It is important that the provisions of the new “Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement” become reality and our citizens feel the changes resulted by the Agreement. Mr. Karen Zadoyan, President of the Armenian lawyers’ Association, the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” Project Manager said today at the National Assembly during the hearing on the theme “Armenia – EU Comprehensive and Expanded Partnership”. The parliamentary hearings were jointly organized by the RA NA Standing Committees on Foreign Relations and European Integration.
The speaker especially highlighted the cooperation between the government and civil society in this process, which provides opportunities for both civil society organizations and the authorities.
“I can highlight several aspects, in constructing dialogue. The first is the exchange of information, secondly, participation in the decision-making process, and third, participation in monitoring of public policies and public budgets,” Karen Zadoyan said.
Karen Zadoyan presented the EU-funded “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project as an example of effective dialogue, which enabled to mobilize the potential of civil society organizations and through dialogue with the government it became possible to implement a number of important reforms in the country.
“The program had anti-corruption character and it gave its result, for example, the criminalization of illicit enrichment; creation of the independent anti-corruption body, establishment of the whistleblowers’ institute and the introduction of the system for identification of beneficial owners in the institute of Public Procurement Institute,” Mr. Zadoyan mentioned.
Karen Zadoyan also presented the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project currently implemented by the Armenian Lawyers’ Association with the financial support of the European Union. The main objective of the project is to make the voice of Armenian civil society organizations heard in the process of public policy development through the development of their capacities. Also, achieving significant results through mobilization of CSOs’ potential in the targeted 9 areas of the project, and with the Government support.
“I believe this agreement will give us a wide range of opportunities to introduce the best practices of different areas. We will do our best to bring the agreement to life and result in real changes for our citizens. It’s one thing to write on paper, and the feeling of these changes by citizens is something else,” he noted.
The “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” action is implemented with the financial support of the European Union by a Consortium of civil society organizations, which are “Armenian Lawyers’ Association”, 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.
The overall objective of the project is to enhance the influence of CSOs on the public policy process, and the specific objectives are to strengthen the ability of CSOs to build coalitions and focus on constructive and strategic policy engagement with local and central government partners. This will enable organizations (which already work in targeted coalitions) to acquire new resources, to join and encourage the civil society experts to engage in and encourage their participation in the formation of the local and national policies agenda; to identify common issues and priorities; and to address the government with constructive and strategic policy initiatives.
The project has a sub-granting component, under which grants will be provided to CSOs and CSOs Coalitions, which will be directed to the development of public policies and will have tangible results in 9 target areas, including justice, education and business.