Europe and We

Hayots Ashkharh, Armenia
Aug 18 2007


Armenia’s integration to European processes in the recent years
has reached a refuge when the bilateral relations and the political,
economic, and religious-cultural relations with Europe has become a
topic of common discussion and needs a pithy observation.

The main reason of such a demand are the restrictions in these
relations, that are usually heard in the Parliamentary Assembly of
the Council of Europe as well as during the regular visits of the
representatives of European structures to Armenia. Our perception of
the European structures as dictating and obliging bodies has become
so deeply rooted that it has turn into an unwritten law for us. But
if we can’t distinguish Strasburg from the former Soviet center, then
why should the Europeans distinguish Armenia from our direct
neighbors. After all to recognize the people close to them in the
sense of civilization, Europe has to be confident that we Armenians
are loyal to those traditions.
Whereas sometimes it looks as if the process of Armenia’s
integration to the European structures is not a strategic priority
but an obligatory – volunteer event to which we participate just to
be far from trouble.
As a result a situation is created in Armenia-Europe relations
that doesn’t match neither with the history of the bilateral
relations nor with the concrete matter of wide opportunities in
separate spheres.
It is obvious that by now neither Armenia managed to introduce
itself to Europe with its real face – European civilization, nor has
Europe deeply perceived us like that. This is the reason why by now
the advantage of Armenia, in essence the only Republic in the region
that has apparent European cultural priority towards its neighbors is
not yet manifested.
If we really want to become an accomplished European country and
benefit from all the opportunities created in the region we should
swiftly overcome the policy of being guided by inertia. Moreover the
different European structures in Armenia must be overflowed with the
proposals of cooperation made by Armenia.
The same is about our passive attitude towards the intentions of
different European institutions to have representations in the
region. Armenia must try to rouse interest for these institutions,
the bearers of new governing experience that have different skills to
build a modern state.
At present Europe is far not the regular conqueror entering the
region. Being a complex system of democratic countries and
institutions, the European family creates a huge domain for mutual
cooperation. To benefit from this opportunity we should perceive
Europe as an environment consisting of cordial countries, with which
we have if not common roots at least common edges beginning from our
cultural and religious heritage to economy and politics.
All this contributes to mutual understanding and creates
opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.