The new Military Assistance Mission of the European Union to support Ukraine (EUMAM for Ukraine), established on 15 November, is already training 1,100 Ukrainian soldiers in different camps, EU High Representative Josep Borrell announced during his visit to the Brzeg training facility in Poland on Friday.
Borrell said this was the broadest military mission the European Union had ever undertaken for any partner. Twenty EU countries are taking part, and they are expected to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers. Borrell added that the EU is also going to provide resources – €16 million for lethal equipment for training purposes.
“The Ukrainian army is one of the best in the world. They have proven to be. Ukraine is resisting, fighting off the Russian aggression, which is trying to cruelly push the country into darkness and cold. Humbled by the courageous soldiers and their will to defend their people,” wrote Borrell on Twitter.
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The European Union has urged the Georgian authorities to ensure the highest legal standards in cases against media owners.
Reacting to the Tbilisi Court of Appeal decision to uphold charges against Nika Gvaramia, Director General of one of the TV channels in Georgia, including the sentence of 3 years and 6 months’ imprisonment, the EU said that it has been monitoring this case closely.
“The European Union does not comment on the merits of individual Court cases, but we note once again that questions have been raised, including by the Public Defender, in relation to this case,” says a press release by the European Union External Action Service.
The press release also reminds that the European Union remains committed to supporting Georgia in addressing all 12 priorities in order to live up to the European aspirations of its citizens.
In this respect, the EU recalls that “stronger efforts to guarantee a free, professional, pluralistic and independent media environment, notably by ensuring that criminal procedures brought against media owners fulfil the highest legal standards” represent one of the priorities identified by the European Commission.
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On 18 October, Georgian parliamentarians presented their study on the potential to revive disused historic sites in the country.
Initiated by the Parliamentary Culture Committee with assistance from the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the enquiry engaged leading Georgian experts and representatives of the public, private and civic sectors.
The four-month study looked into ways to bring new life to historic sites, using their cultural value for redeveloping surrounding areas. It explored policy approaches for sustainable protection and preservation of historic heritage and studied the role of national and local authorities, the private sector and civil society in designing conservation and management tools.
The final report will be published at the end of October.
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If you are a student
The EU offers a wide range of study opportunities through the Erasmus+ programme, including student exchanges in European universities at bachelor, master and doctoral levels – the exchanges will be part of the programme you are following and can last between one term and one year. And your expenses will be covered! You can also apply for an Erasmus+ scholarship to study for a Master’s degree at top European universities.
For exchanges, visit the international relations office at your university – they will tell you which opportunities are available in your subject and will help you to apply.
For a Master’s degree, you need to check out the catalogue of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees, which lists the courses offering Erasmus scholarships in the upcoming academic year (there are 163 courses currently listed), then contact the university to apply for the course and scholarship.
College of Europe Scholarships
The College of Europe offers a large number of scholarships to university graduates coming from Georgia and other countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy for post-graduate studies. Scholarships are also available for students from the Eastern Partnership countries, funded by the EU4Youth programme. Applications for the academic year 2023/2024 will open in October 2022 and close in mid-January 2023. You can pre-register now at coleuropenatolin.eu to receive a reminder about the opening of applications.
Young European Ambassadors
The Young European Ambassadors (YEAs) initiative is a non-political, voluntary, vibrant communication network connecting young people from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the EU Member States and the United Kingdom. The aim of the network is to raise awareness about the EU’s cooperation with its Eastern partner countries, showcase the tangible results of this cooperation, and contribute to policy dialogue on various topics. There are currently more than 500 active YEAs representing over 34 different nationalities, including 77 in Georgia (click here to meet them). The network is open to young people aged between 16 and 26, interested in public diplomacy and outreach activities. Applications take place every year, usually in the autumn.
For civil society activists, young leaders and volunteers
Erasmus+ Youth Exchanges
Erasmus+ is not just for students. Indeed, in recent years, thousands of young people and youth workers from Georgia have participated in joint Erasmus+ Youth projects (exchanges, trainings, policy debate, volunteering). Erasmus+ youth exchanges are open to anyone between the ages of 13 and 30, and last between 5 and 21 days. These exchanges take place through youth organisations and you cannot apply directly as an individual.
