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 ilur.am
to Editor of The Economist.
latest position paper (April, 2015) is available now.
April 4, 2015 Lragir.am, an influential news portal, published SPDC Policy
published a Policy
Brief on March 17, 2015
December 15, 2014 SPDC participated in the "Transatlantic community
versus Eurasia – Arising Challenges and New Opportunities"
international conference in Warsaw, Poland.
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.
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.
Policy Brief on situation around Armenians in Kessab and Syrian conflict
is now available.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
joined PASOS statement on Presindetial elections in Belarus (click
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.
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.
developed analysis of the Armenian-Turkish pre-signed protocols (click
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
August 8, 2009 influencial Hraparak daily neswpaper published an op-ed
by the SPDC Executive Director on the South Caucausus security issues.
Policy Brief "4 lessons of Tskhinvali" is now available.
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)
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.
for the Anti-Crisis Program)
for the Action Plan)
Budget of Armenia is now available.
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.
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)
Conclusions on the Eastern Partnership
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)
On February 14, 2009 Social Partnership Agreement was signed within Sustainable
Development Program ratified by RoA Government on October 30, 2008. (More)
Participatory Process in Armenia: Lessons Learned is now available
- Volume 15 Number 4 of Transition Studies Review on the SpringerLink
web site at http://springerlink.com.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
On October 30, 2008 the Government of Armenia adopted Sustainable
Development Program by the Decree N 1207-N. (More)
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)
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
Policy Brief Social Partnership Institute: What will it look like?
is now available.
joined the Statement of more than 40 Armenian Civil Society Organizations
related to the MCA implementaiton in Armenia. (Click
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)
of the European Neighborhood Policy progress reports 2007 for
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia are now available.
for Progress Report Armenia)
for Progress Report Azerbaijan)
for Progress Report Georgia)
and PRSP SPI Discussions
The following materials were disseminated by the PRSP Secretariat regarding
discussions, debates, and meetings around PRSP2 and PRSP Social Partnership
(Click here for Discussion Around
Draft PRSP2 )
(Click here for PRSP Working Group Meeting:
Social Partnership Institute)
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
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)
Stakeholders’ Committee Meeting
Consequent meeting of the Stakeholders' Committee was held on April 29,
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)
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)
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)
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
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)
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.
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)
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.
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
for the Letter)
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.
joined the Statement of the Armenian Civil Society Organizations
expressing deep concern with the 2008 presidential elections. (Click
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)
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.
version of draft Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2 has
been released. (Click for
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)
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
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.
visits to South Caucasus: Ferrero-Waldner to open full-fledged EC Delegations
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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)
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.
January 11, 2008 the SPDC launched the Anti-Corruption Strategy
Implementation in Health and Education Sectors in Armenia report.
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
- 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)
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
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)
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.”
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,”
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).
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.
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
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
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)
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Action Plan for Caucasus Countries
Policy Caucasus countries Action Plans are now available.
for ENP Armenia Action Plan)
for ENP Azerbaijan Action Plan)
for ENP Georgia Action Plan)
Action Plan for Armenia now ready
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.
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.
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.
on SPDC's National survey on health and education service quality among
1000 respondents is now available online
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 email@example.com
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)
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.
Board Approves Armenia Compact but Expresses Concern Regarding Irregularities
in the November Referendum
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
Conference on European Neighborhood Policy
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".
Society Organizations Concerned by Environmental Issues around the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
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
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)
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
Challenge Corporation Releases Interim Environmental Guidelines for Public
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)
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)
Commission started negotiations with Egypt and Lebanon on the ENP Action
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)
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
click for full text)
By Jo Lucas and Arman Vardanyan
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).
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)
Years of Health Sector Reforms: an Armenian Experience" by Arman
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)
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.