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Official News

Friday, 15 April 2005

Today RA Prime Minister A. Margaryan has received the delegation headed by EC Director for In-School, Off-School and Higher Education Mrs.Gabriele Mazza.

Appreciative of the existing strong ties of fruitful cooperation between the Armenian government and the EU, the Prime Minister has prioritized the collaboration in the areas of education and research in both CIS and European frameworks. He expressed satisfaction at the on-going efforts for drafting new education laws, developing new policies and strategies in line with modern requirements, implementation of regional program in the field of higher education and so on. Armenia is currently involved in the international campaign for the observations of the EU-declared Year of Democratic Citizenship Through Education for which arrangement had been made by RoA Ministry of Education and Science as early as in 2002. The Prime Minister emphasized that the government of the Republic of Armenia prioritized human rights protection and democratic processes as part of its endeavors in the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy. He said they were due to be pursued through educational reforms as well and added that this was a direct implication of the goals set out in the PRSP.

Agreeing with the opinions expressed by the Prime Minister, Mrs. Gabriele Mazza for her part gave assurances of the European Union's willingness to continue and expand the cooperation with Armenia. In estimating her delegation's stay in our country as quite fruitful, Mrs. Mazza stressed that the chief purpose of their visit was to sum up the work done jointly and to clarify a number of points with relation to the future programs of cooperation. In result of topical discussions, the parties mentioned the quality and the accessibility of teaching, the structural reforms, education funding and administration to be among the most prospective areas of collaboration. According to Mrs. Mazza, the European Union was prepared to continue assisting Armenia with its linguistic policies, as well as in matters relating to the drafting of the RA law on Graduate and Post-Graduate Professional Education. With reference to the program referred to as " The Ethnic Minorities and Educational Policies" as implemented in 7 CIS countries, she advised that the program had resulted in a package of proposals to be forwarded to RoA Ministry of Science and Education for discussion. By noting that the 2004 Kiev conference had recommended to carry on the program in the fields of intercultural and interreligious exchanges, the EU Director said Armenia was expected to come up with relevant proposals. By noting that the issue of ethnic minorities was not a burning one in Armenia, nevetheless Prime Minister A. Margaryan reiterated his government's focus on the promotion of ethnic minorities' cultural and educational development with the view of ensuring their smooth integration in the Armenian society. The Prime Minister advised that a separate unit had been set up within the Office of Government, namely the Department for Ethnic Minorities and Religious Affairs.

The parties have also touched upon the regional cooperation in the field of education and referred to those items featuring on the agenda of the second meeting of the South Caucasian Ministers of Education to be held in May, 2005.

Bearing in mind that Armenia had ratified the Lisboa Convention and submitted an application for adherence to the Bologna process, the parties also reviewed the status of the ENIC, a number of questions relating to EU's assistance to Armenia in the framework of the Bologna process etc.

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