June 25, 2019  |  Updated July 8, 2019

Disinformation as if Armenia and Georgia Would Benefit Equally From the European Union

By Maiko Ratiani

On June 4, 2019, the leader of “Alliance of Patriots” party, Davit Tarkhan-Mouravi, stated on Obieqtivi TV that Armenia is an “associated member” of the European Union and gets the same benefits by this cooperation as Georgia does.

The statement by Davit Tarkhan-Mouravi, as if Armenia, just like Georgia, is an “associated member” of the EU, is disinformation. The status of an “associated member” does not exist, there is only an Association Agreement, which Armenia has not signed and in contrast to Georgia, cannot enjoy Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).

  • Armenia is not an “associated member” of the EU. What does the Association Agreement mean?

The status of an “associated member” does not exist. Accordingly, Armenia cannot be an “associated member” of the EU. As for the Association Agreement, which is signed between the European Union and the partner country, it covers many spheres, including trade and related issues. European Union Association Agreement stipulates country’s approximation to the EU legislation and contributes to the process of Europeanization. Signatory state implements reforms with the EU support in security, politics, justice, sectoral policy, trade and other spheres, with the aim to ensure democratic development of the country and promotion of common European values such as protection of human rights, rule of law, fight against corruption, and other.

  • Armenia has not signed European Union Association Agreement

In 2010, Armenia and EU started negotiations regarding Association Agreement, which also included Free Trade Agreement. Armenia was ready to sign the Agreement, however, the negotiations were disrupted in September 2013, when Armenia’s then-President Serzh Sargsyan made a statement regarding accession to the Eurasian Economic Union and the country officially joined in January 2015. The EU had not been informed in advance about Armenia’s political course change and Sargsyan made the decision suddenly, after Russia’s President directly had summoned him to Moscow and had dictated to him the conditions formulated by the Russian side. This fact has demonstrated Russian-Armenian asymmetrical relations.

Since the Association Agreement also provides for the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which, in turn, precludes membership of the Eurasian Customs Union because of different tariff rules, the Association Agreement has not been signed between the EU and Armenia. In turn, the parties signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on November 24, 2017, which is similar to the political part of the Association Agreement, although it does not include economic issues.

  • Unlike Georgia, Armenia does not enjoy DCFTA

As noted above, the Association Agreement (AA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) differ from each other, since this last does not include Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). Unlike Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, Armenia does nor benefit from DCFTA, which means that Armenian production will not enter the largest European market without customs duty.

After the USA, EU market is the world’s second largest market, uniting 500 million users and gross domestic product amounts to USD 19 trillion. For comparison, there are 180 million users in Eurasian Customs Union, while the gross domestic product is USD 1.8 trillion.

Countries signing DCFTA enjoy four EU freedoms, including one, related to visa-free regime and free movement of people, while primarily in the framework of DCFTA, Georgia along with Moldova and Ukraine enjoys free movement of goods, services and capital.

This article was originally published by Myth Detector

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