Armenia requires not only financial, but also professional assistance in tackling corruption

Supporting the comprehensive and more results-oriented approach, “Enlight” Public Research Center NGO forms cooperation with StrategEast within the framework of their new project: “Bulleting on the main issues on the bilateral agenda of the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries.” The Bulletin is designed as a useful tool for public institutes and decision-makers whose sphere of interest includes the EaP region and will be distributed among over 1000 senior EU and EaP officials, international institutions, and distinguished experts.

Recently, the Council of Europe and the European Union have shared the proposals for future cooperation priorities in the six Eastern Partnership countries submitted through a specially-created ‘Suggestion Box’.

The ideas shared via the ‘Suggestion Box’ came from a wide range of participants, including public officials, members of parliament and of Non-Governmental Organisations, or individuals. The main areas include fighting economic crime – tackling corruption within the judiciary, reinforcing the capacity of anti-corruption bodies, and raising awareness of the anti-corruption policies and actions.

StrategEast has interviewed major experts from EaP countries. Here are the answers from an expert from Armenia.

Do you think the EU can bring tangible results in fighting corruption in your country? What EU programs and actions can help tackle corruption?

For many years, with the support of the EU, hundreds of programs have been implemented in the EaP countries including Armenia, aimed at reforms in many fields.

EU-funded programs in Armenia have yielded tangible results in public administration systems reforms, equal community development, start-up business support, NGO capacity building and many other fields. Thus, with the support of the European Council, large-scale reforms have been implemented in the penitentiaries of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia to establish infrastructures, purchase medical equipment, and improve building conditions. With the support of the EU, specialist training is provided in the judiciary. After the revolution in Armenia in 2018, the Government of the Republic of Armenia announced large-scale reforms in the judiciary, the establishment of a corruption-preventing body, and other anti-corruption programs, in response to which the European Union expressed readiness to fully support the process. Since 2019, these processes have intensified, but due to the pandemic, the programs are now in the passive phase.

However, the European Union has made significant progress in the fight against corruption in many countries, even when the governments of those countries have not supported or have partially supported such programs.

We believe that if the European Union provides Armenia with not only financial but also professional, expert assistance in the fields of corruption and economic crime prevention, there will be tangible results in Armenia, too.

We find especially important the expert support to the public administration system, consultations, support to the legislative field reforms, as well as raising legal awareness and consciousness about corruption among the population.

Marine Avetisyan, analyst of the “Enlight” Public Research Center NGO (Armenia)

Original source: Strategeast