ICHD’s vision of the future of Armenia and the South Caucasus portrays the people bearing European values, regulations and institutions meeting the European standards, political and business culture of European democracy and states committed to European principles of human rights. Following its vision, ICHD strives to foster integration of Armenia and the region with European community through promoting European values, creating demand for quality public services of European standards, supporting approximation of the regulatory frameworks to EU acquis, and advocating to keep the integration policies on the spot of national and regional political agendas.
In this effort ICHD uses its entire arsenal, organizes off the record meetings, prepares and distributes policy papers, works through its networks and social media, convenes conferences and seminars, etc. With the announcement of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and its instruments, ICHD has streamlined its work on European integration to support these frameworks. The Government of Armenia welcomed the ENP program in 2004, and began developing an EU-Armenia Action Plan under the ENP since March 2005. In the same year, ICHD instituted a new tool to consolidate Armenia’s progress towards its commitments under the instruments of European integration.
Supporting the Development of EU-Armenia Action Plan
Supported by DFID and the British Embassy in Armenia, ICHD launched a team of qualified professionals who studied the practices of elaborating the ENP Action Plans in Ukraine and Moldova. The objective of the team was to learn the successes and challenges in the development of an action plan and to provide a comprehensive feedback to Armenian stakeholders in the government and civil society, and particularly, to assist the inter-agency council to implement its mandate of developing EU-Armenia Action Plan effectively.
In July, 2005 the team of four experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and ICHD met in Kiev and Chisinau with public and civil society institutions engaged in the development of the action plans in Ukraine and Moldova. Upon their return to Yerevan, the experts have exposed the experiences in these countries to their colleagues from Armenian government and civil society organizations involved in the process through number of round table discussions. ICHD consolidated the best practices of developing action plans under ENP framework in a policy brief (European Neighborhood Policy: Principles and Perspectives for Cooperation). The EU-Armenia Action Plan for five years has been signed in November 2006.
OSCE Values and Commitments: Common Ground for Security and Cooperation
Later in November 2005, sponsored by the Yerevan offices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe, ICHD brought together over 50 representatives of stakeholder institutions from Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, focusing on issues of stability and cooperation to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act.
The participants discussed the OSCE values, principles and commitments and highlighted how those could become a basis for security and co-operation in the OSCE area at the international conference “Promotion of the OSCE Values, Principles and Commitments as a Basis for Security and Co-operation in the OSCE Area: Concrete Steps towards the European Integration of Armenia” in Yerevan, on November 21-23, 2005. ICHD have consolidated and published the proceedings of the conference.
European Integration: Means for Regional Peace and Security
Next year, supported by the Delegation of the European Commission to Armenia, ICHD in partnership with the Armenian Center for Transatlantic Initiatives (ACTI), brought together about 50 representatives of various stakeholder institutions from Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria and Romania as well as leading European institutions, e.g. EU, NATO, OSCE, CoE in the conference “European Integration: Ways and Means towards Integrated and Peaceful Neighborhood” in Yerevan, on July 27-30, 2006. The conference mainly focused on European values, principles and commitments as a basis for security and co-operation in the region, the opportunities and challenges for the further cooperation in the region. ICHD consolidated the open exchange of ideas and opinions and published the conference proceedings.
Transformation of Integration Toolbox: from TACIS to ENPI
ICHD’s 2007 European Integration annual international conference has been devoted to the 50th anniversary of the European Union. Supported by DFID, the EC Delegation in Armenia and the OSCE country office, in cooperation with the Center for European Law and Integration, ICHD brought together representatives of various institutions from Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania, as well as EU, NATO, OSCE and CoE at the conference “European Union is 50. Integration in the ENP Area: From TACIS to ENPI” in Yerevan, on 18-19 November, 2007.
A day before the conference the delegates participated in a pre-conference workshop, a hands-on discussions of new cooperation instruments. The conference focused on the role of European institutions in enhancing cooperation between the EU and Armenia, as well as on policy issues of cooperation and integration, actions to promote European values, ensure effective implementation of country’s commitments within the frameworks of the ENP, IPAP and Council of Europe, etc. The Speaker of the Armenian parliament Mr. Tigran Torosyan and the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Mr. Peter Semneby welcomed the participants at the opening session.
Reviewing Two Years of Implementation: Lessons and Plans
Armenia presented its first annual report for 2007 on the progress of implementation of the EU-Armenia Action Plan in April 2008. Earlier in February 2008, a fully fledged European Commission Delegation Office has been established contributing significantly towards increasing effectiveness of ENP implementation. Submission of the 2008 annual report on the progress of the Action Plan implementation the Government 2009 had planned for April 2009. ICHD considered that the 2008 international conference on European Integration could be instrumental in tracking the progress of the Action Plan implementation.
Supported by the EC Delegation Office in Yerevan, DFID, OSCE, FES and the CoE, ICHD has brought together about 100 representatives of governments, civil society and development partners from Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey, Moldova, Romania, and key European institutions- the EU, EC, NATO, OSCE and CoE, at the international conference “2 Years of ENP: Progress, Challenges and the Future” in Yerevan, on 28-29 October, 2008.
