The first step would be the agreement of all the member countries of the European Union
Photo: Gevorg Kazaryan, JAMnews
On the eve of the Eastern Partnership Summit which will take place next week in Brussels, the European Parliament has called on Armenia to begin a dialogue concerning visa liberalization.
Armenian experts believe that this stage of simplifying the visa procedure has been successfully completed and now its time to move on to talks on visa liberalization.
“In order to begin the dialogue on visa liberalization, Armenia must meet certain pre-requisites. The question of visa regime liberalization ranks third in importance on the foreign policy agenda of Armenia. This ranks just below the signing of the Armenia-EU framework agreement and the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” says Armen Ashotyan, Head of the Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Relations and a member of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia.
All member states of the European Union need to be in agreement before the process can go forward.
Former MP of the National Assembly Tevan Poghosyan believes that the signing of the agreement on cooperation between Armenia and the EU which is scheduled for 24 November may provide a political platform on which the members of the European Union can present a political mandate to begin dialogue with Armenia.
“At the Riga Summit of the Eastern Partnership which took place two years ago Armenia and the European Union issued a joint statement in which the EU took it upon itself to continue cooperation with Armenia concerning the visa regime. An EU monitoring group must visit Armenia and assess to what extent Armenia has fulfilled the obligations it took upon itself during the previous stage.
“Armenia carried out significant steps to simplify the visa regime, and we should not have any problems [moving forward]. But to create a favourable political environment, we must sign an agreement on cooperation,” Tevon Poghosyan said.