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Summarizing the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly․ important messages for the region and for Armenia

The 74th session of the UN General Assembly was held on September 17-30 in New York. It is no secret that most countries use the UN GA tribune to present their main approaches to various foreign policy issues. The speeches from this tribune do not just contain texts that pursue exclusively situational goals; they go through a serious preparatory stage and are based on the strategic perception of particular issues by the respective countries. Studying the speeches of representatives of different countries, as well as other events within the framework of the UN General Assembly allow us to understand their key messages for Armenia and the region.

  


The social-economic developments in the economy of the RA for January-September 2019

In the present analysis, given the data published by the Statistical Committee of the RA, we study the recent social-economic developments in the economy of the RA. In particular, we consider the cumulative indicator of economic activity of the given month, its sectoral distribution, as well as the dynamics of individual sectors of the economy. We also analyze economic developments in the foreign trade, labour market and fiscal system of the RA. In addition, some aspects of the financial system (inflation, deposits and loans), as well as the behaviour of the exchange rate, are touched upon. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


Global Competitiveness Index in the RA

The study of indicators and indices published by international organizations allows to address two important problems. First, to assess the performance of the RA in the given period with the help of comprehensive numerical measures, as well as to make intertemporal comparisons in order to understand whether the country moves in the desirable direction. Second, to compare the performance of the RA with other countries to ascertain Armenia’s relative position in the region and Eurasian Economic Union. These results are important, since they help to derive the comprehensive assessment of the economic situation, which is needed both for the public and the private sector. The present analysis is aimed at addressing the foregoing problems. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


Establishment of a Fact-finding commission according to the strategy of judicial and legal reforms in the RA for 2019-2023

On October 10, 2019 the RA government approved the judicial and legal reforms strategy in the Republic of Armenia for 2019-2023 within the framework of which, in the first quarter of 2020, a Fact-finding commission is expected to be created. Such commissions are temporary, extrajudicial bodies that establish facts of mass and gross violations of human rights or humanitarian law in the past. Such commissions were basically created in societies exhausted by the civil war and dictatorship, such as Ecuador, Kenya, Mauritius, Solomon Islands and Togo. This analysis presents the circumstances that led to the creation of such commissions in international practice, the problems that arose during the creation of the commissions and, in the light of the latter, the model of the fact-finding commission proposed by the government of the RA. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


The reforms of property taxation in the RA: are we on the right track?

In the RA the reforms of property taxation are fairly relevant and urgent, since this area features numerous problems that require legislative solutions. The international experience points out that relative to GDP the volume of property taxes of the RA is inadequate compared with commensurate countries. To ensure more efficient taxation of property it is necessary to make amendments in the methodology of assessing cadastral value by diminishing its deviation from the market value. However, the legislative package proposed by the government of the RA does not entail clear mechanisms of property assessment and amplifies the instability and uncertainty around property tax rates. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


New European political landscape

The 9th legislature of the European Parliament officially started its work in July. It is the only supranational parliament in the world that is directly elected, is empowered to regulate the single market, and to distribute public funds to the EU's overall budget. Therefore, the European elections attract a lot of public attention. The results of this year's election sent a clear message that EU voters want change. In order to evaluate the results correctly, it is necessary to consider them from several dimensions. This analysis attempts to study the main trends of the elections and their further impact on EU activities. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


Comments on the draft law “On Confiscation of Property of Illegal Origin.”

On September 6, 2019, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia published draft laws “On introducing amendments and supplements to the law “On Confiscation of Property of Illegal Origin” and related draft laws. In international experience, confiscation without conviction is an exceptional measure in the fight against particularly dangerous crimes. Despite the fact that from the state’s point of view the confiscation of property of illegal origin, by means of civil proceedings, is an effective and simple way to combat crime, this institute contains the risk of abuse and serious violations of fundamental human rights. This is due to the fact that in the international experience, as a rule, the confiscation is applied in the cases where criminal prosecution is impossible due to person’s death or circumstances caused by person’s guilt that justify such extremely serious interference with human rights and guarantees of criminal proceedings and make it proportional. This analysis presents the proposed regulations of the draft law, as well as provides a comparative analysis of the latter in the light of international experience. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


The social-economic developments in the economy of the RA for January-August 2019

In the present analysis, given the data published by the Statistical Committee of the RA, we study the recent social-economic developments in the economy of the RA. In particular, we consider the cumulative indicator of economic activity of the given month, its sectoral distribution, as well as the dynamics of individual sectors of the economy. We also analyze economic developments in the foreign trade, labour market and fiscal system of the RA. In addition, some aspects of the financial system (inflation, deposits and loans), as well as the behaviour of the exchange rate, are touched upon. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


On the framework of public medium-term expenditures

The primary document that defines the medium-term (that is, for the upcoming three years) objectives of the government of the RA is the framework of public medium-term expenditures. This framework allows to manage financial resourses of the public sector in accordance with the medium-term fiscal objectives. It consists of two parts, the first one of which describes the fiscal policy of the government and the second one – the strategy of the spending policy. The framework of medium-term expenditures serves as a basis for developing the draft state budget. The present analysis is aimed at exploring the foregoing framework. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


On the execution report of the state budget of the RA for the first half of 2019

The objective of the present analysis is to assess the execution of the state budget of the RA in the given period. First, we describe the general state of the economy of the RA, namely the driving forces of economic activity, the developments in individual sectors of the economy, the behavior of the components of the demand – consumption and investment – and so on. Afterwards, we analyze the performance of government revenues and expenditures by comparing the actual and planned values of the respective indicators. We conclude the analysis by summarizing the main observations and results. Full material is only available in Armenian․

  


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