Genocide of the Armenians - (in Russian - Геноцид армян - взгляд из Еревана на взгляд из Анкары)

On January 16, 2017 Hraparak daily newspaper published SPDC Policy Brief.

SPDC's latest position paper is available now.

Op-ed on discussion at

Letter to Editor of The Economist.

SPDC's latest position paper (April, 2015) is available now.

On April 4, 2015, an influential news portal, published SPDC Policy Brief.

SPDC published a Policy Brief on March 17, 2015

On December 15, 2014 SPDC participated in the "Transatlantic community versus Eurasia – Arising Challenges and New Opportunities" international conference in Warsaw, Poland.

On December 12-13, 2014 SPDC participated in the Annual meeting of Policy Association for Open Society (PASOS), a network of 56 think-tanks spanning countries in Europe and Central Asia. The assembley has been titled 10 Years of PASOS: Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead. It evaluated the 10 years of PASOS activity and tracked the priorities for the network and its members for the future.

Since June 2014 SPDC will be participating in series of PASOS working group meetings on the Eastern Partnership and the Open Government Partnership aimed at strengthening civil society involvement and civil oversight of governmental activities in Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

SPDC's Policy Brief on situation around Armenians in Kessab and Syrian conflict is now available.

On October 18, 2013 SPDC participated in the Annual meeting of Policy Association for Open Society (PASOS), a network of 56 think-tanks spanning countries in Europe and Central Asia.

On October 17, 2013 SPDC participated in the “Wider and Closer: Influencing EU Policy-Making to Foster Economic Integration and Democratic Development,” an international conference for think-tanks and policymakers held in Brussels. The event included a series of panel discussions featuring leading policy and democracy experts and European Union officials and leaders.

Institute of Public Affairs, a Polish think tank, launched Historical Breakthrough: The Rulers and the Ruled in Today’s Russia, that focuses on current political situation in Russia and attempts to answer an important question, whether recent mass protests in Russia are a symptom of change or are they rather a passing phenomenon that will not leave any significant trace in the history of Russia. The report can be downloaded here.

On November 10 2012 SPDC participated in the Annual meeting of Policy Association for Open Society (PASOS), a network of 56 think-tanks spanning countries in Europe and Central Asia. During the Assembly PASOS activities and strategic directions were discussed and new Board members were elected.

On November 9 2012 SPDC participated in Open Government, Deeper Democracy. Strengthening civil society actors in opening up policymaking – Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South Caucasus international conference in Skopje, Macedonia. The event was opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia and brought together policymakers and independent analysts to focus on open government issues.

SPDC published “Facing Bloody Bonds Deal” policy brief. The policy brief draws parallels between hero’s welcome Lockerbie bombing convict received from Kadaffi and hero’s welcome the murderer of the Armenian officer received in Baku from Ilham Alyev after release from Hungarian prison. In 2004 an Armenian officer was axed, while asleep, during NATO’s English language courses in Budapest. After return to Baku, the murderer was immediately pardoned by Ilham Alyev and promoted to senior officer rank in Azerbaijan army, as well as salary for whole period of imprisonment in Hungary was paid. In exchange to release of murderer Azerbaijan allegedly promised to put 2 b euro in Hungarian bonds. “Bloody bonds deal is a serious challenge for fragile peace in South Caucasus and clear condemning response of international community is needed.” An important question “Will NATO tolerate cooperation with army where murder on ethnic grounds can be ground for promotion?”

The European Stability Institute published “Caviar Diplomacy - How Azerbaijan silenced the Council of Europe” report. The First part of the Report was published in May 2012. "Beneath the institutional failure, it is also a story about individuals and the difference they can make, for better or worse, within institutions like the Council of Europe. The cast of this story – the critics and the apologists. In Azerbaijan too many of them have betrayed the values and traditions set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. The result may well be the most serious crisis of legitimacy in the history of the Council of Europe," - the Report said.

On December 12th 2011 SPDC participated in Understanding and Influencing EU Policymaking, a practical seminar held in Brussels. Seminar was organized by PASOS and aimed at enabling participant organizations to plan public affairs campaigns in Brussels for their own network and policy area.

On November 26-27 2011 SPDC participated in the Annual meeting of Policy Association for Open Society (PASOS), a network of 50 think-tanks spanning 27 countries in Europe and Central Asia. During the Assembly PASOS activities and strategic directions were discussed.

On November 25th 2011 SPDC participated in Democracy, Partnership, Enlargement – Challenges for Europe, Challenges for the Polish EU Presidency international conference in Warsaw. The event brought together policymakers and independent analysts to focus on various issues, including new media, visa liberalisation, the revolutions in North Africa, and the European neighbourhood.

On November 3th 2011 SPDC Executive Director participated in the exchange of views with the delegation of the the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) led by the EBRD Vice-President Jan Fischer. The purpose of the meeting was to present leading think tanks' position on the priorities for the Armenian economy and the role of the EBRD in Armenia in the context of the forthcoming new country strategy for 2012-15. During the consultation, SPDC Executive Director expresses the concerns regarding economic situation in Armenia and stresses the importance of EBRD continious support for SMEs, in particular, in tourism sector.

