Armenia has experienced a series of turbulent political processes since 2013, not least the change from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary republic. The political situation in Armenia has improved since the so-called Velvet Revolution in 2018 with free and fair elections and more free speech. Challenges remain in other areas, notably in efforts to reform the judiciary and law enforcement, public administration and media. Meanwhile the political culture remains under-developed and little substantial policy debate takes place. Hate speech is on the rise and serves to increase tensions within society. By using the language of nationalism, it targets different vulnerable groups.
Civil society, civic activists and independent media have important roles to play to underpin the ongoing reform process, hold the government to account, and keep citizens engaged to bring about sustainable change. There are positive trends, such as with some young people becoming more active in the regions, contributing to efforts of decentralisation. However, a lack of media reform means that independent media continue to struggle.
EED approach and added value
- Provide fast and targeted support to new actors and new forms of activism
- Ensure that key civil society and political activists are able to maintain their activities
- Support start-up and innovative initiatives seeking to inspire structural democratic changes, particularly outside the capital, and unregistered movements unable to benefit from other funding
Examples of supported initiatives
- Creative grassroots civic activism and initiatives to increase political engagement with a focus on young people
- Innovative independent media outlets and small media initiatives
- Reform-related initiatives with an accent on civic activism