After the signing, various opinions were voiced about the implementation of the provisions of the agreement and the opportunities provided by that agreement. Experts and civil society representatives are of the opinion that this document is not the final result but the beginning of a new process that enables Armenia to implement radical reforms in different areas.
During the discussion entitled “Issues and Possible Outcomes in the Implementation of EU-Armenia Agreement Provisions” at Media Center on November 28, Stepan Grigoryan, Chairman of the Board of Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, positively assesses the fact of signing the document but notes that if there is no consistency with the implementation of the provisions of the agreement, it will hardly be an effective document.
“After the ratification of the agreement we have to implement it. I think it will not be easy, but we have to go this way, not to sit down and see what the authorities will do. The society is a full member of that agreement. In some cases, civil society can also influence decisions.”
Arthur Sakuts, Head of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office, says that Armenia's response to the signing of the agreement fits from admiration to pragmatic optimism.
“Some consider the fact of signing as heroic. It seems that signing itself is already a great success, presented as Serzh Sargsyan's personal success. The other part is pessimists who say they will not give anything. And our group with our supporters is pragmatic-optimistic. That is to say, there is a fact but it's not everything,” the speaker said and added that taking the commitment and implementing it are quite different, as there are many examples that changes in the sensitive topics may last for years due to resistance of the authorities.
“The arrangements made by the agreement are not about Serge Sargsyan but about Armenia.”
In Sakunts' opinion, the funding of reforms can be a viable lever for the implementation of the agreement.
“Serzh Sargsyan has signed this agreement because the Republican Party of Armenia does not have the money as a ruling party, and we have to pursue that they get funding only if they fulfill their obligations.”
Viktor Yengibaryan, Head of the European Movement in Armenia, believes that the implementation of certain provisions of the agreement may be dangerous for the current authorities.
“We have witnessed the mass distribution of money during the parliamentary elections; the phenomenon of clientelism has reached the peak. And one of the points of this agreement is the fight against corruption, including civilian corruption, so our authorities will carry out the depth and content of the agreement as long as it does not hinder their governance.”
Stepan Grigoryan, speaking about the politics of “and-and” and the difference between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union, notes that in the case of the European Union, there is a working platform for the civil society.
“The European Union usually listens to the civil society, which is gradually transferred to us. There is no culture of listening at the Eurasian Economic Union. Our government listens or does not listen to us more or less but when we try to talk to EAEU, they tell us: “Who are you? There is a President in Armenia and “Gazprom” for us and that's it.”
The political scientist also noted that, unlike the EU, which supports the elimination of monopolies in Armenia, the Eurasian Economic Union, on the contrary, contributes to the monopoly.
“EAEU has decided to close the border of Armenia for the Iranian oil products, and now there are almost no imports. They did it in order “Rosneft” imports oil products as a monopoly.”
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Derenik Malkhasyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
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