To find out more, contact the Erasmus+ Youth Info Centre in Georgia, by visiting their Facebook page or calling on +995 574 27 11 27
European Solidarity Corps
One way to gain experience abroad is by volunteering through the European Solidarity Corps. This is a unique way to experience different cultures and make new friends, while also helping others and learning new skills. You need to be between 17 and 30and be willing to spend between two weeks and 12 months abroad. Volunteer projects could be anywhere in the EU or its partner countries, and in fields as varied as culture, youth, sports, children, cultural heritage, arts, animal welfare or the environment. Find out how to apply and check out hundreds of opportunities on the European Solidarity Corps portal.
Civil Society Fellowships
The EU supports young civil society leaders and activists in Georgia and across the Eastern Partnership through its EaP Civil Society Fellowships programme. Every year, the programme helps 20 civil society activists in their efforts to achieve positive social change in their communities, offering tailored training, grants of €5,000 and access to networking opportunities. Details about the Fellows selected since the programme began 2017 and their areas of interest can be found here. Applications, currently open until 15 October, usually take place very year in the autumn. Check here for updates.
The EU4Youth Alumni Network brings together young beneficiaries (aged 18-30) of the Erasmus+ Youth and European Solidarity Corps, EU4Youth grant projects, Young European Ambassadors Network as well as other regional programmes targeting young people across the Eastern Partnership. The Network offers Alumni the opportunity to connect with disadvantaged young people in Georgia and support them to become more active in their communities and actively participate in EU mobility programmes. Applications take place once a year, usually in the autumn, with up to 15 alumni selected in each country to participate in the programme for 10 months.
The Travelling University is a civic education platform established by the United Nations Association of Georgia (UNA Georgia) as part of the EU-supported project ‘Local Investments in Networks for Knowledge and Skill-share’ (LINKS). It organises lectures for young people in villages (more than 60 so far) on issues such as human rights, civic activism and engagement, and gender equality, as well as informing young people about the demands and expectations of the labour market promoting vocational education and lifelong learning in Georgia. Look out for opportunities on the UNA Georgia Facebook page.
If you are still at school
Erasmus+ Youth Exchanges
Erasmus+ is not just for students: the programme also offers youth exchanges, and these are open to anyone between the ages of 13 and 30. Activities could involve workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, outdoor activities and more. These exchanges take place through youth organisations and you cannot apply directly as an individual. To find out more, contact the Erasmus+ Youth Info Centre in Georgia, by visiting their Facebook page or calling on +995 574 27 11 27.
Eastern Partnership European School
The Eastern Partnership European School in Tbilisi offers a two-year International Baccalaureate programme for pupils from all six Eastern Partnership countries, including Georgia, with full scholarships paid by the European Union, including fees, boarding and travel home for holidays. But the number of places is limited – only 35 per year – so you have to meet certain conditions and pass through competitive process in order to apply. Since the launch of the programme in 2018, 145 students have received scholarships for the school, graduating with the IB diploma and going on to study at top universities across the world. The next cohort of students will be recruited to join for the 2023-2025 IB programme.
Young European Ambassadors
The Young European Ambassadors (YEAs) initiative is open to young people from the age of 16, so if you are interested in Europe and its values, want to learn new skills and make new friends, then you can apply to join to join this network that brings together more than 500 young people from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the EU Member States and United Kingdom. Note that candidates aged 16-17 can take part in online engagement and local activities in their countries, but not international travel. Applications take place every year, usually in the autumn.
Internships and training
Erasmus+ supports work placements and internships abroad for Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral students, as well as recent graduates (within one year of your graduation). But your traineeship must be relevant to your degree and, wherever possible, be integrated in your study programme, so check the opportunities with your university. Work placements can last between two and twelve months, and Erasmus+ grants are available to cover your costs.
