In terms of democracy & Human Rights, Armenia is on par with some EU


May 12 2004

YEREVAN, MAY 12, ARMENPRESS: Deputy parliament chairman Tigran Torosian
reiterated today that there is no alternative to Armenia’s integration
with Europe. In a keynote speech at the presentation of “Wider Europe-
New Neighborhood Policy” initiative, organized by the Armenian-European
Policy and Legal Advice Center (AEPLAC) and moderated by Per Gahrton,
member of the European Parliament and a special rapporteur on the South
Caucasus, Torosian admitted that Armenia has still a lot to do and to
carry out a range of reforms to make its judiciary, local management
bodies and constitution comply with accepted European standards, but
argued that in terms of the current level of democracy and observance
of human rights Armenia is on par with some EU member countries. He
said Armenia’s membership in the EU will give it many privileges.

Per Gahrton said Armenia lacks geographic and economic commonalities
with the EU and added that in order to comply with EU membership
requirements Armenia must improve the level of democracy, human rights,
promote resolution of ecological problems, close its nuclear power
plant and get involved in all regional projects. Another condition,
according to him, is that Armenia must pull out its troops from some
Azeri regions, now under Armenian control and continue talks with
Azerbaijani president to end the confrontation. Garhton said the EU
would provide financial support to the sides to achieve these goals
and would exert also pressure on Russia and Turkey to facilitate
the process.

The aim of the presentation was to describe the EU’s notion and
spirit of the “Wider Europe – New Neighborhood Policy” initiative,
elaborate on the European Parliament Recommendation to the Council
on EU policy towards South Caucasus and what Armenia can expect from
the EU’s “Wider Europe – New Neighborhood Policy” initiative.

The event hosted members of the government, the National Assembly,
governors, heads and representatives of diplomatic representations
in Armenia, as well as international organizations located here.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS