On 15 May, discussion on the issues identified in economy and energy sectors and their solutions was held in the framework of the EY funded “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” Project.
28 representatives of the state bodies and civil society (CSO) in the field of economy and energy and experts attended the event.
Mr. Emin Yeritsyan, President of the Union of Communities of Armenia, Coordinator of Local Self Government Issues of the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project, said that NGOs should perceive their role and place in the economy or in the “Smart Community” economic development programs, as well as in their monitoring.
“From the very start of the project there was close cooperation with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development, and feedback was ensured as well. In essence, the Ministry shares the whole ideology of citizens’ involvement in local self-government. We have introduced some mechanisms legislatively, but of course, they are not enough. In this case, we say that civil society organizations shall form coalitions and have a significant impact on the development of state policies. Considering the fact that we have a new government and a changing society, and under such circumstances the new government shall submit a new program to the National Assembly, we can state that this discussion is a good opportunity for the representatives of the civil society to participate in the development of the new program of the Government,” Emin Yeritsyan said.
Mr. Vache Terteryan, the Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Development, in his speech mentioned that he highlights the existence of such project and cooperation between the government and the representatives of civil society.
During the discussion, there was a reference to the issues identified in the economy sector, the weak mechanisms of CSO participation in the local growth strategies and the “smart community” initiatives, the need to improve these strategies and initiatives, as well as the need of advocacy, monitoring and greater involvement of CSO in them.
Ms Lilit Chitchyan, expert of the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project said that in recent years public administration has recorded a rather serious evolution based on state-civil society cooperation. “It is important to understand that public authorities are not only local governments or public administration bodies, they are institutions of different levels – political parties, large businesses, media, NGOs, governing elite, individuals, etc. And it is very important that public administration is perceived as an exercise public law and all stakeholders understand where conflicts of interest exist and how to engage in a dialogue,” Lilit Chitchyan said.
Issues related to the energy sector were discussed at the event as well. They are:
- Improvement and monitoring of rural green economy and clean energy initiatives, the need for advocacy of these issues in schools,
- The need for the development and/or improvement of public policies in the public works process (e.g. public procurement) based on the best practices of energy efficiency regulations and regulatory measures and their advocacy.
The “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project is implemented with the financial support of the European Union by a Consortium of civil society organisations, which are the Armenian Lawyers’ Association (lead organisation), Agora Central Europe (NGO based in the Czech Republic), the Armenian Centre for Democratic Education-CIVITAS, the International Centre for Human Development, the SME Cooperation Association and the Union of Communities of Armenia.