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.
UN and EU launch ambitious initiative for gender equality in Eastern Partnership
With support from the European Union, the two UN sister agencies will work with government bodies and civil society partners in six countries to challenge deeply ingrained gender stereotypes, increase men’s involvement in domestic work and childcare, and engage with potential perpetrators to prevent gender-based violence.
UN Women and UNFPA, together with the European Union (EU), have launched a three-year regional programme to tackle gender stereotypes and gender-based violence in six countries of the Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
The programme, entitled “EU 4 Gender Equality: Together Against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-Based Violence,” ultimately seeks to strengthen equal rights and opportunities for women and men by challenging perceptions about men’s and women’s roles in the family and in society and working to eliminate gender-based violence.
“This is our first regional programme covering gender equality in the Eastern Partnership region and we are intensely proud of it,” said Lawrence Meredith, Director for Neighbourhood East in the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission. “We can and we will do more to develop this underused economic and social potential with our Eastern neighbours. As we emerge from the pandemic, we will propose that the future Eastern Partnership be more inclusive.”
A first of its kind, the programme has been informed by an in-depth situation analysis and intergovernmental consultations with the six countries. It is designed to engage a wide range of government bodies, civil society organizations, and individuals.
“We will work closely with governments and civil society organisations in the six countries to ensure the success of the programme,” says Alia El-Yassir, UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia. “This work is even more crucial now as the COVID-19 crisis has put into stark relief the imbalanced distribution of responsibilities based on traditional gender stereotypes.”
The programme aims at achieving real behavioural change. It relies on strategies designed to challenge structural gender barriers and norms, with particular emphasis on transforming gender-stereotyped behaviour, strengthening men’s involvement in parenting and domestic responsibilities, increasing men’s access to parental leave, and reducing the number of people affected by gender-based violence through prevention interventions with potential perpetrators.
“During the COVID-19 crisis, we have unfortunately seen an increase in women’s unpaid care workload and in cases of gender-based violence across the six countries,” says Alanna Armitage, UNFPA Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “Our programme comes at the right time to fight these trends. We all have to work hand-in-hand to build a more just, equal, safe and secure world for all.”
The programme has a budget of €7,875,000 and is anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework, launched by the United Nations in 2015, and the EU Action Plan 2016-2020 on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women Through EU External Relations. It provides a unique opportunity for the EU and the six participating countries to affect social discourse, perceptions, and practices related to gender equality with the ultimate goal of achieving gender equality and related SDGs.
For more information, please visit: https://europa.eu/european-union/
EU supports Georgia in protecting its coastal waters
On 29 June, a five-day water monitoring survey started in Batumi, Georgia, organised by the EU-funded project ‘European Union Water Initiative Plus for the Eastern Partnership’ (EUWI+).
The survey is carried out by Georgian experts from the National Environmental Agency. It aims to assess the quality of coastal and transitional water ecosystems to help identify appropriate measures to protect water resources.
Apart from the survey, the EU also supports the upgrade of Batumi’s laboratory by organising training courses for experts and providing new state-of-the-art analysis equipment. This aims to improve Georgia’s capacities to manage its water resources.
Two similar surveys were held in September and November 2019. The surveys allowed the National Environmental Agency to determine the ecological status of coastal waters in the Chorokhi-Adjaristskali River Basin District.
The EUWI+ project helps Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to bring their legislation closer to EU water management policies, with a main focus on managing transboundary river basins.
Fresh food producers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine took part in innovative virtual trade fair
Fresh produce companies from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine participated in the leading international fruit and vegetable trade fair United Fresh.
Organised annually, the fair assembles people from the fresh produce industry for networking events, community receptions, conferences, webinars, meetings, on-demand education and other social gatherings. This year, due to COVID-19, the organisers set up a virtual event – the United Fresh Live.
Thanks to the EU-funded project ‘Eastern Partnership: Ready to trade’, companies and trade promotion organisations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine presented their businesses with four virtual booths.
The Taste with Ukraine booth featured products such as frozen and freeze-dried berries, jams and marinades, organic berries, berry fillings and fillers, syrups and toppings, drinks, sweets, purees, baby food, and snacks.
A total of 17 companies from Georgia displayed their produce at the country’s Flavours of Life booth.
Similarly, the #FullFruitArmenia booth featured over 50 Armenian exporters of dried fruit, canned fruit and vegetables, herbal tea and organic products.
The Taste of Azerbaijan booth featured eight companies, including six beneficiaries of the ‘Ready to trade’ project, showing both processed fruit (fruit crisps, preserves, sauces), fresh fruit and vegetables (blueberries, tomatoes, apricots), and honey.
‘Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade’ is an EU4Business project that helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access new markets, with a focus on the EU. The project helps SMEs meet international requirements and standards, links them with buyers along the value chain, and provides them with advisory support.
New opinion polls in the Eastern partner countries show high trust in the EU
The EU is the most trusted international institution, and the only one trusted by the majority (60%) of respondents in the Eastern Neighbourhood. Two-thirds (70%) of all citizens in the region believe that the relations between the EU and their country are ‘good’. A total of 57% of Eastern Neighbourhood citizens are aware of the EU’s financial support, and 53% of them believe that the support is effective. More than half of the respondents (53%) can also identify at least one specific programme financed by the EU.
These are just some of the findings of the 2020 opinion polls carried out in the six Eastern partner countries by the ‘EU NEIGHBOURS east’ project earlier this year.
Conducted between February and March 2020 in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the surveys assess general perceptions of the EU, the values with which it is associated, relations between the EU and the Eastern partner countries, and awareness of the EU’s financial support and its effectiveness. They also look at citizens’ preferred sources of information, how they feel about the situation in their country and their future expectations.
The field work for the survey took place between February and March 2020 (before COVID-19 crisis) and was based on face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of 1,000 people in each country.
This is the fifth edition of the annual surveys, with the first wave carried out in 2016. The results from the six countries are presented in national reports and a consolidated regional overview report.
Part of the EU-funded OPEN Neighbourhood programme, the ‘EU NEIGHBOURS east’ project aims to contribute to a better understanding of the European Union and its partnership with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine.
Find out more
EU NEIGHBOURS east – opinion polls
EU NEIGHBOURS east – website
Georgian Military to undergo RSM Pre-deployment Training in Georgia instead of Germany
For the first time Resolute Support Mission pre-deployment mission rehearsal exercises for Georgian soldiers is being conducted in Georgia with help of American military staff. Before, such exercises were conducted in Germany where the military units got final evaluation. But currently pre-deployment mission rehearsal exercise is conducted on the Georgia Defence Forces military base. This attests to Georgia’s compliance with NATO standards and is another clear example, that Georgia has capacity and capability to successfully conduct international level exercises on Georgian soil.
The 13th Battalion of I Infantry Brigade is preparing for participation in the international mission. Today three training zones were arranged in Vaziani – the first unit performed cordon and search operation, second unit was responsible for protection the base and the third unit provided evacuation of the wounded soldiers. Around 600 military personnel participate in the closing exercise, which is the final component of 4-month long intensive preparation. Each stage of training will be evaluated that finally defines readiness level of the battalion to carry out the RSM. Pre-deployment training launched on June 5 and will come to an end on June 15.
Pre-deployment training is provided by JTEC sub-organization - Peacekeeping Operations Training Center (PKOTC) together with USMC. To date, around 18 000 Georgian military personnel underwent pre-deployment trainings and subsequently served alongside American personnel in ISAF and RSM operations.