ICHD supports the capacity building of Armenian institutions directly involved in the implementation of the EU-Armenia ENP Action Plan.
The conceptual framework of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) guiding Armenia-EU relations since 1999 has been developing in the recent years under the influence of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership initiative (EaP). To implement the ENP Action Plan, Armenia has endorsed a List of Measures for the period of 2009-2011. Armenia wishes to make full use of opportunities available under the EaP, by moving to negotiations on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and Visa Facilitation Agreement, which would pave the way to a new enhanced agreement with the EU.
Since April 2009, ICHD together with its partners in Consortium: Altair Asesores (Spain), the leading partner, East West Consulting (EWC), European Consultants Organisation (ECO), and European Social, legal and Economic Projects - ESTEP (Lithuania) implements a 24 months long Armenian-European Policy and Legal Advice Centre (AEPLAC)- Phase V project aimed primarily at building a long-lasting capacity in public administration of Armenia to implement the PCA and the ENP AP, in cooperation with the EU Advisory Group and under the guidance of the EU Delegation.
AEPLAC V particularly targets at: (i) assisting Armenia to strengthen the overall capacity of the administrative bodies in charge of fostering EU integration through PCA and ENP AP implementation; (ii) supporting the EU Advisory Group deployed in selected Armenian administrations in providing advice to bodies of the RA for the implementation of the ENP Action Plan; and, (iii) promoting EU visibility and awareness in the whole country and different spheres of society.
At the end of the project we anticipate that the general capacity of the Armenian authorities to implement the ENP Action Plan will improve significantly. We also expect that the management capacities to deal with the ENP issues will increase and responsible administrations will be staffed with trained civil servants and equipped with prioritising, planning, coordination and monitoring capacities as well as screening of legislation tools. The project endeavours to achieve synergies among state structures involved in the implementation of the ENP AP and other stakeholders playing a significant role in promoting EU values and EU visibility (business community, academic community, journalists, students, universities, schools, public administration, NGOs, chambers of commerce, research centres, information centres) in Yerevan and in the regions. Eventually, the partners anticipate that the overall awareness of the EU will increase significantly among general population and specifically in the business community and among decision makers countrywide.
AEPLAC V performs three specific activities.
Firstly, it assists Armenia to strengthen selected administrations and institutions in charge of fostering EU integration. This activity is developed and implemented in close cooperation with the EU Advisory Group. Based on a thorough assessment carried out during the inception phase (based as well on previous studies performed by the EC and other donors), the Consortium partners made recommendations on ways to reorganise and strengthen selected public administrations and a training map has been developed for selected administrations with the aim to build in those administrations and institutions a long lasting capacity to deal with EU integration. The partners have reflected, in close cooperation with the Armenian authorities, the EC Delegation and in cooperation with the EU Advisory Group, about the creation of a supporting unit or department within the Prime Minister office, or reporting to the Prime Minister, to enhance the strategic ability of the Government to design and implement reforms.
The partners also organise the trainings and study tours envisaged in the training map, that particularly expose relevant experiences in other ENP or in EU countries, and develop synergies with other EU funded projects and instruments, in particular TAIEX and SIGMA. The partners also promote possible synergies among entities already existing in Armenia and involved in different aspects in EU.
Secondly, AEPLAC V promotes visibility of the EU in Yerevan and in the regions. The Consortium partners have identified a working programme aiming at increasing EU visibility countrywide. The partners have provided an overview of best practices in this matter and lessons learned in the new EU member states, as well in other ENP countries or candidate states.
Thirdly, through AEPLAC V the partners provide "ad-hoc" assistance to the EU Advisory Group, at their request and after approval of the activity by the EU Delegation.
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