25. July 2018
The peaceful change of government in Armenia, called by its organizers the Velvet Revolution, and directed against authoritarian tendencies and widespread corruption took place in April and May of 2018. As a result of the growing massive protest movement the new pro-democratic Government was formed in May 2018, led by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. As a result of the Velvet Revolution, Armenia has taken important steps establishing more democratic and rule of law based society. However, due to uncertain position of the new Government, the progress and enforcing Government’s decisions are dependent on the approval of opposition majority controlled parliament; it is not yet certain how permanent these changes are. Decision point here is the new Government’s ability to call new parliamentary elections during the second half of 2018 and to achieve electorate’s support for its reform program. While Government is promising sweeping pro democratic reforms in Armenian domestic politics, the foreign policy priorities of Armenia remain the same as before – the close relations with Russia are of primary importance, because of the geopolitical constraints (the frozen conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh). However, the new Government could be expected to establish closer ties also with EU and USA, as it has stressed the importance of building better relations with Western countries. The EU Eastern Partnership format and especially the new Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) provides excellent platform for deepening of Armenian cooperation with the European Union.
The report by ECEAP Senior Research Fellow Mr Aap Neljas can be found here: Armenia Velvet Revolution.