PASOS has begun implementation of Opening the doors of policy-making: South Caucasus and Central Asia project. For call for proposals for this project click here. This call for proposal has been extended until February 20, 2011.

The European Stability Institute published “Murder in Anatolia. Christian missionaries and Turkish ultra nationalism” report. The Report was launched on January 12, 2011 in Berlin. The cover photo of the Report is a funeral of the German missionary Tilmann Geske at the Armenian cemetery of Malatya.

SPDC joined PASOS statement on Presindetial elections in Belarus (click here).

On November 5th 2010 SPDC participated in Who's Afraid of East-West Dialogue international conference in Berlin. The event brought together policymakers and independent analysts to focus on challenges to EU and US democracy and development agendas, Euro-Atlantic security, energy policy, and new forms of diplomacy to solve entrenched disputes.

On November 4th 2010 SPDC participated in the Annual meeting of Policy Association for Open Society (PASOS), a network of more than 40 think-tanks spanning 27 countries in Europe and Central Asia. During the Assembly PASOS activities and strategic directions were discussed. The meeting also hosted the announcement of the PASOS Think-Tank Award.

SPDC developed analysis of the Armenian-Turkish pre-signed protocols (click here).

New study of the Social Firm model for Research in Practice for Adults has been published. The study has been conducted by the SPDC UK partner Geof Cox Associates. The study can be downloaded free here.

On August 8, 2009 influencial Hraparak daily neswpaper published an op-ed by the SPDC Executive Director on the South Caucausus security issues.

SPDC Policy Brief "4 lessons of Tskhinvali" is now available.

European Commission has launched the consultations for the launch of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. (Click for the Invitation to Contribute an Opinion on the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum)

Anti-Crisis Program in Armenia
RoA Government submitted Anti-crisis program to the Parliament on November 14, 2008. According to it, implementation of infrastructure projects, support of companies experiencing temporary difficulties and support of small and medium-sized business are envisaged.
(Click for the Anti-Crisis Program)
(Click for the Action Plan)

State Budget of Armenia is now available.

New MCC Board of Directors Reviews Partnerships to Combat Global Poverty
On March 11, 2009 the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting, the first chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and attended by new Board member Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, to discuss MCC programs generally and review in detail MCC’s current partnerships with Armenia and Nicaragua. (More)

MCA-Armenia SC Meeting with the RoA Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritsyan
At the meeting of the Stakeholders' Committee members with RoA Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritsyan on March 2, 2009, the issues regarding MCC Indicators were considered. The draft of “MCC Indicator Performance Improvement Plan” prepared with the initiative of the Minister was presented and discussed. (Click for the Draft)

Council Conclusions on the Eastern Partnership
At the meeting of the EU's Council of General Affairs and External Relations (GAERC) in Brussels, ministers discussed preparations for the launch of the EU's Eastern Partnership. (More)

Social Partnership Agreement
On February 14, 2009 Social Partnership Agreement was signed within Sustainable Development Program ratified by RoA Government on October 30, 2008. (More)

PRSP Participatory Process in Armenia: Lessons Learned is now available - Volume 15 Number 4 of Transition Studies Review on the SpringerLink web site at

PACE still seriously concerned by the situation of detainees in Armenia but will not apply sanctions to the Armenian delegation
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) decided not to suspend the voting rights of the members of the Armenian delegation to the Assembly at this stage. (More)

The article “Participatory in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers: reviewing the past, assessing the present and predicting the future” by Joel Lazarus is now available. (Click for the Article)

Charging persons for political motivation is ‘unacceptable’: PACE committee demands suspension of Armenia’s delegation voting rights
Declaring it “unacceptable” that persons could be charged and deprived of their liberty for political motivation in Armenia in relation to the events of 1 and 2 March 2008, the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) yesterday recommended suspending the voting rights of Armenia’s eight-member delegation to the Assembly until the authorities “have clearly demonstrated their political will to resolve this issue.(More)

MCC Reiterates U.S. Commitment to Fight Poverty
The MCC Board of Directors reviewed progress made on reform measures initiated by the government of Armenia over recent months. The Board reiterated its concerns about the status of democratic governance in the country and underlined its expectations that the government of Armenia fulfill commitments to implement substantive reforms. (More)

Eastern Partnership: New Chapter in the EU’s Relation with Its Eastern Neighbours
A joint press conference, by EC President José Manuel Barroso and European Commissioner for External Relations and European neighbourhood policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner regarding a new 'Eastern Partnership' with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine was held on December 3, 2008. (Click for the Press Release)

EU plans stronger Ties with East European Neighbours
The European Commission has announced that it is working on an 'Eastern Partnership' with Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and possibly Belarus – the countries lying on its eastern borders, which holds out the possibility of future accession to the EU. (More)

Sustainable Development Program
On October 30, 2008 the Government of Armenia adopted Sustainable Development Program by the Decree N 1207-N. (More)

PRSP Social Partnership Agreement
On September 10, 2008 during the session of the PRSP Steering Committee Social Partnership Agreement was presented and approved. (Click for the Agreement)

PRSP Participatory Process in Armenia: Lessons Learned
This article will soon be published in the Transition Studies Review in January 2009. It discusses the Armenian experience of the institutionalization of participatory process within PRSP framework presenting achievements, failures and obstacles of this process as well as attempts towards creating PRSP new Social Partnership Institute as an advanced step of institutionalization of the participatory process, by Arman Vardanyan and Lilit Abrahamyan

SPDC Policy Brief Social Partnership Institute: What will it look like? is now available.

