"The pioneer of the European integration agenda in Armenia is the government and the ruling majority." Arman Yeghoyan

RA NA reported that on June 21, at the suggestion of four extra-parliamentary political forces, the Standing Committee on European Integration of the RA NA convened parliamentary hearings on "the proposal to hold a referendum on Armenia's application for membership in the European Union."

According to the chairman of the commission, Arman Yeghoyan, the goal is to listen to meaningful proposals to achieve the stated political goals, to get an answer to the question "how?", not "what?", regarding the ways, deadlines, tools, and the sequence of steps.

"European integration is an action consisting of many lines, in which there are many separate steps," said Arman Yeghoyan. According to him, it is good for small states to be members of the European Union. Experience has shown that after accession, such countries have registered rapid growth.

Addressing the criticism that the ruling faction is slowing down the process of RA's European integration, Arman Yeghoyan said: "These hearings were called by the "Civil Contract" faction, our committee. We were not forced to do it; we wanted to do it." He emphasized that after April 5, 2024, and especially in the recent period, contacts were intensified with European and American partners.

Deputy of the Supreme Council Azat Arshakyan emphasized the fact that the committee should meet the public demand and invite parliamentary hearings. In his view, small states benefit from unions unless they are conquered states. "If big, powerful states are not conquerors, exploiters, yes, it is possible to win." But big states also benefit. By admitting us to the EU, Europeans benefit. Having an ally, a partner like us, is a matter of their dignity," said Azat Arshakyan, adding that Armenia is a desirable ally for Europe.

Aram Sargsyan, chairman of the "Republic" party, noted that they have committed to support the current authorities in going to Europe. According to his observation, all the processes taking place in the internal political life of Armenia after 2020 are geopolitical and civilizational, so he suggests making a civilizational choice, deciding the final direction of Armenia, and taking tangible steps in that direction. Aram Sargsyan, presenting the point of view of four political forces, proposed to organize a referendum on submitting an application for membership to the European Union within 100 days. In particular, he suggested holding the referendum on September 21, as the independence referendum was held on September 21, 1991.

"The problem is not symbolism; it will mean that we are again trying to become an island of democracy, the leader of democracy in the region," said the party chairman, adding that this step will be generously compensated for the Armenian people both in terms of armaments, security, and economic development and investments. :

According to Hovsep Khurshudyan, chairman of the "Free Citizen" NGO, the idea of ​​joining the European Union has a broad consensus in the Republic of Armenia. He read the appeal adopted at the forum of the Platform of Democratic Forces held on June 20, according to which the RA authorities are proposed to organize a referendum on membership in the European Union within the next four months. Hovsep Khurshudyan expressed his belief that the public will say "Yes" to the proposed referendum.

According to Arman Babajanyan, chairman of the "For the Republic" party, decisions will be made that will define our state's lasting path and eternal existence. In his opinion, the referendum will help deepen relations with the European Union and the United States. A formidable deterrent toolkit and security capital will be created for Armenia.

Director of the Armenian Institute for International and Security Affairs, Styopa Safaryan, referring to the importance and responsibility of the issue, said: "The responsibility is collective. I don't want to get into contradictions with either the "Civil Contract" or others because today, Armenia needs a consensus on a key decision. The referendum on the proposed topic is precisely the issue of that consensus. Indeed, it is time to understand that no one will escape from that responsibility this time, be it the Government or the opposition."

Representatives of the platform of democratic forces and political society, in their speeches, referred to the processes of European integration, alternative ways, the security system of Armenia, and the strengthening of democracy. For Armenia, European integration has been defined as a path without an alternative. There was a point of view that implementing the referendum within the scheduled period would ensure international resonance, the rise of the Republic of Armenia in the democratic world, and the strengthening of Western consolidation around Armenia. The referendum was considered historical, cultural, and geopolitical, perpetuating the survival of independent statehood and sovereignty and strengthening national security and resilience in the electoral process.

Sona Ghazaryan, a RA NA Standing Committee member on European Integration, emphasized that European integration is not financial support but steps aimed at economic and energy security. "Integration into the European Union is also the institutional reforms carried out and carried out in the field of human rights, which will make the path of Armenia's European integration irreversible," said the deputy.

Maria Karapetyan, deputy of the RA NA "Civil Contract" faction, highlighted the support of the representatives of the political parties participating in the parliamentary hearings for Armenia's sovereignty and independence.

Meri Galstyan, the vice-chairman of the Standing Committee on European Integration of the RA NA, welcomed the public discourse on the content to develop the agenda. "I reaffirm our commitment and aspirations to real democracy, and this is the most important issue, on which the broad public consensus and common sense of our public will guide the content and direction of political developments," said Mary Galstyan.

"The RA government and the ruling majority are the pioneers of the European integration agenda in the Republic of Armenia," Arman Yeghoyan, chairman of the RA NA Standing Committee on European Integration, said, summarizing the parliamentary hearings, presenting the next steps of European integration.

Noting that the ruling majority of the RA is discussing the issue of applying for membership in the European Union, he said that it will be announced at an opportune moment, as a result of discussions in several other formats, when the Government and the ruling majority conclude. Arman Yeghoyan emphasized that the RA's European integration process continues. Referring to the speeches and observations made during the parliamentary hearings, the chairman of the committee thanked the participants for their participation and interesting discussion.