Civil Society has influenced the Formation of Anti-Corruption Agenda in Armenia. Success Story

“We have shown in our example that civil society has influenced the formation of an anti-corruption agenda in Armenia,” Mr. Karen Zadoyan, President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association said this at today’s round-table discussion on the “Role of Civil Society Organizations in Public Policy Making.”

Ms. Line URBAN, International Aid/Cooperation Officer, of the EU Delegation to Armenia delivered a welcoming speech at the event today. She emphasized the role of civil society organizations in the development and implementation of public policies.

Karen Zadoyan presented a successful example of civil society and government dialogue in the field of anti-corruption fight. “When three years ago we started implementation of the EU-funded “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” Project We had two main tasks: to develop CSO Capacities to Improve Government’s Implementation of Anti-Corruption Reforms; secondly, to achieve success. In this second task we had an objective to criminalize the illegal enrichment and create an independent anti-corruption body. When we entered the field with this agenda, many were skeptical.”

Today, we already have the illegal enrichment criminalized and in 2018, the Corruption Prevention Committee will start its activity.

And after the April war, when the demand for real anti-corruption was seriously laid by the public, The Armenian Lawyers’ Association and the CSOs Anti-Corruption of Armenian, created within the framework of the above-mentioned project introduced to the RA Government a road map for the fight against corruption, consisting of 6 points.

At present, only the re-opening of the anti-corruption centers and the implementation of the Institute of beneficiary owners in the field of free economic competition (it was introduced only in the field of public procurement) have not been implemented from these 6 targets.

In his speech, Karen Zadoyan emphasized that having a professional expert team is the main basis of the success story. The existence of such team allows to criticize and in addition to offer solutions and to provide serious support to the state in carrying out real reforms.

At present 6 Civil Society Organizations are implementing the EU Funded “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project, which has an objective to develop capacities of Armenian civil society organizations in 9 target areas. Currently, three areas: education, justice, business, are selected. The other six sectors are not yet approved.

It should be noted that trainings and free legal consultations are held in Yerevan, Shirak, Syunik, Lori and Gegharkunik regions are conducted in the scope of the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” Project, which is implemented with the financial support of the European Union by the “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” NGO in cooperation with its partners; Agora Central Europe o.p.s (an NGO from the Czech Republic), Armenian Center for Democratic Education-CIVITAS, “International Center for Human Development” Public Organization, SME Cooperation Association and Union of Communities of Armenia.

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