Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has offered colleagues from the Council of Europe (CoE) to contribute to the judiciary reforms in Armenia through engagement – rather than assistance – in the recent processes initiated by his government.
At a working lunch with Christos Giakoumopoulos, the CoE Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, he reaffirmed the increased public confidence in the Armenian government in the wake of the past year’s political transitions. He said that the executive and legislative authorities received the population’s real mandate, enjoying their full-fledged trust and support thanks to democratically conducted elections. But the premier admitted that the judiciary still lags behind the other branches of power, with the society being distrustful of the decisions made by judicial bodies.
A delegation led by Giakoumopoulos is in Armenia as part of a CoE assistance program aimed at assisting in judiciary reforms in the country. The arrangement for his visit was reached between the prime minister and CoE Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland on May 22.
Emphasizing the extreme importance of radical reforms in the sector, the prime minister said it is a key priority and agenda for his government to ensure the full independence of courts.
The European official reaffirmed the Council’s support to the new government’s mission and vision, promising to assist in the reforms agenda to achieve drastic changes. He also promised to visit the country again to discuss future steps and actions towards fostering the bilateral cooperation.
According to a press release by the Government, the sides mutually emphasized the importance of fight against corruption, agreeing on steps to implement the judiciary reforms in line with the Constitution of Armenia and international standards, as well as the commitments to the Council of Europe.
The delegation includes Executive Secretary Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) Gianluca Esposito, Secretary of the Venice Commission Thomas Markert, Head of the Department of Justice and Legal Cooperation (Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law) Hanne Juncker and Political Adviser Maxim Longang.
After the meeting, the prime minister announced his decision to take a short leave. He will spend the time in Armenia.