EU-Armenia Relations in the Framework of Visa Facilitation and Liberalization

Stepan Grigoryan

Obtaining a visa-free regime with the EU is one of the main goals set both in the EU’s Eastern Partnership and in the 2019 Programme of the Government of Armenia. The final stage for reaching the visa-liberalization agreement, namely the Visa-Dialogue between the EU and Armenia, has not been launched yet. Armenia and the EU face a high risk of irregular migration from Armenia. The EU also expects a strong political commitment from the Armenian government to carry out democratic reforms, and improve migration management, readmission, document security, human rights and the fight against corruption. 

This paper highlights the Armenian authorities’ key achievements, such as the EU-Armenian cooperation in sectors of mobility and border management and the ratification of the 2014 Visa-Facilitation and Readmission Agreements. It details the rights and benefits that the Visa-Facilitation Agreement has provided to the citizens of Armenia. The paper highlights the main issues related to the full transition to biometrical passports, data protection, and readmission. The paper is based on statistical data about Schengen visa issuance and refusal rates over time, as well as the number of asylum-seeking applications from Armenian citizens. The paper concludes with series of recommendations that would assist the Armenian government in reaching a visa-free regime with the EU. 

Source: the Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP, Georgia)