Armenia-Georgia cross-border cooperation projects present results
The results of nine Armenian-Georgian cross-border projects have been presented in a brochure entitled “Bridging people and countries”, to mark the upcoming end of the EU-funded Armenia–Georgia Eastern Partnership Territorial Cooperation (EaP TC) programme. Through the programme, schoolchildren from Armenia and Georgia had unique intercultural experiences at summer camps, local businesses found new partners across the border and local family-run farms learnt and applied new energy-saving technologies. These are just a few examples of the results described in the brochure, which explains how the cross-border cooperation programme offered Armenian and Georgian partners the chance to learn from each other while working together. The brochure provides information about the grant projects, including their main partners, activities, most significant results and lessons learnt, as well as the key cross-border impacts achieved. According to the EaP TC programme, Armenian–Georgian cooperation within the programme has significantly improved mutual understanding by involving local communities of the border regions in a multi-cultural dialogue, as well as breaking stereotypes and building trust amongst the neighbouring communities. It has also helped foster reliable business relations and promote sustainable regional development.
EU project discusses river basin management in Georgia
The development of a river basin management plan (RBMP) in the Alazani River Basin was the focus of a workshop held in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on 5 June.
Organised by the International Office for Water within the framework of the EU-funded “European Union Water Initiative Plus for the Eastern Partnership” (EUWI+ East) project, the event focused on the main principles and objectives of river basin management, from planning to implementation.
It also served as a platform for coordination between various actors in RBMP development , including surface and groundwater delineation teams. The workshop was attended by the relevant representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and the National Environmental Agency of Georgia. Their counterparts s from Azerbaijan responsible for RBMP, as well as representatives of the contracted companies working on the development of the RBMP and surface and groundwater delineation teams from Georgia and Azerbaijan also attended the event.
The EUWI+ East project helps Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to bring their legislation closer to EU policy in the field of water management, with a main focus on the management of trans-boundary river basins. It supports the development and implementation of pilot river basin management plans, building on the improved policy framework and ensuring strong participation of local stakeholders.
With a total budget of €24.8 million, the project spans a five-year period from 2016 to 2020, aiming to improve the management of water resources, in particular trans-boundary rivers, and developing tools to improve the quality and availability of water in the long term.
Integration with NATO is Georgia’s unaltered choice – Mikheil Janelidze
Within the framework of NATO Days, the Georgian Vice Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze held a meeting with representatives of the Kvemo Kartli local self-government bodies, non-governmetal organizations and media.
Mikheil Janelidze expressed his satisfaction that he paid his first visit within the NATO Days to Marneuli – a town with great potential and future ahead of it, whose population is highly motivated to support the forwarding-looking processes in the country. According to the Minister, the main task is to provide the society with insights into Georgia’s NATO and EU integration processes and related challenges.
The Foreign Minister extensively spoke about Georgia-NATO co-operation saying that it serves the goal of enhancing the country’s defence capabilities.
“Integration with NATO is the unaltered choice of Georgia’s security. We have the right to enhance our defence capabilities in order to be able to tackle any kind of aggression” – the Minister said.
According to Mikheil Janelidze, the ultimate goal of the Georgian government is to achieve full membership of the EU.
“Our ultimate goal is to achieve full membership of the EU in roder to become a full-fledged member of the European family and receive all benefits that the citizens of other European countries enjoy. We are sure to achieve this goal because we have outstanding results: We are the leader of the Eastern Partnership with our progress and reforms” – Mikheil Janelidze said.
EU allocates €200 million of funding for cross-border energy infrastructure
The European Commission is making €200 million of funding available for projects in the areas of electricity, smart grids, cross-border carbon dioxide networks and gas infrastructure, as part of the first call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Energy in 2018.
The financing is foreseen for projects that will strengthen the EU's internal energy market, enhance security of energy supply, and help make Europe’s clean energy transition a reality. The call for proposals will be open until 26 April 2018.
