The Council of Europe will continue assisting Armenia
Irrespective of status of signing the European Union Association Agreement, Armenia remains a member state of the Council of Europe (CoE). Consequently, the Council will continue its support to Armenia through projects aimed at fostering democracy, human rights and rule of law.

At the press conference hosted by Media Center Oleksandr Pavlyuk, head of Council of Europe's Office in Yerevan, discussed the activities of the Council of Europe's Office in Yerevan and issues that are on the CoE- Armenia cooperation agenda.

The CoE representative chose not to address Armenia’sprogress with regard to fostering human rights and democracy since its outside of the mandate of the Office in Yerevan. The mission of the Office is to facilitate the implementation of CoE country-specific programs in Armenia.

The Monitoring Committee of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is expected to assess Armenia’s compliance with obligations and commitments towards the Council of Europe. The PACE Monitoring Committee will visit Armenia in June.

Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, is expected to visit Armenia in fall 2014.

Oleksandr Pavlyuk, the head of Council of Europe's Office in Yerevan, stressed the importance of consolidating democracy and human rights, particularly in view of the event in Ukraine wherecorruption and other abuses have caused the recent civil revolution.

With respect to the intended activities of the Council of Europe's Office in Yerevan, Oleksandr Pavlyuk noted that the Office assists in implementing CoE country-specific programs, as well as regional and joint programs with the EU and other donors, based on the 2012-2014 CoE Action Plan for Armenia.

The latter is a package of priority actions aimed at helpingArmenia to harmonize its legislation, institutions, and practices in line with European standards. In The Office cooperates closely with the Armenian authorities, international community, and civil society to ensure effectiveness of its support.

Among successfully completed projects in Armenia Pavlyuk singled out the establishment of the School of Advocates which was implemented in collaboration with the European Union to enhance the professional capacities of the justice sector in Armenia.

Presently, the Office in Yerevan plans to implement a large-scale local government development project through the financial support of the Danish Government, which has allocated 1.7 mln euros to the project.

The head of the Council of Europe's Office in Yerevan emphasized CoE’s numerous achievements, among which he prioritized the European Convention on Human Rights that subsequently became the foundation of the European Court of Human Rights.

‘The European Court of Human Rights is the last resortfor the Armenian citizens to obtain justice if their rights are violated.’ The speaker also reminded that Armenia’s accession to the Council of Europe in 2001 implies assuming obligations and commitments towards the Council of Europe and becoming a member of one big European family.

‘There are no countries that have achieved ideal results with regard to democratization. What matters is that the countries should acknowledge the problems they face in the process of democratization rather than avoiding them.’

The press conference of the head of the Council of Europe's Office in Yerevan was initiated by the Media Center as part of Europe Days celebrations.

It should be noted that Europe Day symbolizes peace and unity, a common concept for both the European Union and the Council of Europe. However, there are two separate designations of Europe Day: May is 9 celebrated as the European Union Day while May  5marks the Council of Europe Day which coincided with the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the Council of Europe this year.

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