SPDC joined the Statement of more than 40 Armenian Civil Society Organizations related to the MCA implementaiton in Armenia. (Click for Statement)

MCA-Armenia Stakeholders’ Committee Elections
Due to upcoming 2008 elections of Stakeholders’ Committee - MCA-Armenia invites representatives of all not state and/or commercial organizations to participate at the General Assembly of interest organizations on September 5, 2008 in Congress Hotel. (More)

Implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy progress reports 2007 for Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia are now available.
(Click for Progress Report Armenia)
(Click for Progress Report Azerbaijan)
(Click for Progress Report Georgia)

PRSP2 and PRSP SPI Discussions
The following materials were disseminated by the PRSP Secretariat regarding discussions, debates, and meetings around PRSP2 and PRSP Social Partnership Institute.
(Click here for Discussion Around Draft PRSP2 )
(Click here for PRSP Working Group Meeting: Social Partnership Institute)

Anticorruption Strategy Implementation Plan 2008-2012
Draft version of Armenian Anticorruption Strategy and Implementation Plan for 2008-2012 is now available. (Click for Draft of Armenian Anticorruption Strategy and Implementation Plan 2008-2012)

Meeting with the Stakeholders' Committee Members at the US Embassy
In response to a request from the MCA-Armenia Stakeholders' Committee, MCC Resident Mission, together with the Embassy of the United States of America, invited members of the Stakeholders Committee on a presentation and discussion of the 2008 MCC Indicator Scorecard and the current political risks endangering the MCA program in Armenia. (More)

MCA-Armenia Stakeholders’ Committee Meeting
Consequent meeting of the Stakeholders' Committee was held on April 29, 2008.
In accrodance with the agenda the following issues were discussed: MCA-Armenia CEO presented progress on implementation for the period of the last meeting up to now, representatives of the Stakeholders’ Committee report, Hrachik Javadyan’s application to the resignation as a representative of the Stakeholders’ Committee at the Governing Council and Myron Hirniak letter on April 11, 2008. Since discussions prolonged, two other items of the agenda - election of the new representative to the Governing Board and "Water to Market" project results and future steps - were postponed to May 6, 2008. (More)

Statements of the Members of MCA-Armenia Stakeholders’ Committee
Three members of the Stakeholders’ Committee Levon Barseghyan, Seyran Martirosyan, and Artur Sakunts expressed their concern on the MCA-Armenia Program continuity in the light of the letter of MCC COE John Danilovich to the President of Armenia Robert Kocharian. According to them, RA President Robert Kocharian reply (letter) text is not available even to the Stakeholders’ Committee. The same three members expressed their concern regarding the exploitation of Teghut mine project. (Full Text of Statement of Exploitation of Teghut Mine Project)

Need for Domestic Violation Law
Recent survey reveals that family violations and pressure have widespread nature and actively applied in Armenia. In accordance with the observations of Armenian Women Rights Center and latest survey implemented by the Turpanjan Center unscrupulous and brutal attitude and conduct of male within family as well as vulnerability and exposure of women and children was a precondition and urge to launch discussions around adoption of Domestic Violation Law in Armenia. (More)

The Functioning of Democratic Institutions in Armenia
The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) adopted a resolution towards strengthening functioning of democratic institutions in Armenia. In accordance with the Resolution adopted, Government should immediately open of an independent inquiry into the events of 1 March (which resulted in 10 people killed and 200 injured), release of the persons detained on seemingly artificial and politically motivated charges and revoke of the amendments recently adopted by the National Assembly to the Law on conducting meetings, assemblies, rallies and demonstrations, with immediate effect. (Click for the Resolution)

New Democracy Foundation launched in Brussels
The European Foundation for Democracy through Partnership (EFDP) is an independent European foundation that aims to contribute to the advancement and strengthening of democracy outside the European Union, and to complement existing EU democracy assistance programmes. As mentioned former Czech President Václav Havel, a new European foundation will assist democracy to flourish in every corner of the world, from Tibet to Cuba, and work to ensure that democracy assistance becomes a permanent pillar of European Union foreign policy. (More)

SPDC Policy Brief South Caucasus Performance on MCC Indices is now available. This policy brief was prepared before the state of emergency in Armenia was declared and as a result possibility of termination of MCC funding is not discussed.

