In 1989, the "Trade, trade and economic cooperation" agreement signed between the European Community and the former Soviet Union marked the 'indirect' establishment of EU-Armenian relations.
However, the ‘direct’ EU-Armenia relations started in 1991 through the Tacis programme. Tacis is the main instrument of the EU/EC supporting the Eastern European and Central Asian countries in their transition to market economies and strengthening their democracies, the rule of law, and their administrative capacities.
is mainly focused on bilateral cooperation. It is based on Country Strategy Papers and national Indicative Programmes agreed with each partner country and valid for three to four years, identifying the priorities with respect two to six areas of cooperation.
PARTNERSHIP AND COOPERATION AGREEMENT
The EU-Armenia relations were officially established with the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which covers virtually all areas of relations except defence. It was signed on 22 April 1996 and entered into force on 1 July 1999, for an initial period of ten years. The main objective of PCA is to develop closer political, economic, social and cultural ties and to cooperate in many areas ensuring prosperous life in line with the standards of European countries, respect for democratic principles and the rule of law, citizens' rights, human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as a dynamic and sustainable socio-economic development of the country.
On 29 April 2004, the Government of the Republic of Armenia adopted a decree on “Organising the activities for elaboration of a national programme for PCA implementation", and these large-scale work was undertaken jointly with the Coordinating Committee established by the Government Decree, 24 working groups and about 200 state officials.
On 23 March 2006, the Government of Armenia approved the 2006-2009 National Programme for Implementation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the European Communities and its Member States aimed at EU Integration. The National Programme clearly indicates the level of approximation of the EU and Armenian legislations, governing the 29 areas of vital importance for the country’s overall development, as well as the approximation mechanisms, terms and methodology. It also identifies the institutions responsible for further implementation of the National Programme.
EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICY
In June 2004 Armenia (together with Georgia and Azerbaijan) was included in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The European Neighbourhood Policy sets ambitious objectives based on commitments to shared values and effective implementation of political, economic and institutional reforms.
Armenia is invited to enter into intensified political, security, economic and cultural relations with the EU, enhanced regional and cross border cooperation and shared responsibility in conflict prevention and conflict resolution.
The ENP Action Plan approved in 2006 is the first step of this process. The EU-Armenia Action Plan is a political document laying out the strategic objectives of the cooperation between Armenia and the EU.
Execution of the ENP Action Plan will contribute to the implementation of PCA provisions, establishing ties in new areas, and will encourage and support Armenia’s further integration into the European economic and social structures.