The President of the Congress paid an official visit to Armenia from 8 to 12 November 2017. During her meetings with representatives of the government including Prime Minister Karen KARAPETYAN, Chief of Staff of the presidential administration Armen GEVORGYAN, Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs Garen NAZARIAN, Minister and Deputy-Minister of Territorial Administration and Development (MTAD) Davit LOKYAN and Vache TERTERYAN, Ms. MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM expressed the Congress’ support for the ongoing process of consolidating local and regional democracy in the country and praised the commitment of the national authorities to this process stressing that “a reform of this magnitude is never easy to carry out because it presupposes a cultural change and a constant accompaniment but the key to success is the political will”. She held an exchange of views on the legislation in this respect with Speaker of the Parliament Ara BABLOYAN and Vice-Speaker Arpine HOVHANNISYAN, who is also Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Other meetings included those with elected representatives of the communities of Erevan – in particular Mayor Taron MARGARYAN – and Abovyan – including Mayor Vahagn GEVORGYAN – as well as Emin YERITSYAN, President of the Communities Association of Armenia (CAA) and members of the Armenian Delegation to the Congress. During the visit, Ms MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM underlined the good co-operation between Armenia and the Congress, which involved the monitoring of the situation of the local democracy in the country in 2013 followed by a post-monitoring dialogue and the signing in 2016 of a road map for the implementation of the Congress recommendations.
On 10 November the President opened the first Forum for Local Democracy in Armenia entitled “Outlook for the future: a new agenda for decentralisation” organised jointly by the MTAD and the CAA under the auspices of the Congress within the framework of its co-operation activities, and against a backdrop of territorial administrative reforms in the country. “It is the Congress position that the reform of local self-government must necessarily include decentralisation of competences and finances to the local level”, the President said, insisting on “the necessity of regular consultations between central and local authorities on issues of common concern”. The Congress is currently implementing the project: «Institutional Support to the Communities Association of Armenia” financed by the Swiss Government and, with the European Union (EU), the “Partnership for Good Governance for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus”.
The President visited the Council of Europe Office in Erevan and expressed her support to the teams that implement in the field the different co-operation projects of the Council of Europe. She also visited the Museum of the Armenian Genocide and laid a wreath at the Memorial of the Genocide