MCC Stakeholders’ Committee Meeting
Consequent meeting of the Stakeholders' Committee was held on March 20, 2008. Representatives of NGO sector and journalists took part at this meeting. Stakehorders' Committeee expressed deep concern regarding MCC Chief Executive Officer John Danilovich letter to the President of Republic of Armenia Robert Kocharyan. (More)

President Kocharian Sent a Letter to MCC CEO
During his press-conference on March 20, 2008, President Kocharian said that he send a letter to Ambassador Danilovich in response to the official warning sent by the latter. President Kocharian, Millennium Challenge program, in contrast to other programs, has a unique feature – it can be terminated at any time. This feature raised some concerns. For instance, the termination of the program raise questions related to contractors and subcontractors. “How is it possible to explain to the ordinary constructor who has a contract that the program is terminated or will be terminated?” he said. This program has not only economic context but also political one and the country should always be ready for the alternatives. President Kocharian mentioned that Armenia would be able to fulfill the program in all as it is country owned program though financed by the MCC. Indubitably, the aim is not to terminate the cooperation with MCC however if they decide to suspend funding, Armenia will look at new alternatives for implementing the program entirely.

Armenia and the Millennium Challenge Corporation
MCC is concerned about the conduct of the recent election in Armenia and the post-election situation, including recent violence, the imposition of a state of emergency, and restrictions on the freedom of assembly and the press. On March 11, 2008, MCC CEO John Danilovich sent a formal letter to Armenian President Robert Kocharian, warning that the government’s actions could have negative effects on the country's eligibility for MCC funding. (Click for the Letter)

The State of Emergency has been announced in Armenia on March 1, 2008. It will be in effect until March 21, 2008, unless earlier revoked. As a result of the prevailing circumstances, SPDC is postponing/canceling all events, meetings, gatherings, trainings, media programming, publications, dissemination of publications, press conferences, newspaper articles, and/or group activities are to be until March 21, 2008.

SPDC joined the Statement of the Armenian Civil Society Organizations expressing deep concern with the 2008 presidential elections. (Click for Statement)

MCC and DFID Sign Agreement to Coordinate Poverty-Reduction Efforts
On February 19, 2008, MCC CEO Ambassador John J. Danilovich and DFID’s Douglas Alexander MP signed an agreement that will increase coordination on poverty reduction efforts between the two organizations in Africa and throughout the globe. (Click for Memorandum of Understanding)

The United States and Tanzania Sign $698 Million Poverty Reduction Grant
In a signing ceremony February 17, 2008 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, President George W. Bush and President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania signed a $698 million Compact designed to stimulate sustainable economic growth. MCC’s largest compact to date, the program will reduce poverty by increasing household incomes through investments in transportation, energy, and water. (More)

English version of draft Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2 has been released. (Click for PRSP 2)

OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights published the results of presidential elections observation mission. According to them, presidential election in Armenia was conducted mostly in line with the country's international commitments, though further improvements are necessary to address remaining challenges. Approximatelly 400 observers, including some 75 parliamentarians, monitored the elections for the OSCE/ODIHR, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), and the European Parliament (EP). (Click for Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions on the 19 February 2008 Presidential Election in Armenia)

Kosovo: Unique Case or Not?
On February 17, 2008 Kosovo's parliament has unanimously endorsed a declaration of independence from Serbia. Thousands of people in Kosovo, went out of doors celebrating a historical act happened in Europe. (Full Text)

MCA-Armenia Stakeholders’ Committee Regular Meeting
MCA - Armenia Stakeholders' Committee held regular meeting on February 8, 2008 at the MCA - Armenia office. Presentation of program progress outcomes, discussion of issues regarding participation and activities of representatives of the civil society to the Governing Council (in-between the period of the SC last session up to date), annual work plan as well as credit program and the currency exchange rate risks were also presented to the SC members.
Moreover, SC Bylaws review was marked as a priority for upcoming discussions and the scope of the key items was defined. Committee members also suggested the MCA - Armenia to make a presentation on Armenia's Scorecard Indicators for the year 2007 that is annually published by MCC.

Troika visits to South Caucasus: Ferrero-Waldner to open full-fledged EC Delegations in Armenia
European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, participated in the Ministerial EU Troika visit to Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia on 4-6 February 2008. (Full Text)

CIVICUS Global Survey of the State of Civil Society
The second volume of CIVICUS Global Survey of the State of Civil Society – comparative perspectives has been already published. The book offers a wide-ranging analysis of key issues facing civil society worldwide with contributions from prominent researches and civil society practitioners.
Comprising of 23 chapters, it draws on the information collected by the CIVICUS Civil Society Index project in more than 45 countries to explore issues such as civil society’s accountability, its relation to the state and corporate sector and its role in governance and development. It also includes regional overviews of the state of civil society in different continents. By bringing together a diversity of perspectives and themes, this book offers one of the most comprehensive and engaging analyses of civil society worldwide.

MCA-Armenia: Reconstruction of Roads
AMD 14.8 billion will be allocated for the reconstruction of roads with the range of 273 km. The project will finish in 2009. In addition, it is proposed to continue works on reconstruction of Armavir-Isahakyan-Gyumri road with 24.4km. length that amounts to AMD 1.5 billion. In the framework of Asia Development Bank project AMD 4.9 billion will be assigned for the reconstruction of 107 km. length road.