Blue Book traineeships
Twice a year, the EU offers five-month paid traineeships at the European Commission, its services and agencies, mostly in Brussels, but also in Luxembourg and elsewhere across the European Union. The call is mostly for EU citizens, but a limited number of places are also allocated to non-EU nationals. You can apply if you are a university graduate of any discipline who does not have more than six weeks of experience working in an EU institution, body, agency or delegation, and have a very good knowledge of English, German or French. Find out more.
Schuman Traineeships in the European Parliament
Twice a year, the European Parliament offers different traineeships within its Secretariat, including to applicants from outside the European Union. The traineeships are awarded for a period of five months, and are open to anyone over the age of 18, with a university level diploma. The goal of the Schuman traineeships is to contribute to participants’ European education and vocational training, and to provide an insight into the work of the European Parliament. The deadlines for application are at the end of May and October every year. Click here to find out more.
If you are setting up or have a small business, the EU4Business initiative offers a wide range of loans and grants depending on the type and size of your business, as well as advice and consultancy services to help you take the next step in developing your business. Visit the EU4Business page for full details of partner banks and projects that you can apply to, as well as examples of successful beneficiaries.
The Skills for Success project has launched a Youth Opportunities Online Platform - https://youthplatform.gov.ge - which gathers in one place all available education, training and employment opportunities for young people, whether offered by state, NGO or international partners.
The project supports young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) in four regions of Georgia (Guria, Racha Lechkhumi, Shida Kartli, and Kakheti) and Tbilisi, to develop their business and employment skills. As part of this effort, it has trained mobile youth workers to provide needs-based training, career counselling, as well as share information on existing opportunities. The project has also created Youth Innovation Labs in the regions, where NEET Youth trained on entrepreneurship are able to initiate business ideas with the support of mentors. Follow Save the Children Georgia on Facebook for examples and available opportunities under the project.
Local Hubs for Skills Development
These centres operate in four regions of Georgia – Adjara, Guria, Kvemo Kartli, and Shida Karltli – as part of the Local Investments in Networks for Knowledge and Skill-share (LINKS) project funded by the European Union. The centres offer young people aged 15-29 the following activities to develop market-relevant skills and competences:
- Development of key competences
- Digital and computer literacy
- Citizenship education
- English language courses
- Key entrepreneurial competences
- Access to lifelong learning resources
- Career guidance sessions
- Professional secondments for selected candidates
- Access to skills/vacancy management portal
- Funding of social and socially responsible start-ups
Full details of the centres in Adjara, Guria, Kvemo Kartli, and Shida Karltli: https://www.una.ge/Employment_centers
Look out for opportunities on the UNA Georgia Facebook page.
The EU4Youth programme will soon launch a series of projects aimed at developing digital skills among young people, especially in disadvantaged communities, and for the development of social entrepreneurship and career management skills, linked to the promotion of youth entrepreneurship in the green and digital economies. The previous wave of EU4Youth projects saw hundreds of skills development activities carried out in Georgia, as well as apprenticeships and internships for young people, training and grants to launch new business ideas, and the creation of three rural innovation knowledge hubs in Gori, Ninotsminda and Akhmeta. Follow the EU4Youth page for upcoming opportunities.
Looking for inspiration
Hundreds of young Georgians are there to give you inspiration and new ideas!
Maia is a Young European Ambassador and member of the EU4Youth Alumni network. With the support of the network, she has set up a youth project in Chkhorotsku, a village in western Georgia.
Avto and Iza received business training, mentorship and grants from the EU4Youth Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development for Green Growth project to help set up their woodworking business.
Nino graduated from the Eastern Partnership European School and has now won a scholarship to study natural sciences in San Francisco.
Tinatin spent a semester in Copenhagen as part of an Erasmus+ exchange: “Studying in Denmark was a life-changing experience,” she says.
Mariam and Yuri benefited from training and mentorship at the Youth Innovations Lab established by the Skills for Success project, and have now launched a business processing organic waste into livestock feed.
