On 14 – 15 July, the Georgia’s government in cooperation with GLOBSEC organised annual 13th Batumi International Conference – “Georgia’s European Way 2016 – STABILITY, DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSITY”. More than 400 participants took part, including government officials, parliamentarians, business, civil society, academia and media representatives from Georgia, the European Union (EU) and the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries.

The Conference was formally opened by Georgia’s State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration David Bakradze, and Honorary Chairman of GLOBSEC, Amb. Rastislav Káčer. Keynotes speeches were delivered by the EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, and Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. Commissioner Hahn underlined the importance of on-going close dialogue and events like this one for both Georgia and the EU institutions. In the next panel, the issue of visa liberalisation for the EaP countries was widely discussed. Among other key topics were DCFTA and the European Neighbourhood Policy review, where the panel discussed the significance of adopting a new strategy of differentiation and its impact on the EU’s relationship with the partner states. Also, priorities of the current Slovak EU Presidency were presented.

Each year, the Conference aims at reinforcement of existing ties between the EU and EaP countries by creating a venue for integration of ideas, policies and common interests. Alongside the main sessions, participants had the opportunity to learn about the initiatives contributing to the overall European Integration process including specific business as well as civil society projects operating in Georgia. Numerous bilateral and multilateral meetings on the side lines of the main programme contributed greatly to deepening of the relations between Georgian and European partners.

Program and technical support of the Batumi conference by GLOBSEC was implemented as part of the on-going project “Georgia on EUropean Way” supported by the SlovakAid.

For more information about the conference please visit: batumiconference.ge

or Facebook of the project:  http://bit.ly/1q1mtOS & http://bit.ly/2a1EvrX