Changes in Benefit System
As of January 1, 2008 changes in the benefit system that are urgent for the most vulnerable strata of the society become effective. AMD 29.4 million was allocated for this purpose. The following changes were projected in benefit amount, counting criteria, one-time payment and urgent aid amount.
Family benefits, for those who have no members under 18, amounts to 8000 drams (approximately 18.3 euro) and the amount for those who have members under 18 will be calculated by the special formula.
Those who have no right to apply for family benefit can apply for urgent aid and get 8000 drams (approximately 18.3 euro). Those who give birth to the second, third and so on child can apply for one-time benefit that amounts to for every 300,000 drams (approximately 685 euro). The documents confirming social service should be provided in two copies; one for local bodies and another for the citizen. The government claims that such developments will contribute to the improvement of the regulation of benefit system.

The European Parliament adopted the resolution on a more effective EU Policy for the South Caucasus
The European Parliament resolution on a more effective EU Policy for the South Caucasus passed on 17 January 2008 with several paragraphs concerning Armenia and the Nagorno- Karabakh Conflict. It refers extensively to the need to resolve regional conflicts as well as transport and energy issues, and economic cooperation. (Click for Resolution)

MCA-Armenia Stakeholders’ Committee Meeting
MCA-Armenia Stakeholders’ Committee held their first meeting of this year at the MCA-Armenia head office on 18 January 2008.
The following issues were on agenda: chief executive officer of MCA-Armenia Ara Hovsepyan presented progress on implantation thus far, report of Stakeholders’ Committee on their activities and achievements and implementation work plan - first steps discussion.
It was proposed to undertake measures for creating and strengthening mechanisms for providing ongoing information on activities implemented in the framework of this program. As was acknowledged by the members of Stakeholders’ Committee, there is no clear mechanism for rising public awareness. As a result, it was proposed to publish information about their activities in ‘Agrounion’ newspaper and use media in general.
Regarding work plan, most of members agreed to visit and follow works on the spot. Water-to-market activities are the focal.
Representatives to the Governing Council assure that currency fluctuations will not infract planned actions. According to the members of SC each component will be implemented as was scheduled soever.
Some participants raise the issue of ‘Teghut’ mine but they did not succeed in that.
Majority of members of Stakeholders’ Committee were very passive and many of them were absent.

2007 Global Survey of Think Tanks
The research tries to identify the 10 leading think tanks in the world (non-U.S.) and then seeks to identify the 30 leading think tanks in the world. In addition, the top 30 think tanks in the U.S. were ranked separately as well as the top 5 think tanks from regions that were underrepresented in the global list of top think tanks.
According to the research there are 5080 think tanks worldwide, of which 1776 are in the United States. As was found out the number of think tanks have been declined since 2001 due to the hostile political and regulatory environment toward them, change in funding priority, poor institutional capacity, high competition, etc.
The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program published the list of leading public policy research organizations in the world. (Click for the List)

Discussion Meeting on Draft PRSP 2
On January 14, 2008 Minister of Finance and Economy – Vardan Khachatryan presented draft version of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2 for the discussion at the Congress Hotel.
As was decided, draft PRSP 2 would be presented to the PRSP Steering Committee and then to the RA Government for the final discussion.
Some NGOs however, did not participate at the meeting arguing that the new PRSP did not contain civil participation part.

On January 11, 2008 the SPDC launched the Anti-Corruption Strategy Implementation in Health and Education Sectors in Armenia report. (More)

MCA-Armenia Stakeholders’ Committee Draft Action Plan 2007/08
Annual action work plan of Stakeholders’ Committee was presented and approved at the last meeting on 13 December 2007. The following - suggested by the Chief Executive Officer of MCA-Armenia Mr.Hovsepyan - presented below will be also included in the action plan:
- a separate section for the Stakeholders’ Committee activities in the framework of the Water-to-market component;
- Stakeholders’ Committee members delegated to the Governing Council should regularly give a brief information on the previous Governing Council meeting;
- each member of the Stakeholders’ Committee should implement at least one event on the MCA-Armenia Program by its own incentive (Click for Draft Action Plan)

Civil society open letter on the European Neighborhood Policy
After a European Commission major conference on “Strengthening the European Neighborhood Policy” held in Brussels on 3 September 2007, representatives of several non-governmental organizations from the EU and neighboring countries who participated in this conference, sent a letter to the European Commission President Barosso and the External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero Waldner. According to the letter, Civil Society should be involved in the ENP as a partner. It also emphasizes ways of strengthening European Neighborhood Policy. (Click for Letter)

Draft Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2: Reviewed
In 2007 December Draft version of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2 has been created. According to the reviewed version poverty level will constitute 9.9%, of which extreme poverty will be 1.6% in 2021. Like previous document it focuses on the social support area, family benefits policy and social insurance in particular – pension increase. (Click for Draft PRSP 2)

"Working Together - Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy" conference held in Brussels
On September 3 2007 the European Commission hosted "Working Together - Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy" conference that for the first time brought together Ministers from the countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and of the EU to exchange views on the way forward for the policy. EU have set out four areas in which it want to further develop the relationship with it neighbors: economic integration, mobility, energy and more financial and technical assistance. Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner called the ENP “a win-win policy.”

