The meeting of the European People’s Party (EPP) Political Assembly in Brussels, January 27-28, had a rather heavy agenda.
One of the two key issues on the agenda dealt with the elections to the European Parliament scheduled for May 25, Vice-Chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) Armen Ashotyan, who is a member of the Armenian delegation, told Tert.am.
“The elections will determine the European Union’s economic, political and social development. The EPP with its member-parties will participate in the elections. As the largest group in the European Parliament, our partners aim at maintaining this status by getting a plurality in the European Parliament. In this context, the EPP Political Assembly discussed the issue of holding an EPP congress in Dublin, Ireland, on March 6 and 7. During the congress, the EPP is expected to nominate its candidate, who, if wins, may make a bid for heading the European Commission,” Ashotyan said.
During the 2012 parliamentary elections and 2013 presidential election in Armenia, the EPP pledged its support to Armenia’s ruling party, RPA.
As to what the RPA is going to do to support the EPP, Ashotyan said: “We are interested in the EPP getting as many votes as possible – in the European Parliament and in the European Commission. The RPA, within the limits of the possible, as well as within the Armenian and European laws, will support the EPP member-parties that will deal with the communities with Armenians constituting a significant part of the population.”
The EPP Political Assembly approved the EPP platform for 2014-2019, which will serve as a basis for the EPP election program.
“I had a number of meetings with EPP leaders and with some European Parliament members. As regards the agenda of development of the Armenia-EU relations, it must be drawn up at a rapid pace. Although elections are coming in Europe, we should not remain observers for the coming few months.”
Ashotyan noted that Armenia should cooperate with its partners at all levels in drawing up a new agenda of the Armenia-EU relations during the coming months.
“According to our European partners, this agenda must be anchored to Armenia’s needs and expectations about the European Union. The European Union and Armenia are mutually interested in developing cooperation. All the means must be used for developing relations with the European Union, including the accession of Armenian political parties to large European institutions,” he said.
As to whether European Parliament members have since September 3 shown better understanding of Armenia’s choice, against the background of Ukraine developments, Ashotyan pointed out a minor difference between the situations and assessments immediately after September 3 and now. At present, both the sides are showing a much more balance approach to real politics.
According to the RPA vice-chairman, due to the European Union Armenia has implemented reforms in practically all the areas in recent years.
“Never before has Europe been so tangibly represented in Armenia,” Ashotyan concluded.