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PSIA Ambassador Lecture Series Continues with Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia

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YEREVAN, Armenia – On March 27, 2015, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) program hosted the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation His Excellency Mr. Traian Hristea. The talk was part of an Ambassadorial Lecture Series with EU member-state ambassadors and the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, organized, as in the last three years, by Dr. Syuzanna Vasilyan, Jean Monnet Chair of European Studies and PSIA Assistant Professor, under the umbrella of AUA’s “European Neighbourhood Policy” course.

Dr. Vasilyan welcomed the guest speaker and gave a brief overview of the current state of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Mr. Hristea continued on to highlight the importance of the ENP as guided by the objectives of promoting shared values, stability, and prosperity. He expanded on the four points of ownership, differentiation, focus, and flexibility, which will guide EU’s policy in the future and be mutually beneficial.

After stating that the neighborhood is dynamic, he elaborated on EU-Armenia relations and commented that they are on a solid foundation, with cooperation ranging from support to small and medium-size enterprise development to gender equality. Mr. Hristea readily answered questions from the audience dealing with visa facilitation procedures, engagement of civil society in monitoring of reforms, corruption in Armenia as compared to EU countries, EU’s contribution to the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, recognition of the Armenian genocide, and more.

Dr. Vasilyan stated, “The Ambassadorial Lectures have been organized to shed light on the policies of the EU and its member-states vis-à-vis the neighborhood and relations with Russia. This particular lecture is timely as it is taking place after the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly session and before the Riga summit of the Eastern Partnership. As for the revamped ENP, the culmination point will be reached in fall.”

Previous speakers have included His Excellency Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Romania to Armenia Mr. Sorin Vasile and Her Majesty’s Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Armenia Mrs. Katherine Jane Leach.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

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