For the first time in history Turkish MP speaks of Armenian Genocide recognition
For the first time in history a member of the Turkish parliament recognized the Armenian Genocide and spoke of restitution of the despoiled property. In an interview with journalist Raffí Arax recently, Turkish MP Mehmet Ufuk Uras said, "We committed a terrible massacre against Armenians and Turkey must recognize it. It’s not important how we name this calamity: genocide, ethnic purification, etc. The most important thing is that a terrible massacre was committed and it is undeniable.”
“We must face up to the history, bandage the wounds, develop the relations with Armenia, defend our Armenian compatriots and restore what was the property of their ancestors. I come from the area of Durig close to Sebastia where I heard the truth from my parents,” he said. “We are confident that with the negationism will drive to nothing,” he resumed.

Europeans support greater cooperation with neighbouring countries
Recent Eurobarometer survey based on 27,000 interviews in the EU 27 Member States confirms that a significant majority of people in EU Member States support efforts to intensify co-operation with the countries neighbouring the Union. Most Europeans believe that EU assistance to its neighbours can serve to extend peace and democracy beyond the borders of the Union, and around half believe that neighbouring countries are indeed willing to co-operate with the EU to introduce internal reforms. Meanwhile, the survey results released on August 30 in Brussels show that a clear majority (61%) believe that co-operating with neighbours can produce mutual benefits for the EU and its neighbours, but 79% are concerned at the cost of such co-operation. 61% consider that helping neighbours to prosper will increase the EU's own prosperity and 74% think that helping neighbours will enable EU companies to expand into new market. On the other hand, 45% are concerned that promoting reforms in the neighbourhood could endanger the EU's own peace and stability.
Awareness of ENP has risen since last year (one in five respondents have now heard of the policy).

New Armenian Government plans to make Armenia regional health care leader
”The Government will promote initiatives supporting Armenia to become regional health center in health care directions having special demand” – this is one of the objectives of Program of the new Armenian Government. SPDC will monitor implementation of this program in its parts related to the social policy.

MCA-Armenia’s Stakeholders Committee election procedure draft is developed
MCA-Armenia’s Stakeholders Committee presented draft for Stakeholder Committee election procedure for discussion. The suggestions have to be sent before June 14. (Full text)

MCC CEO visits Caucasus
John J. Danilovich, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) visits two Caucasus countries, which have signed compact with MCC. In Yerevan he participated in official ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Vardan Khachtryan, Minister of Finance and Economy of Armenia. At the event, Ambassador Danilovich, said, “Also, we welcomed the Armenian parliamentary elections and congratulate the Armenian people on a more successful poll than previous elections. It appears that this election was an improvement toward international standards, but we continue to closely watch the process of investigating allegations of irregularities. As with all MCA countries, the MCC Board at its annual selection meeting in December will make a decision on Armenia’s continued eligibility.” After Armenia, Ambassador Danilovich will visit MCC programme. sites in Javakhq.

MCA-Armenia’s Stakeholders Committee started to develop its re-elections procedure
A working group of MCA-Armenia’s Stakeholders Committee will soon present draft for Stakeholder Committee election procedure to the wider civil society discussion. The timeline for approval of elections procedure was adopted at the MCA-Armenia’s Stakeholders Committee May 25 meeting. (More)

Leading Civil Society Organizations Statement on 2007 Parliamentary Elections
SPDC, together with group of leading civil society organizations, members of the Partnership fro Open Society, signed the statement on 2007 Parliamentary Elections. The full text was published in influential “168 jam” newspaper. “We, the undersigned civil society organizations, express our deep concern with the pre-election period and the election campaign. The importance of these elections and the need to hold free and fair elections was appreciated by the society desperate for a change. The government, in turn, fully realized that the country’s international standing and perspectives of being part of the European Neighborhood Policy and the Millennium Challenge Account will be jeopardized by another election falling short of international standards. However, that did not stop the authorities from increasing the exiting control over institutions and resources and their unlawful use during the pre-election year.

We express our deep concern with violations of freedom of media and access to the mass media, freedom of assembly and association, the right to privacy, the violence used and the murders or murder attempts during and before the election period, as well as widespread corruption and the unlawful use of administrative resources. Methods and practices were used in the electoral fight to create an atmosphere of fear, suspicion and personal insecurity. We base our concern on our observations and the findings of monitoring work that we carried out throughout the year. (Full text)

SPDC presented its position on political parties programs on social protection and health policy issues
On May 3rd, 2007 in the Ball Room of Congress hotel SPDC presented its analysis of programs of political parties on health and social protection policies. This analysis was included in a publication "Political Parties - Viewpoints and Approaches", organized by the Partnership for Open Society. This effort was an attempt to identify the most problematic issues in our country and clarify political elite's stance on specific issues in almost all areas of public life.

