EU proud to be largest foreign donor in Azerbaijan:Malena Mard
By Nigar Orujova
The European Union (EU) is proud to be the largest foreign donor financing the civilian sector in Azerbaijan and supporting Azerbaijan and its citizens in the future development of the country.
The remarks were made by head of the EU representative office in Azerbaijan Malena Mard on March 11.
"In any country of the world, the civilian society plays an irreplaceable role in promoting monitoring aimed at revealing the needs of the most vulnerable social groups, and ensuring the implementation of commitments in the field of human rights at an international level," she said.
Mard stressed that the next report on the achievements of Azerbaijan as part of the European Neighborhood Policy will be published in late March and early April 2014.
The EU annually publishes such a report on the achievements of 16 countries as part of the European Neighborhood Policy.
"Azerbaijan and the EU are interested in intensifying relations," Mard said.
She also expressed hope that the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission between the EU and Azerbaijan will be enforced by late 2014.
Azerbaijan and the EU signed an agreement on readmission, which will facilitate visa procedures for Azerbaijan, on February 28.
The two parts have also signed a visa facilitation agreement last year, which reduces the amount of money Azerbaijani citizens have to pay for acquiring short-stay visas that allow them to travel throughout the Schengen area.
Mard said negotiations between the EU and Azerbaijan about the common aviation area are not very intense, adding that much depends on Azerbaijani partners in this process.
The EU has allocated more than five million manats to civilian organizations in the areas of human rights, democracy, and regional development in Azerbaijan.
The EU representative office has also announced the results of two recent projects in the same area in Azerbaijan, aimed to receive relevant proposals.
The EU allocated three million manats to implementing seven projects as part of the "Non-governmental organizations in the development" program. Some 2.2 million manats was allocated to eight projects as part of the "European Instrument for Promoting Democracy and Human Rights".
The EU has allocated more than 12 million manats to Azerbaijan since 2007 to implement more than 60 projects.