Council of Europe values and standards are key to helping consolidate recent territorial administrative reforms in Armenia.
At the launch of the “Democratic Development, Decentralisation, and Good Governance in Armenia (DDDGGA) – Phase II” project in Yerevan, Mr Vache Terteryan, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure (MTAI), noted that cooperation with the Council of Europe enables a systematic approach to reforms and leads to practical outcomes.
In advance of the launch of Phase II, project stakeholders visited a youth facility in Aparan municipality, renovated through a small grant scheme implemented under DDDGGA Phase I. Local young people attested to the fact that the facility has enabled them to become more engaged and participate more actively in local decision-making. The Deputy Mayor of Aparan acknowledged that the municipality was now benefitting from more vibrant engagement of youth and women in democratic processes.
Strong civil society participation in the 1st project Steering Committee meeting was warmly welcomed by Mr Klaus Kapper, Head of Austrian Coordination Office in Yerevan. He noted the positive outcomes of DDDGGA Phase I, such as the youth facility in Aparan and the sports centre in Vardenis and looked forward to similar success stories in Phase II.
During a panel discussion at the launch event, representatives of local authorities in Armenia listed some of the challenges that remain to ensure that the amalgamation reforms are consolidated, and that decentralisation is carried out effectively. DDDGGA - Phase II will strive to address these concerns by helping ensure the legislative framework is updated to reflect the situation on the ground. Efforts will also be made to promote more active and meaningful participation in decision-making processes, and to facilitate peer-learning and networking among local officials.
Developing capacities and promoting opportunities for cross-border cooperation with counterparts in Georgia is also a key element of the project․
The Democratic Development, Decentralisation, and Good Governance in Armenia – Phase II project, with funding from the Austrian Development Agency falls under the Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia 2023-2026.