8th Eastern Partnership Informal Ministerial Dialogue held in Armenia
The 8th Eastern Partnership Informal Ministerial Meeting on research, science and innovation took place in Yerevan, on November 16-17, hosted by The Armenian Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan. The event was attended by Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Ministers and high level officials of Eastern Partnership countries - Armenia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova and other honourable guests.
As a result of the dialogue, a series of questions were discussed, devoted to the perspectives of future participation of Eastern Partnership countries in the European Union's Research and Innovation "Horizon 2020" Framework Programme, including the issues of further development of Armenia's participation as an associate membership, as well as increasing the competitiveness of the research and innovation sphere of Armenia and considering the prospects for its integration into the European Research Area.
Levon Mkrtchyan, Minister of Education and Science of Armenia, welcomed all parties of the informal ministerial dialogue: "We believe that after joining the “Horizon 2020" Programme, our countries will get new opportunities of integrating our educational systems to those of European institutions. I would like to thank our European colleagues for the constant support that we receive in order to achieve that aim".
EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn highlighted that the Programme is the result of continuous efforts, aimed at bringing the Eastern Partnership countries much closer to the European Union. "The most essential issue is to support economic development, which becomes possible only with a quality labor force, that is, the existence of qualified scientists and modern equipment. Therefore, we should take advantage of the research and innovation potential, which is already available, and do even more. There is no limit to the field of science and research, or at least there should not be one. Currently we are doing everything necessary to overcome the difficulties and challenges of the past”.
EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas referred to the "Horizon 2020" Programme, informing that individuals, universities, enterprises, startups entrepreneurs and even a group of people sharing the same ideas can apply for participation in the Programme. "We discussed specific actions towards a better integration of our systems and climbing the ladder of excellence together. I am grateful for the fact that today we agreed to jointly establish and promote a new initiative for innovation. This will create a common framework for the two pillars- integration of systems and promotion of competitiveness. To achieve this aim, it’s necessary to boost competitiveness and financing, investing in skills”, EU Commissioner said.
Let us recall that the Horizon 2020 Association Agreeement between the European Commission and the Republic of Armenia was signed in Brussels on May 19, 2016,. It was ratified by the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on October 19, 2016, and entered into force on November 12, 2016.
Horizon 2020 is the 8th European-scale Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). Participation in Horizon 2020 is available to the Member States of the European Union, including their overseas departments, the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) linked to the Member States, The Countries Associated to Horizon 2020 (this includes 4 out of 6 Eastern Partnership countries: Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia) as well as other 134 countries.