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Official News

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Joint RPA-EPP seminar: “The role of values in transition societies”





Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan joined today Jaime Mayor Oreja, European People’s Party Group deputy chairman in the European Parliament, to attend a seminar  in Yerevan entitled “The role of values in transition societies.” The seminar was also attended by Head of EU delegation in Armenia, Ambassador Raul Lutzenberger, Armenian MPs, RPA members and experts.

Addressing the seminar, the head of government noted in part: “I am glad to greet European People’s Party Group deputy chairman Jaime Mayor Oreja. You may be aware that the Republican Party of Armenia has been cooperating with European People’s Party for some time now. Several meetings have been held with the EPP leadership on the sidelines of our cooperation. Today’s meeting is important, on the one hand, because we want to see through the problems of concern to our European partners and, on the other hand, because would like to give an idea of our vision of the system of values adopted by the RPA. Apart from providing a closer perspective of the problems discussed, the exchange of views may create a stronger basis for our cooperation with the EPP.”

Thankful for a warm welcome, Jaime Mayor Oreja delivered a report entitled “Politics as a tool for serving society.” The ability of forming adequate ideas of reality and giving accurate diagnostics was singled out as a political figure’s key asset. Down to the crisis of values, he pointed out that Europe faces the threat of relativism which is proliferating rapidly across European countries.

According to Mr. Oreja, the above is mainly caused by the weakening impact of those values which were at the heart of all European projects and social-political models. He dwelt on the peculiarities of Spanish transition underscoring that the new system of values and the new social-political model was behind Spain’s successful transition. In this context, family, education, ethnic identity and the system of national values were singled out as key assets. Experience sharing was said to be crucial in terms of coming to useful conclusions.

In his report, entitled “The shaping of middle class as a pledge for successful reform,” Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan presented different understandings of the notion of “middle class.” Speaking about the system of values inherent in democratic societies, the head of government said that the emergence of middle class is the key to building civil society. Two converging paths were singed out on the way to shaping the institutions of civil society: natural development and reforms when the State sets the rules of the game amid transition from a totalitarian system to a democratic one. Armenia’s model implies first of all defense of private ownership rights. “Armenia needs a new policy agenda which would rule out any impediment to the shaping of a middle class in the country.

Therefore, in the first place, we need real institutions to protect private ownership;

Secondly, we should engage in effective fight against oligopolies, form a business-friendly competitive environment and observe strict business discipline.

Thirdly, we ought to disseminate specific values inherent in the middle class, namely that of family, education, market competition, as well as the ability of getting, analyzing information and drawing independent conclusions about development in our country, cherishing a sense of civic duty, participation and social mission.”

Tigran Sargsyan stressed that reforms are doomed to failure unless we shape a middle class and civil society in Armenia.

During the briefing that followed, the Prime Minister made a point of the first-ever such seminar held in Armenia involving the RPA and the EPP based on the fact that the RPA has filed an application for EPP membership.

During the seminar, the floor was also given to: Archbishop Natan Hovhannisyan with the report entitled “The threats of love of gain and relativism to free society,” Artak Zakharyan with the report entitled “Family values and the value of education for harmonious social development,” and Ambassador Raul Lutzenberger with the report entitled “The possible impact of political and economic integration with the European Union on economic progress and social development in Armenia, as well as on regional dialog and cooperation.”

In conclusion, an interested exchange of views unfolded during which the participants presented their points of view and came up with specific proposals on the problems discussed.
 

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