Strengthening the capacity of the National Assembly of Armenia to further support CEPA oversight and implementation

Component 2

Component 2 (Mandatory Result 2): Enhanced capacity of the members and staff of the NA in performing all parliamentary core functions through piloting CEPA-related laws and policies

MS Component Leader 2: Ms. Eleni Kanellopoulou, Scientific Associate of the Hellenic Parliament Scientific Service
BC Component Leader 2: Ms. Mari Manukyan, Coordinating Expert, Standing Committee on European Integration National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia

Component 2 is about hands-on work on actual items jointly carried out by beneficiary and project staff as a form of practical on-the-job training. It will focus on priorities outlined in the CEPA Implementation Roadmap, whilst using the NA’s systems, including the improvements made through the Component 1. It will pilot the newly introduced tools, methods and practices through enhancing the legal approximation with the Union acquis and policy framework. The possibility to organise internships in the Member State Parliament for the experts of the SC and other relevant NA staff, could be further explored under this component. The activities under this Component will further contribute towards improving the capacity of the NA to effectively advance the adoption and to oversee implementation of the CEPA-related legislation, policies and assistance programmes, through piloting items in the Eastern Partnership priority areas (in particular Stronger Governance, Stronger Economy, and Stronger Connectivity). In addition, the capacity of the SC-EI to promote the EU-Armenia cooperation agenda and foster the parliamentary oversight over CEPA implementation will be further enhanced.

  • Sub-result 2.1: Improved capacity of the SC-EI to coordinate EU-Armenia cooperation in relation to overall CEPA and to items under its direct responsibility. Under current arrangements the SC-EI leads the delegation to the PPC as well as parliamentary oversight of the national Roadmap Implementation mechanism. Within NA proceedings, its task to lead the EU-Armenia cooperation agenda includes the possibility of providing opinions on CEPA items assigned to other SCs. Channelling Twinning assistance is expected to improve its actual capacity to play these roles. The NA management can also assign the SC-EI to directly take lead activities on specific CEPA-related items and has done so in relation to the implementation of the Visa Facilitation and Readmission agreement. The SC-EI, therefore should be expected to effectively carry out oversight of executive performance, for example on the implementation of the readmission agreement (specifically flagged in the CEPA Implementation Roadmap). This could be further complemented by organising different public awareness events and campaigns on topics covered by CEPA.
  • Sub-result 2.2: Improved capacity of the NA bodies to advance CEPA-related commitments under EaP “Stronger governance” set of priorities This being the area with the most visible Roadmap priorities for the Twinning period, options for case work are abundant. They may include oversight on the implementation of the expected Anti-corruption Action Plan, the finalization of in-house amendments to the law on CPC, as well as outreach activities in the same area. In the crucial Justice sector, veiling on the implementation of the new Strategy may provide a starting point, with possible further focuses including sector financing and its impact on judicial performance. Protection of human rights and equality falls within the same broad area: the scheduled approval of amendments to the criminal and criminal procedure codes offer an example for model legislative work, while planned legislation on anti-discrimination may require strict oversight and outreach support to sort out its effects. An example of interesting theme to follow may concern practical developments under the National Action Plan on UN SC Resolution 1325, on women in armed conflicts.
  • Sub-result 2.3: Improved capacity of the NA bodies to advance CEPA-related commitments under EaP “Stronger economy” set of priorities Plans for economic reform will move from an overhaul of the inherited strategic and normative framework. To this effect, parliamentary outreach could be crucial to ensure an inclusive input in key strategies (e.g. SMEs, industrial policy, quality infrastructure) and laws (e.g. on taxation, competition, consumer protection and trade in services, including growing sectors such as Tourism). Furthermore, parliamentary oversight may play an important role in keeping economic and fiscal policy effective, including by scrutinizing investment projects in the new “regional growth poles”, as well as financing mechanisms for SMEs. The CEPA lacks a free trade dimension. While ending in 2023 the GSP+ incentives system that Armenia benefits from, continues to strengthen the monitoring of implementation of 27 key human rights and other treaties. The role of the NA in this connection is primary – thus creating an important link between trade, economic policy and governance reforms.
  • Sub-result 2.4: Improved capacity of NA bodies to advance CEPA-related commitments under EaP “Stronger connectivity” set of priorities. Relevant to the Connectivity area, the CEPA Roadmap schedules for the Twinning period multiple items aimed at approximating Armenian legislation with the EU acquis, often also in connection with important EU-driven investments in infrastructure. Combining legislative activities with oversight on executive rulemaking and spending, is therefore a possibility – especially in areas such as road safety (drivers, vehicles and roads) as well as sustainable water management (water policy, creation of river basin authorities, water supply system). Legislation on energy efficiency is another possible case in point. The several legislative items, which the Roadmap calendarized in the area of environmental protection, cover important public health concerns that offer additional potential for outreach activities, also along with oversight of the executive measures needed to implement. Such is the case, for instance, with amendments to open environmental impact assessments to civil society participation.
  • Sub-result 2.5: Enhanced capacity of the NA SCs for budget formulation To support the NA with the newly assigned functions of exercising supervision over the State Budget, the Twinning project will provide (or enhance) guidelines and deliver on-the-job training to a share of the NA’s members and SCs’ staff using EU MS’s best practices in oversight of the budget cycle. Collaboration between SCs and the Budget Office of the NA will be strengthened to further encourage using and enhancing its expertise. The activities planned under this sub-result should also be developed through close collaboration with any development partners supporting the NA in the budget process.

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«Այս կայքը ստեղծվել և պահպանվում է Եվրոպական միության ֆինանսական աջակցությամբ: Բովանդակության համար պատասխանատվություն է կրում «Հայաստանի Ազգային ժողովի կարողությունների ուժեղացում՝ ՀԸԳՀ վերահսկողության և իրականացման հետագա աջակցության նպատակով» ծրագիրը և պարտադիր չէ, որ այն արտահայտի Եվրոպական միության տեսակետները»