29.05.2017 | 15:45 | Foreign Policy
The nine standing committees of the newly-elected RA National Assembly include the Standing Committee on European Integration. The scope of activity of this committee will include ties with the European Union and the Council of Europe, harmonization of RA laws with European legislation and laws governing those areas. On May 20, Naira Zohrabyan was reelected as chairperson of this committee. The committee is composed of 8 deputies, one of which is from Yelq bloc, three from Tsarukyan bloc and four from the Republican Party.
Taking into account Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union and the resulting impossibility of Armenia’s integration with Europe, as well as the economic recession Armenia experienced during the recent two years due to EAEU membership, it is worth addressing the positions of the committee members on the Armenian foreign policy course.
On December 4, 2014, the RA National Assembly (former staff) voted for EAEU membership, thus failing the signing of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union and immensely complicating the European integration. Some of the deputies that participated in that decisive voting in 2014 are in the newly-elected parliament. In particular, Arayik Grigoryan, Artak Sargsyan (famous with the nickname “SAS Artak”) from the Republican Party (RPA) voted for EAEU membership back in 2014.
The fourth RPA member Mihran Hakobyan was not in the former staff of the National Assembly but he is famous for his anti-European statements. And the “Ararat” TV channel belonging to him has stood out for its support to the Russian propaganda machine.
Chairperson of the committee Naira Zohrabyan, who represents Tsarukyan bloc, was absent from the session on the voting day, and the other two members from the bloc, namely, Luiza Sargsyan and Shake Isayan, were not members of the former RA National Assembly staff. Similarly, the deputy from “Yelq” Gevorg Gorgisyan was not member of the former RA National Assembly staff either.
And though the representatives from “Tsarukyan” and “Yelq” blocs did not participate in the EAEU membership voting, it is worth noting that almost the whole staff of the “Prosperous Armenia” party voted for EAEU membership, while two of the leaders of current “Yelq” bloc Edmon Marukyan and Nikol Pashinyan voted against it.
In other words, the RPA members of the Standing Committee on European Integration have a clear orientation towards the Eurasian Economic Union. The position of the chairperson of the committee and Tsarukyan bloc members is not pro-European either. And the only member from “Yelq” bloc Gevorg Gorgisyan is a minority in this committee even if he has a clear pro-European position.
In any event, we have appeared in a ridiculous situation when majority of the members of the Standing Committee on European Integration have in some way or other opposed European integration.
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