that the accord will produce “qualitative changes” in Armenia’s relationship with the EU.

Yeghoyan said that although the CEPA makes no reference to visa liberalization it will facilitate the eventual lifting of the EU’s visa requirements for Armenian citizens.

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