YEREVAN. – The EU assesses the May 20 announcement of Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan about the judicial system of the country as a firm commitment for carrying out reforms, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Armenia, on Tuesday told this to reporters, according to Armenpress.
“We have not had the opportunity to discuss the issue in detail with the Government, or the Justice Ministry of Armenia, or other people,” Świtalski said. “Anyway, as an announcement as a political act, I think what the PM said is very understandable for us. He adding that it is very clear and firm commitment to carry out reforms in Armenia’s justice system.
“Today the Justice Minister talked about vetting, presenting the example of Albania,” the EU envoy stressed. “As you may know, the EU closely cooperated with the government of Albania, developing the so-called Albanian model, and today this vetting model is supported by the EU. This is something the Armenian side could take into account.”
Świtalski stressed that the EU believes the reforms in the justice domain of Armenia are of vital importance for the future.
“I can say that deep and comprehensive reforms in the justice sphere are of significant importance for your future for a number of reasons,” he explained. “But the first reason is that the Armenian people do not trust the courts. Last year the EU financially supported the independent researches that documented that extremely many Armenians do not trust the courts.”
Also, the EU diplomat highlighted the need for reforms to restore public trust, and added that these reforms should be carried out in line with the Constitution of Armenia and honoring the country’s international commitments.
Piotr Świtalski noted that he can once again officially present the following position: “We are ready to support Armenia in implementing deep and comprehensive reforms in justice sphere by providing technical or consultative support and quite large financial support. We intensively support the obligations assumed by the Prime Minister to carry out reforms in justice sphere. This is an extremely serious commitment. We never enforce anything, but the Government of Armenia should know that it can rely on our support during the implementation of those reforms based on the mentioned principles.”
And when asked why the people in Armenia do not trust the courts, the Head of the EU delegation said, “The two main reasons are the following: corruption; and the political dependence, political manipulations of courts. This is the official position of the EU.”