Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President of the Council of Europe Donald Tusk met in Yerevan. Donald Tusk is leaving office soon. After the elections of the European Parliament Tusk will be replaced by the Belgian prime minister. The EU leadership, including the European Commission, will change.
After the meeting with the leaving president Tusk Prime Minister Pashinyan underlined the importance of the EU-Armenia relations and the commitment of Armenia to the implementation of the Comprehensive and Enlarged Partnership Agreement. The leaving president Tusk confirmed the positive evaluation of positive change in Armenia and the continuity of support to Armenia.
In this respect, of course, a lot depends on the circumstance of what the new EU leadership is thinking and what relationship will be established between Armenia and these leaders.
The ultimate sign of the leaving leader’s positive attitude towards Armenia was the night which Tusk spent in Armenia. The point is that his regional visit started on July 9 in Baku whose relations with the EU has not been good in the recent years. Starting his visit from Baku, late at night Donald Tusk arrived in Yerevan and spent the night in the capital of Armenia. In diplomacy this is a subtle gesture and different other officials have made this gesture towards Armenia.
Is Donald Tusk’s gesture an expression of the attitude of not only the leaving but also coming leaders? It is impossible to tell this clearly now. Nevertheless, it is important that at the point of change of the EU leadership the EU-Armenia relations are pitched positive and high.
The rest, including new contacts and relations, are a matter of work which will encounter lots of challenges. And the problem is not in the EU-Armenia relations but on the European agenda and internal European discussions and debates in general. Europe is going through a movement of political, public and even social and psychological settings. This was reflected noticeably in the elections to the European Parliament almost a month ago as the so-called Eurosceptic forces achieved significant success.
In its interaction with the EU Armenia must take into consideration these layers and realities possibly deeply and holistically. And the purpose should be not only the prevention of decline of dynamics in the EU-Armenia relations but also more active capitalization of the base of belongingness of Armenia to the European civilization, considering the new sovereign opportunities opened up by the velvet revolution.
By the way, on the foreign policy platform Armenia has already distinguished itself by an initiative of a three-party cooperation with the EU member states Cyprus and Greece, the first summit expected in January 2020 in Armenia.
This format may include also issues relating to and the future agenda of the neo-European architecture.