Iraq’s Bishops appeal: Save Iraq’s Christians!
“In Iraq Christians are dying, the Church is disappearing under continued persecution, threats and violence carried out by extremists who are leaving us no choice: conversion or exile”. This is the urgent appeal sent by msgr. Louis Sako, Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, while reports arrive of car bombs and the death of Christians in the Kurdish area, until now untouched by the confessional violence.
The bishop who is president of Iraq’s Council of Catholic Churches’ Committee for inter religious dialogue , signed a declaration regarding the “tragic situation of Baghdadis Christians”, denouncing militant groups which under the threat of armed violence ask Christians to convert immediately to Islam or to consign their property and leave the country. The same thing happens in Mosul, but with a different “choice”: pay a monetary tribute to the Jihad if they want to avoid their death. (More)

ENP Action Plan: Civil Society View
SPDC presented its position on Social sector reform component of the European Neighborhood Policy Armenia’s Action Plan. The presentation took place in the Tigran Mets Hall of Marriott Armenia Hotel on December 1, 2006, organized by the Partnership for Open Society. Ministers and other government officials, Ambassadors of EU countries to Armenia, representatives of international organizations, civil society and media have been invited to attend the event.

ENP Action Plan for Caucasus Countries
European Neighborhood Policy Caucasus countries Action Plans are now available.
(click for ENP Armenia Action Plan)
(click for ENP Azerbaijan Action Plan)
(click for ENP Georgia Action Plan)

ENP Action Plan for Armenia now ready

The European Union's foreign policy leadership, the Troika, is expected to tour the capitals of the South Caucasus in early October. The visit will take place to mark the completion of negotiations over the Action Plans carried out in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy. These Action Plans should be made public once they have been translated.

The European Neighbourhood Action Plan for Armenia is a significant political agreement which will help shape Armenia's future relationship with the EU. It complements the broader 1999 Partnership and Cooperation Agreements.

In preparation for the enhanced relationship with the EU that the Action Plan envisages, the Armenian government has also now set up a National Council for Armenia's Cooperation with the EU headed by Prime Minister Margaryan to oversee the implementation of the Action Plan.

Report on SPDC's National survey on health and education service quality among 1000 respondents is now available online

On September 5-8, 2006 SPDC Executive Director participated the 59th UN - DPI conference at the UN Headquarters in New York. For more information about SPDC activities in UN, please contact

On July 12, 2006 the SPDC jointly with Partnership for Open Society, a coalition of civil society organization in Armenia, launched the PRSP implementation report for 2004-2005. (More)

The SPDC started the analysis of optimization of health sector in Armenia. Expert team will review the optimization implementation process and prepare recommendations for health reform.

MCC Board Approves Armenia Compact but Expresses Concern Regarding Irregularities in the November Referendum

The Millennium Challenge Corporation has approved a five-year $235.65 million Compact with the Republic of Armenia. Over one million Armenians, about 35% of the population, live in rural areas and are dependent on semi-subsistence agriculture. (More)

International Conference on European Neighborhood Policy

On November 3-5, 2005, an international conference on the international experience of the European integration and perspectives of neighborhood policy for Armenia took place in Yerevan. The conference, organized by the Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation jointly with the Open Society Institute (OSI), brought together experts, politicians, activists from Armenia, Lithuania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Slovenia, Ukraine. One of the Conference chairpersons, SPDC Executive Director, Arman Vardanyan said that, "the Conference gave the opportunity for the participants to share experience of their countries, suggest new ideas on the further possibilities, perspectives and opinions on the process of European integration".

Civil Society Organizations Concerned by Environmental Issues around the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline

More than ten influential civil society organizations from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Europe, including Friends of the Earth, WWF Caucasus, Bankwatch Network discussed campaign plans to intensify efforts to defend local people's human rights and the environment.
In a released statement, civil society organizations state, that "Whereas many people living on the route supported the pipeline before construction started, persuaded by the promises that it would bring development, now a majority oppose it, having seen those promises broken. People have lost their land, and with it their livelihood, often with minimal or no compensation. In Georgia, for example, the compensation is still disputed on 30% of land plots. Furthermore, in Azerbaijan, communities have not been compensated for the loss of municipal and public lands.
The project has bulldozed through protected areas, and has violated its environmental permits. In the support zone of vital Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park in Georgia, through which the pipeline passes, experts still feel that BP has not justified its route selection, nor given any realistic assessment of the risk to the area or to the mineral water produced there. Human rights violations are expected as the host states move to defend the pipeline, and critics of the project have already been subject to intimidation and arrest. Furthermore, communities will face a serious threat from pollution. As has been extensively documented, there have been major flaws in construction standards, including anti-corrosion measures and engineering.

MCC Approves $295.3 m for Georgia
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on August 16, signed the funding agreement with the Georgian government worth USD 295.3 m over the next five years. The U.S. Congress must still approve the agreement but officials n Georgia are confident this will happen within a month, making Georgia the fifth country to receive funds from the corporation and the recipient of the largest amount of MCC aid to date. The Compact is expected to be signed in September. The compact will provide financing for several projects in Georgia, including USD 102.2 million for the rehabilitation of roads in Samtskhe-Javakheti, USD 49.5 million for the rehabilitation of the main gas pipeline and consultation help to Georgian government, USD 60 million for the development of regional infrastructure, USD 32.5 million for the creation of the Georgian development investment fund, and USD 15 million for the development of agricultural business. Georgia received a compact with a budget greater than any of the other four countries. So far, MCC has signed Compacts with Madagascar (USD 110 million), Cape Verde (USD 110 million), Honduras (USD 215 million), and Nicaragua (USD 175 million). (click for Georgia Compact fact-sheet)