Marina, aged 16, attended the Travelling University when it visited her village of Kvemo Chibati. “It was the most special project I have ever participated in. The advice we received was especially valuable in terms of advancing our careers and achieving success,” she says.
Whether you are a student or a young professional, involved in your community or even still at school, the European Union offers a wide range of free opportunities to young people in the six countries of the Eastern Partnership, ranging from scholarships to trainings, studying or volunteering abroad, internships, special facilities or grants.
Whether you are looking to widen your horizons, help your community, develop your skills or start a business, the EU has opportunities for you. But they can be hard to find: so to help you along, we have developed guides to youth opportunities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova or Ukraine.
Each guide is specific to its country, and highlights both international and local opportunities, as well as local contacts to help you to apply.
These guides are divided up into sections, with opportunities for:
- Civil society activists, young leaders, and volunteers
- If you are still at school
- Internships and training
- Young professionals
And if you’re looking for inspiration, a final section highlights the experience of young people like you, who have already benefited from EU opportunities.
So don’t miss out: start looking now and get ready to sign up!
The EU has strongly condemned the visit of Alexander Lukashenko to the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia.
On 28 September, Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko visited Abkhazia, which illegally declared its independence from Georgia in 2008 with Russia’s support.
“Apart from the fact that Lukashenko lacks any legitimacy to act as a head of state, this visit was undertaken without the consent of the government of Georgia, which is the only legitimate authority over the region of Abkhazia,” said European External Action Service Spokesperson Peter Stano. “This visit violates Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and constitutes a blatant violation of international law.”
The EU also reaffirmed its steadfast support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders.
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The Council of the European Union today formally decided to provide €5 billion of additional macro-financial assistance (MFA) to Ukraine as a matter of urgency.
On 9 September, at an informal meeting of the Ecofin Council in Prague, EU finance ministers agreed to provide an additional €5 billion in assistance for Ukraine. This additional aid was officially approved today after the necessary formal steps were completed in just 11 days.
This financial assistance complements other EU support to Ukraine in the humanitarian, development, customs and defence fields.
This €5 billion macro-financial assistance will be provided to Ukraine in the form of highly concessional long-term loans. It constitutes the second stage in the implementation of the EU’s planned exceptional macro-financial assistance to Ukraine of up to €9 billion, announced by the European Commission this May.
The EU says a decision on the implementation of the third phase of the Union’s exceptional macro-financial assistance of up to €3 billion will be taken shortly, once the structure of this assistance has been determined.
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The European Union’s cooperation with Georgia was strategically sound and benefited from a strong institutional framework in its design and implementation. This is one of the conclusions presented in the evaluation of EU support to Georgia in 2014-2020, published by the EU Delegation to Georgia on 16 September.
The conclusions also state that a wide range of instruments, modalities and funding channels have been used in the cooperation with Georgia. Progress has been made to promote accountability and transparency, and visa liberalisation has yielded good results. The assessment stresses that public confidence in the European Union remains high. Shortcomings include limited progress in judicial reform as well as in the area of human rights.
The evaluation has been conducted over the two past years by an independent team of evaluators. The work included the review of over 2,000 documents and interviews with close to a hundred stakeholders.
The document provides general recommendations on how to improve the cooperation and detailed recommendations on six priority sectors of EU-Georgia cooperation.
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European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) President Odile Reno-Basso, on a visit to Georgia, has signed agreements with two Georgian banks on loans to local small businesses.
The EBRD will provide new US$ 20 million loans to Bank of Georgia and to TBC Bank to help local firms across the country increase competitiveness and invest in upgrades, including green technologies.
This funding comes under the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line – a flagship programme that enables borrowers to enhance production and trade more successfully on the international market, as well as advance environmental practices.
MSMEs can access funds in local currency and benefit from incentive grant funding, as well as technical assistance from international advisers, funded by the EU under the EU4Business initiative. Georgian companies will be able to improve their productivity, competitiveness and working environment for their employees.
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Led by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, the government delegation participated in the 7th Georgia-EU Association Council meeting held at the European Council in Brussels.