Council of Europe co-operation activities have focused on supporting Armenia in honouring its commitments as a Council of Europe member state to improve democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the country.
Status of co-operation
The Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia 2019-2022 was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 9 January 2019. This third Action Plan is a strategic programming instrument which aims to accompany, through co-operation, Armenia in its efforts to further bring legislation, institutions and practice in line with European standards in the areas of human rights, the rule of law and democracy, and, through this, to support the country in honouring its obligations as a Council of Europe member state. In meeting its objectives, the Action Plan will contribute to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Action Plan has been prepared in close consultation with the Armenian authorities. Its priorities take into account relevant judgements of the European Court of Human Rights, decisions, resolutions, recommendations, and opinions of the Council of Europe institutions, monitoring mechanisms and expert advisory bodies. They also reflect Armenia's reform priorities and needs, as defined by the authorities in relevant national strategic documents and commitments. Additionally, the Action Plan builds upon the results and achievements of the previous Action Plan for 2015-2018.
The main beneficiaries of Council of Europe co-operation with Armenia include state institutions, civil society and the general public.
Key areas of co-operation:
- Human rights:
- application of European human rights standards, including as regards to the armed forces;
- promotion of gender equality;
- fighting domestic violence and violence against women;
- combatting discrimination on all grounds;
- protecting the social rights of children and minorities;
- promoting human rights in the field of biomedicine.
- Rule of Law:
- strengthening the independence and effectiveness of the justice system;
- supporting criminal reform;
- supporting the penitentiary reform through the enhancement of the health care system in prisons and the development of a fully-fledged probation service;
- raising the integrity in higher education;
- protection of personal data;
- enhancing media pluralism and freedom of expression;
- prevention and fight against corruption, money laundering and cybercrime.
- improving local governance;
- enhancing electoral processes;
- empowering youth non-governmental organisations.
The implementation of this Action Plan will be jointly assessed by the Council of Europe and the Armenian authorities.
The Council of Europe Office in Yerevan and operational services in Strasbourg are responsible for the management and implementation of the Action Plan. In particular, the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan plays an important role in the overall management and co-ordination of the projects’ implementation in the field, including joint projects with the European Union.
Total Action Plan budget is €18,9 million.
Projects in the Action Plan are funded from multiple sources and co-ordinated with the international partners present in Armenia. Funding is provided from the Council of Europe’s ordinary budget, as well as voluntary contributions from donor countries and international organisations, including the European Union/Council of Europe Partnership for Good Governance (PGG).