Between a Rock and a Hard Place? Georgian, German and French Perspectives on European Values and Euro-Atlantic Integration #GEOEUvalues
The Georgian Institute of Politics (Tbilisi), Polis180 (Berlin) and Argo (Paris) jointly organized the German-Georgian-French workshop and conference – “Between a Rock and a Hard Place? Georgian, German and French Perspectives on European Values and Euro-Atlantic Integration” #GEOEUvalues – in Tbilisi on 17-20 September 2018.
The European Union is being increasingly challenged by populist and Eurosceptic forces, and European values are clearly under threat in several EU member states. In Georgia, the Association Agreement with the EU is being implemented and the country is moving closer towards Europe in many ways. Nevertheless, challenges remain in the face of both external and internal threats, for instance regarding the safeguarding of human rights. This joint project – #GEOEUvalues – aims at discussing European values and ways of better anchoring them in the Georgian and the EU’s societies.
A three-day workshop, opened by the representatives of the GIP, Polis2018 and Argo, as well as, by Pascal Meunier (Ambassador, French Embassy in Georgia) and Michael Fabri (Chargé d’affaires a.i, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany), brought together 24 German, Georgian and French young experts in order to reflect on European values and the foreign and domestic challenges of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration with local experts, such as: Dr. Kornely Kakachia (Director, Georgian Institute of Politics), Levan Kakhishvili (Policy Analyst, Georgian Institute of Politics), Eka Aghdgomelashvili (Executive Director, Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group) Dr. Ghia Nodia, (Professor of Politics and Director of the International School of Caucasus Studies at Ilia State University), Erekle Urushadze (Program Manager, Transparency International Georgia), Bidzina Lebanidze (PhD, Analyst, Georgian Institute of Politics; Lecturer, University of Bremen) Lika Jalagania (Coordinator, Equality Policy Program, Human rights Education and Monitoring Center), Eka Chitanava (Director, Tolerance and Diversity Institute), Zurab Karumidze, PhD, Writer & Foreign Policy Adviser to the Government of Georgia). The workshop included an open policy lab where scenarios for the EU-Georgia relationship in 2030 were developed by workshop participants.
On 20 September a full-day public conference at the Information Center on NATO and EU involved the young as well as senior experts from Georgia, Germany and France. The conference posed the following questions: What are the main challenges to European values in Georgia and in the EU? What are European values in the first place? How can we foster European values in the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries? What is the relationship between European values and EU accession? that were discussed with public by our invited experts – Morgan Guérin (Head of Europe Program, Institut Montaigne), Daniel Hegedüs (Visiting Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United), Ana Natsvlishvili (Parliamentary Secretary of the President of Georgia), Michael Knoll (Head of the Berlin office, Hertie Foundation), Prof. Dr. Oliver Reisner (Jean Monnet Professor in European and Caucasian Studies, Ilia State University), Renata Skardžiūtė-Kereselidze (Programs Manager, Georgian Institute of Politics), Pierre Mirel (Director at European Commission 2001-2013, Lecturer at Sciences Po Paris), Silvia Stöber (freelance journalist and expert on the South Caucasus/Eastern Europe). The conference also included a presentation of the scenarios for the EU-Georgia relationship in 2030 developed in our workshop.
The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office in the framework of the programme “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia”. #civilsocietycooperation