The five-session two-day conference opened a debate in Armenian society on the process of European Integration, effectiveness of its instruments, the capacities of engage institutions, lessons learned from through the process of implementing the Action Plan, future challenges and opportunities, etc.
The public officials have been genuinely interested in ICHD’s 2008 European Integration conference as it provided a room for sharing the achievements on the implementation of the EU-Armenia Action Plan and learned of the new developments across various sectors. The extensive participation of civil society young leaders has been another new quality of the 2008 conference.
Members of Armenian parliament, Secretary of National Security Council of the Republic of Armenia, Minister of Economy of Armenia, Assistant to the President of Armenia, Ambassadors of EU member-states in Armenia, Head of the EC Delegation in Armenia, Special Representative of CoE Secretary General to Armenia, Head of the OSCE office in Yerevan, Head of the Political Affairs and Security Directorate, the General Rapporteur and Vice President of the Atlantic Treaty Association, Regional Director South Caucasus, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung have moderated and addressed with keynotes at the conference.
ICHD have consolidated the proceedings of the conference and prepared and published a policy brief.
Eastern Partnership: the Next Stage in European Integration?
What happens in the countries in the Eastern Europe and in the Southern Caucasus affects the European Union. Successive EU enlargements have brought these countries closer to the EU and their security, stability and prosperity increasingly impact on the EU’s. The potential these countries offer for diversifying the EU’s energy supplies is one example. All these countries, to varying degrees, are carrying out political, social and economic reforms, and have stated their wish to come closer to the EU. The conflict in Georgia in August 2008 confirmed how vulnerable they can be, and how the EU’s security begins outside its borders.
An important step on the road of the European integration of the EU neighbors became the establishment of the Eastern Partnership initiative by the European Union (EU) presented by the foreign minister of Poland with assistance from Sweden on 26 May 2008. It was meant to complement the Northern Dimension and the Union for the Mediterranean by providing an institutionalised forum for discussing visa agreements, free trade deals and strategic partnership agreements with the EU's eastern neighbours, while avoiding the controversial topic of accession to the European Union. Its geographical scope covered Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine. The Eastern Partnership implies new association agreements including deep and comprehensive free trade agreements with those countries willing and able to enter into a deeper engagement, gradual integration in the EU economy and allow for easier travel to the EU through gradual visa liberalisation, accompanied by measures to tackle illegal immigration. The Partnership also promotes democracy and good governance; strengthens energy security; promotes sector reform and environment protection; encourages people to people contacts; supports economic and social development; offers additional funding for projects to reduce socio-economic imbalances and increases stability.
ICHD’s 2009 European Integration International conference focused on the role that the Eastern Partnership could play on the relations between the European Union and Armenia and Armenia’s European integration track at large. Supported by the EC Delegation Office in Yerevan, Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (BST), a Project of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S, and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), ICHD brought together 150 representatives of governments, civil societies and development partners throughout the Eastern Partnership region and the European Community at the international conference “Eastern Partnership: the Next Stage in European Integration?” in Yerevan, on 29-30 October, 2009.
The six sessions of the two-day conference moderated by the high ranking Armenian and Foreign officials, focused on policy issues and the role of Eastern Partnership in enhancing cooperation between the European Union and Armenia. ICHD consolidated and published the proceedings of the conference.
Violence against women is one of the worst forms of violation of human rights prevalent all over the world. Women face gender-based violence (GBV) in workplaces, educational institutions, rural and urban communities. They are exposed to GBV irrespective of their ethnic or religious background, social status, economic standing, age, or other condition. The violence is particularly rampant when it occurs at home, a place where women are supposed to be provided with safe family environment.more >>
The current policy brief aimed at analyzing the monitored online print media outlets in cases when they covered the topic of sex selection and articles that were broadly linked to the value of girls and women. The content of web-based media outlets have been scrutinized to identify any statements or reporting that could have had distorted, untruthful or prejudicial elements against women or men. All these aspects were separately analyzed quantified and also handpicked, allowing analyzing the level of stereotypical reporting either as a media intention or as an absence of intention, leading to unobstructed penetration of prejudicial statements widely circulated in the society and back by reinstating the current state of the affairs.more >>
The publication is available only in Armenian.
The current policy brief aimed at analyzing the monitored online print media outlets in cases when they covered the topic of sex selection and articles that were broadly linked to the value of girls and women. The content of web-based media outlets have been scrutinized to identify any statements or reporting that could have had distorted, untruthful or prejudicial elements against women or men. All these aspects were separately analyzed quantified and also handpicked, allowing analyzing the level of stereotypical reporting either as a media intention or as an absence of intention, leading to unobstructed penetration of prejudicial statements widely circulated in the society and back by reinstating the current state of the affairs.
The findings that are discussed in the report, show the strong and weak points of media outlets under consideration and suggest policy actions to make sure that unintentional framing at the detriment of any of the social groups does not penetrate the news media and provide opportunities for all stakeholders to deliberate topics of public concern in the most accurate and credible ways possible.