Support to Consolidating Democracy in Armenia
On 5th February 2014, the lauching event “Support to Consolidating Democracy in Armenia” was organized in Yerevan, Armenia. More than 100 people were present at the event; the representatives of the civil society, NGOs, and communities leaders. Mr. Oleksandr Pavlyuk, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan, Mr. Armen Gevorgyan, RA Deputy Minister, Minister of Territorial Administration, Mr. Ole Rasmussen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and Mr. Knud Andersen, Vice-Chairman of the Chamber of Regions, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities were among the speakers of the event.
Mr. Pavlyuk announced the launching of the three-year long programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and expressed special gratitude to the Government of Denmark.
Mr. Armen Gevorgyan greeted all the participants and wished fruitful years of hard working and tight collaboration. The European Union played a crucial role in the establishment procedure of the local democracy. They are all positive about the further results of the project, as it has emerged in a very difficult period, where many challenges are to be faced. The project will provide sustainable support to the consolidation of the democracy and enhance the rule of the law. The active participation and engagement of the civil society and the empowerment of the council of Aldermen system in all communities are the highlighted criteria of the project. The principle aim is to have big, financial communities, where the population can solve their problems at local level with the direct support of the local self-government bodies.
Mr. Ole Rasmussen stated that this project is about a fight against all the threats of transparent local democracy and good governance. Moreover, three components of the project, which are support of local government reforms, capacity building of local authorities and strengthening local elected representatives’ leadership have equal importance. First of all project implementers should cope with demographic challenges, understand what is happening and develop relevant tools and techniques. The European delegation doesn’t have any intention to teach lessons, rather than they are on the spot to implement the reforms together, to build atmosphere of transparency, trust and sense of leadership, to fill the missing gaps, remove what contradicts to the establishment of local democracy and find out together the best solutions and make steps forward. The project itself cannot achieve success without direct support of the government and the civil society.
Mr. Knud Andersen outlined the importance of the heads of the communities, as they are the people we will intensively promote democracy, form unique form of experiences and establish European standards of understanding of democracy and principles of good governance. Democracy is a progress and a long journey and there is no democracy without direct participation of the civil society. In Armenia he witnesses a big gap among the civil society and the local governance; hence project implementers should affectively cooperate with all levels of local authorities, involve nongovernmental organizations and do all possible to build trust among them. As a closing of the event there was a range of questions interesting for the participants.