Discussions on Armenia's proposal to the Millennium Challenge Corporation
On June 30, 2005 Millennium Challenge Corporation's Monitoring & Evaluation Director Emily Andrews visited the SPDC office and discussed the process of development of Armenia's proposal to the MCC with SPDC Executive Director Arman Vardanyan. Ms. Andrews clarified some of the policies of the MCC with regard to the continuation of a good consultative process. Dr Vardanyan shared some concerns civil society organizations have regarding the proposal and approaches to the civil society involvement in implementation and monitoring/evaluation process.
Earlier, Ms Andrews conducted a workshop on monitoring/evaluation for Armenian MCC team and representatives of national and international organizations. Meanwhile, Armenian MCC team leader Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy Tigran Khachatryan, quoted by national media, said that the Armenian proposal is undergoing initial stage of bilateral negotiations, during which the representatives of the MCC visit Armenia aiming to examine the economical justifications of the program. He also said that from 17 eligible countries no one is funded yet, despite programs of 4 countries have already been approved. (more)

SPDC attended the World Bank NGO Working Group Forum in Bratislava, Slovakia June 9-11, 2005, sponsored by the World Bank, European Commission and number of other multilateral donors. The Forum opened by Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Pal Csaky and the World Bank Vice President Annette Dixon, provides a forum where representatives of civil society organizations from 28 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the CIS, the Balkans and Turkey shared approaches and experience on making their work sustainable. For more information on social enterprises, please contact SPDC

TV discussion on Armenia's proposal to the Millennium Challenge Corporation
On April 17, 2005 SPDC Executive Director Arman Vardanyan and Armenian Deputy Finance Minister Tigran Khachatryan participated in the round table discussion on the most influential Armenian H2 TV Channel's Sunday news program. The discussion outlined governmental and civil society's approaches to the Armenia's proposal to the Millennium Challenge Corporation. SPDC Executive Director Arman Vardanyan emphasized the concerns regarding the current level of civil society's involvement in the proposal development process. Meantime, both participants agreed on the necessity of development of more effective mechanisms of civil society participation in the implementation and monitoring process. On April 18 wider group of governmental officials, civil society representatives and donor community hold a round table discussion on the issue. Both discussions were organized by the Partnership for Open Society, a coalition of civil society representatives. For more information please contact SPDC

SPDC attended the "Rethinking the way in which NGOs Do Business" international conference, organized by the William Davidson Institute and Pontis Foundation in Bratislava, Slovakia March 3-5, 2005. At the conference, SPDC presented its approaches on making the NGOs' income base diverse and sustainable through social enterprises. For more information on social enterprises, please contact SPDC

Millennium Challenge Corporation Releases Interim Environmental Guidelines for Public Comment
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) released its interim environmental guidelines for public comment. The guidelines describe the MCC's environmental review process. The interim guidelines are open to public comment for 90 days beginning March 4, 2005.....(click for full text)

The European Commission is recommending a significant intensification of relations with Caucasus countries.
The European Commission is recommending a significant intensification of relations with Caucasus countries through the development of an Action Plan under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). This recommendation is based on the Commission's Country Reports on Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, which provides a comprehensive overview of the political and economic situation and the state of bilateral relations with the European Union. (click for full text and country reports)

European Commission started negotiations with Egypt and Lebanon on the ENP Action Plans
The European Commission takes the decision to start negotiation with Egypt and Lebanon on the ENP Action Plans, although for Lebanon the timing will depend on the evolution of the political situation. (click here for full text)

Social Enterprises: an Eastern European Experience
This paper looks at some of the lessons learnt in Albania, Armenia and Ukraine during the process of creating new structures and opportunities for employment…click for full text) By Jo Lucas and Arman Vardanyan

The US German Marshall Fund's "A New Quest for Democracy: Shaping the Agenda for the Euro-Atlantic Community" conference brought together representatives of non-profit organizations and grassroots movements from Central and Eastern Europe and leading policy experts from the US and Europe. (click for full text).

SPDC Executive Director is elected to represent the civil society organizations at the National Working Group, which is responsible for implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategic Program (PRSP) in Armenia. The Working Group was set up by the Governmental Decree and consists of 15 persons. Seven of them represent the Armenian Government. Other eight represent different layers of the society, such as trade-unions, business and civil sector representatives. (click here to download the Armenian PRSP)

"Ten Years of Health Sector Reforms: an Armenian Experience" by Arman Vardanyan
The health reforms started in Armenia in 1995. During this decade no attempts to analyze the Armenian experience has been made. The paper gives an overview of the reforms. (click here for full text)

The First Action Plans of New European Neighbours
The European Commission approved first seven action plans under its European Neighbourhood Policy (EPN). Jordan, Israel, Moldova, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia and Ukraine become the first of the EU's neighbours to agree Action Plans. (click here for full text and Action Plans).

SPDC attended the "Millennium Development Goals: Civil Society Takes Action" conference at the UN Headquarters in New York September 8-10. The conference brought together social policy experts and civil society acstivists from all around the world in the discussion on progress towards the UN Millennium Goals. For more information, please contact SPDC