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The Pre-Signing of the RA-EU New Framework Agreement Is a Result of Effective Dialogue

On March 21 the new framework Agreement between the RA and the EU "Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement" (CEPA) was pre-signed.

This is an important milestone in the creation of a new legal base in the RA-EU relations. During the next stages legal adjustment of the agreement is expected, as well as it should be agreed by all EU Member States, signed and verified by the Parliaments of the EU States and Armenia.

The negotiations over the agreement were launched in December 2015 after the EU revised its strategy with the countries of European Neighborhood Policy, including the EaP countries adopting a more differentiated approach. The political part of the Agreement was quite easily agreed, as it was mainly based on the already negotiated and agreed Association Agreement. It was the economic part of the Agreement that took long to be agreed by the sides, taking into consideration Armenia’s membership in the EAEU.

Several important things should be pointed out in regard with this process and its results:

  1. The pre-signing of this document reflects the success of Armenia’s "and-and" policy. After becoming a member of the EAEU, Armenia was able to have a new Agreement, which will become a new legal basis for the RA-EU cooperation – both political and economic one.
  2. Armenia is the first among the EaP countries, which managed due to effective dialogue with the EU reach an alternative to the Association Agreement for the development of the relations. This, in turn, speaks about the high level of EU-RA relations and the mutual understanding of the sides.
  3. By pre-signing and later by signing the Agreement, Armenia fixed its commitment to the European values, to its will for carrying out reforms in the country.

To sum it up, it should be mentioned that the pre-signing of the RA-EU new framework Agreement on the eve of the Parliamentary elections also mean that the fate of the Agreement is not dependent upon the results of the elections and Armenia itself is an important partner for the EU. At the same time the pre-signing of the Agreement brings dividends for the ruling party marking this event as an important milestone in their foreign policy. While those opposition forces, which put their emphasis on "the blames of losing the European vector", will try to edit their rhetoric.

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