Europe Day in Syunik: Celebrating achievements directed at region’s resilience - Mediamax.am

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Europe Day in Syunik: Celebrating achievements directed at region’s resilience


Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation

Photo: EU Delegation


Europe Day 2024 celebrations were held in Syunik, highlighting the commitment of the European Union and its partners to support the region’s resilience and socioeconomic development.

Day 1: Achievements of Resilient Syunik Team Europe initiative, issues the region is facing and future tasks

During a discussion at the Impact Hub Syunik, established with the support of the European Union, EU Ambassador Vassilis Maragos emphasized that the EU and its member states - Austria, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland, as a partner – have joined efforts to create broader opportunities for Syunik.

Various projects are being implemented under the umbrella of Resilient Syunik Team Europe initiative to develop the private sector, promote and support green agriculture, develop skills through vocational and non-formal education, improve municipal capacities and services.

Photo: EU Delegation


“Team Europe is you, and we are here to support you. Today, we not only celebrate Europe Day together, but we will also listen to the region’s priorities and determine our next steps,” said EU Ambassador.

Governor of Syunik Robert Ghukasyan noted that celebrating Europe Day in Syunik speaks of a warm partnership environment, close cooperation with the European Union and the results of joint efforts.

Photo: EU Delegation


“We are going through a rather difficult phase, and we have felt your support throughout all our initiatives. The fact that this process is being done for the sake of Syunik’s population, for strengthening Syunik, for increasing its resilience and democracy, is beyond question. The most important thing is that we do it together, hand in hand. I am sure that in a few years we will talk about the strong Syunik that we are planning today.”

Gevorg Poghosyan, CEO of Impact Hub Yerevan, highlighted that the centre established with the support of the EU, has implemented seven projects in its two years of operation.

Photo: EU Delegation


“More than 50 enterprises from various corners of Syunik or people who turn their ideas into a new reality have received support. Seeing the impact on the participants of these projects, we understand that we are using our time and resources to change the lives of many people and help those who, in turn, change the lives of others,” said Gevorg Poghosyan.

Currently, 36 projects are being implemented under Resilient Syunik Team Europe initiative, with 10 more already completed. The total budget of the initiative is EUR 125 million, of which EUR 49 million in grants and EUR 76 million in loan funds.

Tatevik Davtyan, Cooperation Section Project Officer at the EU Delegation, presented the progress made by the initiative in 2023, highlighting that “2023 was an important year in terms of consolidating the idea and bringing many partners together.” To ensure accountability to the public and partners, the companies and organizations involved in the initiative have committed to collecting and publishing data annually on 17 indicators, including jobs created in the region, supported SMEs, improved public services, the number of improved public infrastructures, etc.

Photo: EU Delegation


Despite the implemented projects, still a number of issues in Syunik region need to be solved. Nvard Harutyunyan, advisor to the Governor of Syunik, presented the results of needs assessment carried out in the region to the discussion participants.

According to the research, the problems are related particularly to urban development, particularly in areas such as drinking water supply, drainage systems, obsolescence of housing stock in rural areas, shelter, garbage collection organization, lighting, access to medical services, crop seed production, beekeeping, modernization of library resources, playgrounds, community property, state institutions, and tourism.

Nvard Harutyunyan also presented project proposals aimed at addressing these problems, which can serve as a basis for future projects.

Photo: EU Delegation


Representatives of non-governmental organizations participating in the discussion suggested that the development of human capital, environmental issues, including plastic recycling, should also be prioritized.

After the discussion, the attendees had the opportunity to participate in the exhibition presenting the projects of Resilient Syunik Team Europe initiative. They also had the chance to taste local products and take “a piece” of Syunik to their communities.

Day 2: EU delegation tour and “first fruits from first hand”

On the second day of Europe Day celebrations in Syunik, on May 24, EU Ambassador Vassilis Maragos and the ambassadors of the countries involved in Resilient Syunik Team Europe initiative, visited different settlements to familiarize themselves with some of the carried out projects.

The first stop was at the newly renovated Goris Citizen Office, which is a unified hub for providing public services to citizens of Goris consolidated community.

Photo: EU Delegation


The office was established within the framework of the Good Governance for Local Development South Caucasus Programme [a part of Resilient Syunik Team Europe initiative] implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-financed by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).

Photo: EU Delegation


The employees presented their functions and the services provided by the office to the guests. Anna Davtyan, the office employee, said that although the office has been operating since 2016 and provided services on a one-stop basis, the community’s growth led to the changes in citizen demands, service types and increase of the authority of the community leader. Consequently, modernizing the office became a dire necessity. Irina Yolyan, Goris Deputy Mayor, stressed that the implementation of these and other initiatives is crucial in terms of improving the quality of life of the residents.

The next stop in the series of visits was at the Verishen Center of Winnet Goris Development Foundation to meet again with the displaced elderly women supported by the centre.

Photo: EU Delegation


In the framework of Resilient Syunik Team Europe Initiative, EU has been supporting Winnet through several projects for implementation of activities aimed at economic empowerment of vulnerable women, as well as offering support to refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh with a specific focus on elderly refugees.

During the meeting, Ruzanna Torozyan, president of the Foundation, presented the activities of the centre, development directions and upcoming tasks.

Photo: EU Delegation


“The member states of the European Union have always supported the integration of the population, cooperating with both the government and civil society representatives. I know that it has been challenging, but we are trying to do our best to be useful to you under these circumstances,” said Ambassador Vassilis Maragos.

Photo: EU Delegation


The next visit was to the multifunctional Tegh community-based social services centre coordinated by the Partnership and Teaching NGO. The centre is supported within the framework of Partnerships for Syunik - Enhanced Community-Based Social Service project funded by the European Union and implemented by the People in Need NGO. Among the supporters of the centre is also Actions Against Hunger-Spain funded by European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.

“We are located in a border community, where after the war we provided social and psychological services. Having worked in the community for many years, we realized the importance of providing stable social services,” said Artashes Torozyan, executive director of Partnership and Teaching NGO.

Photo: EU Delegation


Aram Mirzoyan, Deputy Mayor of Tegh, was also present at the meeting. He welcomed the implementation of similar projects in the community. Through this cooperation, the local municipality provided the area free of charge for centre’s activities. Some 180 children from the community and dozens of lonely elderly people and refugees visit the centre.

Photo: EU Delegation


EU Ambassador Vassilis Maragos and the ambassadors of the countries participating in Resilient Syunik Team Europe initiative also visited Davtyan’s Organic Asparagus Farm in Tegh. The farm is supported under EU Green Agriculture Initiative in Armenia (EU-GAIA) implemented by Austrian Development Agency (ADA), funded by the European Union (EU) and the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC). During the visit they got familiarized with the whole process of organic asparagus processing and packaging.

Photo: EU Delegation


The director of the company, Samvel Davtyan, presented their journey, shared about the difficulties and advantages of organic food production. He noted that they initially started the cultivation of asparagus on just 1,000 square meters. However, through cooperation with the European Union and the Austrian Development Agency, they expanded to 5 hectares and acquired property and equipment necessary to develop their business further.

Photo: EU Delegation


“Organic asparagus is already well-known in both local and foreign markets, but due to the high price, it is not sold locally - about 80% is exported to Dubai, Qatar, Russia and Germany,” he said.

Photo: EU Delegation


During the meetings, the delegation, particularly the EU Ambassador, emphasized the significance of the initiatives implemented in the communities. He assured that the Team Europe initiative will continue to provide support for the development of various sectors and communities.

Anahit Baghdasaryan




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