Michel mets Zourabichvili to strengthen ties between Georgia and EU
On 1 March, European Council President Charles Michel met President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili to discuss the current situation and strengthen the ties between Georgia and the EU.
After the meeting, Michel said he had tried to do his best over the last months to support “all the positive efforts for stability, for economic reforms, and for democratic reforms in Georgia”. He added: “We are very clear, together with the European Commission and the European Parliament – we want to demonstrate our clear and concrete support to maintain all the efforts, to strengthen the ties between Georgia and the EU.”
According to a press release, the two leaders have identified the important priorities on which both sides should work together: “We will be totally committed because in these extremely difficult times, it is very important to stick together, to express a very clear message of support for international law, the rules-based international order, the multilateral approach and full respect for the UN Charter.”
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cooperation with its Eastern partners
French Ambassador Presents Credentials
H.E. Sheraz Gasri, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to Georgia, presented her letter of credence to President Salome Zourabichvili at the Orbeliani Palace.
Administration of the President
European Council president to visit China!
BEIJING, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, President of the European Council Charles Michel will visit China on Dec. 1, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced Monday.
Council Presidency and European Parliament provisionally agree not to accept Russian travel documents issued in occupied Ukraine and Georgia
On 10 November, the Council Presidency and the European Parliament reached a preliminary agreement on a decision not to accept Russian travel documents issued in Ukraine and Georgia. The agreed text is subject to approval by the Council and the European Parliament before formal adoption.
This decision is a response to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and its practice of issuing Russian passports to residents of the occupied regions. It also follows Russia’s unilateral decision to recognise the independence of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008.
Russian travel documents issued in the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine or the breakaway territories of Georgia, as well as to persons residing in these regions, will not be accepted as valid travel documents for obtaining visas or crossing Schengen borders.
Russian travel documents issued in these regions are no longer recognised or are in the process of non-recognition by the EU Member States. This decision is therefore aimed at developing a common EU approach and ensuring the proper functioning of the external border.
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Ukrainian people awarded the European Parliament’s 2022 Sakharov Prize
Members of the European Parliament today awarded the 2022 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to the brave people of Ukraine, represented by their President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, elected leaders and civil society.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola announced the 2022 laureate, saying that the brave people of Ukraine would not give up: “This award is for those Ukrainians fighting on the ground. For those who have been forced to flee. For those who have lost relatives and friends. For all those who stand up and fight for what they believe in.”
The nomination highlights the efforts of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy together with the role of individuals, representatives of civil society initiatives, and state and public institutions, including the State Emergency Services of Ukraine, Yulia Pajevska, founder of the evacuation medical unit Angels of Taira, Oleksandra Matviychuk, human rights lawyer and chairwoman of the Centre for Civil Liberties, the Yellow Ribbon Civil Resistance Movement, and Ivan Fedorov, the Mayor of the Ukrainian city of Melitopol, which is currently under Russian occupation.
The awarding of the Sakharov Prize will take place on 14 December in Strasbourg.
The annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has been awarded to individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms since 1988. It is named in honour of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov. The prize money is €50,000.
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Two journalists, Clément Di Roma and Carol Valade, have been awarded the 2022 Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for their documentary “The Central African Republic under Russian influence”
This documentary is a Découpages/Arte G.E.I.E co-production, initially broadcast on Arte Reportage in French, German and English. It was also broadcast on France 24 and published in the French newspaper Le Monde.
Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, Pina Picierno, Vice-President responsible for the Prize, and Anthony Bellanger, Secretary General of the International Federation of Journalists and representative of the 29 members of the independent European-wide Jury, opened the award ceremony held in the Daphne Caruana Galizia Press Room of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
President Metsola said: “The Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism sends a strong message. The European Parliament is on the side of truth and justice, of independent journalism.
A strong democracy needs a strong press. And there is no democracy without freedom of the press. In Europe, rights and liberties are goals we fight for, not obstacles.”
Between the 3rd May and 1st August 2022, more than 200 journalists from the 27 EU countries submitted their stories for consideration. 11 of these submissions were shortlisted by the jury before the overall winner was decided.
Clément Di Roma and Carol Valade were presented with the award by the winners of the 2021 edition, Sandrine Rigaud and Laurent Richard, representatives of the Pegasus Project, coordinated by Forbidden Stories.
About the winners
Clément Di Roma is a video and photojournalist correspondent for France24 based in Rwanda. He started in 2019 as a reporter in Senegal for Agence France Presse. From 2020 till 2022 he was based in the Central African Republic as correspondent for the channels France24 and TV5Monde. From Bangui, he covered the electoral crisis and the armed attacks of a rebel coalition against the capital Bangui. A year later, he directed with Carol Valade the winning story “the Central African Republic under Russian influence / Centrafrique : le soft power russe”.
Carol Valade has been a multi-media reporter specialising in Africa for 10 years. In 2018, he moved to the continent as a press correspondent and collaborated with RFI, AFP, TV5-Monde, Radio France and Le Monde among other international media. He traveled throughout West Africa to cover the political crisis in Guinea, the resurgence of the Ebola epidemic, investigated the massacres of the 28th September 2009, documented the adaptation to climate change and the disappearance of elephants before settling in the Central African Republic to report on the consequences of the civil war and the Russian influence that is the subject of the winning story.