EU-Armenian Relations: Charting a Fresh Course

CEPS Research Report No. 2017-14, November 2017, ISBN: 978-94-6138-640-3

32 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2017

See all articles by Hrant Kostanyan

Hrant Kostanyan

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS); Ghent University; Vesalius College

Richard Giragosian

Regional Studies Center (RSC)

Date Written: November 15, 2017


The EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), initialled in March 2017, presents a fresh start for the deepening of relations between the two parties in the wake of Armenia’s abortive Association Agreement and related Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). Despite a difficult and complicated context, both the EU and Armenia have demonstrated the necessary political will to negotiate a new compromise agreement that takes into account Armenia’s commitments and limitations as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). CEPA retains a considerable amount of content from the sacrificed Association Agreement, as seen in the areas of political dialogue, justice and freedom, and even security. The new agreement also includes a substantial amount of the EU acquis in legally binding provisions across a range of sectoral areas of cooperation, although the effectiveness of CEPA’s essential degree of conditionality remains an open question. The issues most affected by Armenia’s EAEU membership are core trade policy elements and the consequential loss of any DCFTA. CEPA may be viewed in EU policy terms as an example of ‘differentiation’ and greater flexibility, as advocated by the 2015 European Neighbourhood Policy review, although this was prompted by Russian force majeure. The ultimate impact of CEPA remains a test of implementation, which still poses undeniable challenges for Armenia.

Keywords: EU, Armenia, CEPA , DCFTA,EU-Armenia relations

Suggested Citation

Kostanyan, Hrant and Giragosian, Richard, EU-Armenian Relations: Charting a Fresh Course (November 15, 2017). CEPS Research Report No. 2017-14, November 2017, ISBN: 978-94-6138-640-3, Available at SSRN:

Hrant Kostanyan (Contact Author)

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) ( email )

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Brussels, 1000

Ghent University ( email )

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Vesalius College ( email )

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Brussels, B-1050

Richard Giragosian

Regional Studies Center (RSC) ( email )

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