To be eligible for CEF funding, projects must have been designated as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). PCIs are considered essential for the EU's internal energy market, and are required to have a significant impact on at least two EU countries. They must also boost competition in energy markets, help energy security by diversifying sources, and contribute to the EU's climate and energy goals by integrating renewables. Projects submitted in response to this call will be evaluated in the coming months, and the results will be communicated in August 2018. A further call will also be launched in June 2018.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) provides EU funding for infrastructure projects. It supports energy projects that help to achieve the EU's broader energy policy objectives of increasing competitiveness, enhancing security of energy supply, and contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment, including by the integration of energy from renewable sources and by the development of smart energy networks and carbon dioxide networks.
Eastern Partnership European School Scholarship Programme
The New School in Tbilisi is launching a call for applications for scholarships aimed at students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine,aged 16-17 years old.
The New School is an IB authorised school. The scholarship will cover the full two-year cycle of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, as well as boarding costs, starting in the academic year 2018-2019.
The IB Diploma Programme with a focus on European Studies will offer the standard IB Diploma Programme – a highly comprehensive and rigorous two year academic course – while providing students a unique opportunity to engage in the study of Europe and European Union issues.
The scholarship programme is funded by the European Union, and has been set up as part of the efforts of the EU and its partners to strengthen educational opportunities for young people in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Obtaining the International Baccalaureate, will increase students’ chances to enrol in top universities worldwide.
Up to 30 scholarships will be awarded to students of the six eligible countries.
The deadline for submitting applications is 31 March 2018, at 12:00, (noon, UTC +4.00)
The submission of applications will be followed by written tests during April 2018 and interviews between 1 and 15 May 2018.
The complete application package is available on the New School website at: http://www.newschoolgeorgia-app.com/
The list of scholarship recipients for the academic year 2018-2019 will be announced in the second half of May 2018.
For more information:
Please see the application package of the Eastern Partnership European School Scholarship Programme http://www.newschoolgeorgia.com/apk/
or call at: + 995 32 225 70 06 (landline); +995 599 25 17 17 (cell phone)
EU IS THE MAIN DONOR FOR THE CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE EASTERN PARTNER COUNTRIES
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference along with the 9th Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum will take place on 25-27 October, 2017 in Tallinn under the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The three-day event, entitled "Tangible Results for People: Envisioning the Eastern Partnership in 2020 and Beyond," will focus on the future of the Eastern Partnership policy and on civil society's contribution to better governance in these countries.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said: "Civil society representatives are the best sponsors and monitors of much-needed reforms in the Eastern Partnership countries. They are voices against corruption and for transparency and an essential force in our daily work on so many issues, from fighting violence against women, to improving the media environment. We are partners, and we need each other to reach our common goals and to make the Eastern Partnership deliver."
The Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, stressed: “We are delivering on our promise to follow social innovation trends in our broadened support to civil society. Partnerships with key civil society actors, strong leadership and more efficient tools to advance the governance role of civil society organisations are all part our revamped toolbox. Together with partner governments, civil society in the Eastern partner countries will bring us closer to citizens in areas that make most difference for their lives.”
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Steering Committee Co-chair Hennadiy Maksak said: “Civil society believes in the European future of the Eastern partner countries, based on shared values, rule of law and respect for democratic principles and public accountability. It is of crucial importance to create an enabling environment for the civil society, allowing it to engage in the reform agenda.”
The conference will serve as a platform for participants to discuss better governance, dialogue between governments and civil society, the use of technology to promote government transparency, and inclusive approaches to economic development. Discussions will also focus on civil society's role in combating disinformation and developing media competence.
The participants will adopt a Civil Society Declaration identifying major obstacles to further democratic development offering specific recommendations on how governments and civil society organisations can work together to overcome them.
The European Union's support to civil society has been instrumental in increasing public accountability, respect of human rights, and local development in Eastern partner countries. From 2014 to 2016, the European Union has funded more than 260 new projects across the region, reaching more than 600 organisations.
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference is organised by the Estonian presidency, Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership and the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, a regional civil society platform aimed at promoting European integration and facilitating reforms and democratic transformations across the region.
The event is held every two years as a side event to the Eastern Partnership Summit, which this year will take place on November 24 in Brussels.