Political and economic relations
EU relations with Armenia are based on the EU-Armenia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (1999), which provides for wide-ranging cooperation in the areas of political dialogue, trade, investment, economy, law-making and culture.
The EU is committed to further developing and strengthening its comprehensive cooperation with Armenia in all areas of mutual interest. Armenia was included (as a southern Caucasus country) in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in 2004 and in the Eastern Partnership in 2009.
New agreement with Armenia
On 2 January 2015, Armenia joined the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) (with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan). Despite Armenia's decision in September 2013 not to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA), Armenia and the EU continue their political and trade dialogue in areas where this is compatible with Armenia’s new obligations to the EEU. The EU and Armenia have successfully completed their joint scoping exercise for a future legal agreement compatible with Armenia's new international obligations.
On 12 October 2015 the Foreign Affairs Council authorised the European Commission and the High Representative to open negotiations on a new, legally binding and overarching agreement with Armenia, and adopted the corresponding negotiating mandate. The official launch of negotiations took place on 7 December 2015.The new agreement will replace the current EU-Armenia Partnership and Cooperation agreement.
EU assistance to Armenia
The EU financial cooperation with Armenia amounts to €140-170 million in grants for the period 2014-2017 and is primarily focused on private sector development and reforms of the public administration and the judiciary. In line with the revised ENP's 'more for more' principle, an additional €25 m were provided as grants to Armenia in 2013, and €15 m in 2012 under the Eastern Partnership Integration & Cooperation programme.
Greater mobility with EU
The Mobility Partnership with Armenia was signed in 2011. The parties committed to improve mobility of people between their territories, whilst working to ensure better management of migration flows, including preventing and reducing irregular immigration. In this context, the EU-Armenia Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements were signed and entered into force in January 2014.
Main trading partner for Armenia
The EU is Armenia’s main trading partner, accounting for around 27% of Armenia’s total trade. The EU continues to be Armenia's biggest export and import market with 28.8 % and 25.8 % share in total Armenian exports and imports respectively (2014 data).
The EU imports from Armenia mainly manufactured goods, crude materials, miscellaneous manufactured articles, beverages and tobacco. EU exports to Armenia consist of machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, miscellaneous manufactured articles and chemicals.
The total value of preferential imports from Armenia into the EU under the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) amounted to around € 60 million in 2014. Armenia's GSP utilisation rate remains high: around 73% in 2014. The main EU imports from Armenia under GSP preferences are: base metals and products made thereof (61%), textiles and clothing (33%) and foodstuffs (2%).
Facilitating cooperation in innovation and competitiveness
Negotiations for Armenia's participation to the EU's biggest Research and Innovation Programme HORIZON 2020 have been concluded in 2015. HORIZON 2020 provides financing in the field of research and innovation.
The signature for Armenia's participation at the Europe’s COSME programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will take place at end of 2015. The programme promotes entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture, improves access to finance for SMEs and boosts the competitiveness of SMEs.
Young people involved in EU programmes
In 2014 Armenia participated in the Tempus programme with 29 projects to modernise higher education mainly through university cooperation projects. 246 students and staff were selected in 2014 for mobility within partnerships supported by Erasmus Mundus and five students were selected for a joint Master’s degree. Armenia also participated in the eTwinning plus action with 23 schools. Young people and youth organisations benefited from Erasmus+, with 1 443 participating in mobility projects and 123 in the action for young people and decision-makers.
More information on EU-Armenia cooperation:
- the current ENP Action Plan for Armenia
- the last Progress Report for Armenia
- ENP and Enlargement Negotiations
Summary of EU financial aid
- European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) – funding through a national programme
- The Single Support Framework for Armenia
- EU bilateral aid - € 140-170 (2014-2017); 2007-2013: 285.1M€ (under ENPI)
- In line with the revised ENP's 'more for more' principle, an additional €25 m were provided as grants to Armenia in 2013, and €15 m in 2012 under the Eastern Partnership Integration & Cooperation programme
- Thematic programmes, e.g. the European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights