A MEETING TOOK PLACE BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT OF TURKMENISTAN AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL
On September 18, 2023, the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov held a meeting with the President of the European Council Charles Michel in New York.
As the head of state noted, Turkmenistan attaches great importance to strengthening friendly ties and constructive dialogue with the EU, which is expanding every year, covering new areas of interaction.
In this context, the successful cooperation of Turkmenistan with this international structure, both in a bilateral format and within the framework of the European Union - Central Asia Dialogue, was emphasized.
The European Union is a long-time partner of Turkmenistan in the implementation of a number of specialized projects and programs aimed at solving priority tasks for the further economic and social development of our country, including in the field of legislation, education, information and communication technologies, agriculture and water management, environmental protection, climate change, the head of state emphasized.
At the same time, it was noted that currently leading European companies are represented in many sectors of the Turkmen economy - in the oil and gas complex, transport, electricity, construction, communications and communications.
During the conversation, an interested exchange of views took place on the prospects for further interaction in the context of its key aspects and the existing diverse potential.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council took place on 24 April, with the situation in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova as priority topics.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed the EU ministers via video conference, and briefed them about the latest developments on the ground and Ukraine’s military priorities and needs, especially in terms of ammunition and missiles.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell highlighted that in total the EU and its member states have already facilitated the delivery to Ukraine of over €13 billion in military support.
He also updated ministers on EU military support to Ukraine in the context of the three-track plan. On track one, the EU adopted an assistance measure under the European Peace Facility worth €1 billion to address Ukraine’s most immediate needs. EU member states are also finalising work on track two, to facilitate joint procurement. Lastly, the European Commission will soon present concrete proposals on how to ramp up the European defence production capacity under track three.
Ministers were also informed about the activities of the EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine), which has already exceeded its initial target by training over 16,000 Ukrainian soldiers. The EU aims to train a total of 30,000 soldiers by the end of 2023.
EU Foreign Ministers also held an informal exchange with the Georgian Foreign Minister, Ilia Darchiashvili, and confirmed that Georgia has made significant progress in many key reforms. They also highlighted that rule of law, human rights, media, civil society and independent state institutions are important elements for each country aspiring to join the EU.
Concerning Moldova, the Foreign Affairs Council established a new civilian EU CSDP partnership mission (EUPM Moldova), reached a broad agreement on a new framework for sanctions against those who destabilise the country, and on allocating further €40 million coming from the European Peace Facility to support Moldova’s defence capabilities.
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The six winners of the Family Connections photo contest have been announced at a gala awards event in Tbilisi on 31 March. Winners from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine take home a prize of €1,000 each.
The EUNEIGHBOURS EAST – FOTOFESTIWAL photo contest, funded by the European Union, invited professional photographers from the six Eastern Partnership countries to enter a set of photographs around the theme of Family Connections.
From a total of more than 400 entries, a team of five top international judges drew up a shortlist of three photographers from each country, who were all invited to the awards ceremony at the Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum, where their photo stories were projected in an interactive display.
The gala awards event was hosted by Pawel Herczynski, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, and Nestan Nizharadze, the co-founder of Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum, and attended by local celebrities, and media, bloggers and influencers from across the region.
Presenting the awards, Ambassador Pawel Herczynski said: “Through this photo contest, we are proud to showcase the EU’s commitment to fostering cultural exchange and promoting the power of photography as a tool for reflection and change. The theme of Family and family connections highlight the importance of our shared values and the role Family plays in shaping our societies. Congratulations to all the photographers for their creative and inspiring interpretations.”
The photo competition sought personal interpretations around the theme of ‘family connections’: how does family connect us to our roots, culture, traditions, attitudes and future? Which connections define a family and make us belong? How do these connections adapt to changing worlds, technology, conflict, love and loss?
The winning entries approached these themes from a wide range of personal approaches.
The WHO Country Office in Ukraine, with support from the European Union and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has donated an additional 33 ambulances to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to enable the provision of emergency medical care to patients during the war. The handover of ambulances took place in Lviv, western Ukraine, on 27 March.
The donation includes 20 ambulances equipped with a stretcher and first aid equipment. They are intended for the non-critical transportation of patients. Another 13 ambulances, equipped with patient ventilators, oxygen supply, IV pumps, suction pumps, stretchers, medication bags, will allow for the transportation of seriously injured patients to health facilities.
The ambulances will be handed over to hospitals and emergency centres throughout the country, with a particular focus on eastern Ukraine.
“It is one of our top priorities to support the Ukrainian healthcare system, which has come under extreme pressure since the start of the war,” said Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management. “We are working with partners like WHO to ensure that medical professionals have the means and equipment to reach people in urgent need of medical assistance. These ambulances will save lives across the country, including in hard-to-reach areas.”
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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced today that the European Union has disbursed another €1.5 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine.
“Our support helps keep Ukraine running, while defending itself,” wrote von der Leyen on Twitter. “And puts Ukraine firmly on its EU path by supporting reforms – good governance and financial stability, for example.”
On 17 January, the European Union disbursed the first €3 billion of the €18 billion of promised macro-financial assistance agreed in December 2022.
This emergency assistance aims to provide short-term financial relief, financing Ukraine’s immediate needs, rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and initial support towards sustainable post-war reconstruction, with a view to supporting Ukraine on its path towards European integration. The loans will have a 10-year grace period.
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Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili hosted a formal dinner in honor of the EU delegation members currently visiting Georgia.
The official dinner honoring the diplomats was held at Mtatsminda. The Head of Government and the European diplomats discussed Georgia’s European integration in an informal setting.
The high-level regional ambassadorial of the EU is held periodically and represents an important forum for discussing the EU’s policy toward concrete countries.
The EU Delegation to Georgia has welcomed today’s announcement by the Georgian ruling party ‘Georgian Dream” that it would withdraw the draft legislation on the “Transparency of foreign influence”.
“We encourage all political leaders in Georgia to resume pro-EU reforms, in an inclusive and constructive way and in line with the 12 priorities for Georgia to achieve candidate status,” the Delegation said on Twitter.
On 7 March, the bill passed its first reading in the Georgian parliament, despite widespread protests.
The EU said the law was incompatible with EU values and standards and goes against Georgia’s stated objective of joining the European Union, adding that this is “a very bad development for Georgia and its people”.
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EU and UNDP select six local projects improving governance, policies, and services in Georgia’s regionsThursday, 16 February 2023 17:08
The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), have chosen six municipalities across Georgia to implement local projects focused on urban renewal, maintenance and development of public spaces, protection of historical and cultural heritage, preschool education, and quality public services.
The jury selected the six best local projects out of 52 ideas submitted by 22 municipalities. Each winner will receive funding between €4,500 and € 6,000. The total value of the grant programme is €30,800.
In Tskaltubo Municipality (Imereti region), a modern recreational venue at Niko Lortkipanidze Museum in Chune village, with free WIFI access, will be organised.
In Zestaponi Municipality (Imereti region), four kindergartens will be equipped with a play-and-learn inventory to assist children in learning and physical activities.
In Lagodekhi Municipality (Kakheti region), a multifunctional space will be created and equipped at the library of the newly renovated Lagodekhi Museum, serving as a venue for educational activities, film screening and youth meetings.
In Telavi Municipality (Kakheti region), 96 staff in 32 kindergartens will be trained and certified in first aid services. Two kindergartens will receive additional support to equip doctors’ offices at their premises.
In Oni Municipality (Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti region), an open air cinema at one of Oni’s newly renovated plazas will provide young people with a comfortable space for film screenings, educational work and discussion club activities.
In Tsageri Municipality (Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti region), the e-document project will support the digital transformation of the municipal preschool education system. Electronic tools will be introduced for registering children with kindergartens and training teachers.
The initiative is supported by the EU-funded programme EU for Integrated Territorial Development (EU4ITD), promoting balanced territorial development and improved living standards in Georgia’s regions.
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With the support of the EU and Denmark, and in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the National Statistics Office of Georgia (GEOSTAT) has developed a specialised webpage regions.geostat.ge integrated into its public website, offering information on 64 Georgian municipalities.
The platform tracks economic, demographic and social dynamics across 82 indicators, with 52 indicators provided by Georgia’s public agencies, and the rest by GEOSTAT through statistical surveys.
The project was developed with the aim of improving municipal data collection, systematising already available statistical information, defining and collecting new statistical indicators, and making sub-national statistics easily accessible to the public.
“The EU cares deeply about further developing the regions of Georgia to make sure that the whole population has access to opportunities and services. The foundation of this is clear and reliable data,” said Colombe de Mercey from the EU Delegation to Georgia. “The new GEOSTAT platform will help policy-makers and local authorities to make well-informed decisions for the people living in their regions.”
UNDP’s assistance to Georgia’s National Statistics Office, GEOSTAT, is supported by the EU-funded programme EU for Integrated Territorial Development (EU4ITD) promoting balanced territorial development and improved living standards in Georgia’s regions,
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‘Better and Safer Roads for Georgia’: Georgia launches nationwide road safety campaign with EU supportFriday, 10 February 2023 14:11
With the support of the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Georgian authorities have launched a joint campaign – ‘Better and safer roads for Georgia’ – to raise awareness on road safety issues.
The campaign focuses on several concrete issues to raise awareness of the importance of road safety. It will show real stories of people affected by road accidents. Outdoor banners with road safety messages will be spread throughout five cities of Georgia – Tbilisi, Khashuri, Kutaisi, Zestafoni, and Batumi. This will be complemented by outreach through television, online media and social media. The goal is to reach as many drivers as possible and help them become aware of safety risks on the roads.
According to the EU Delegation to Georgia, car accidents are one of the main causes of fatalities and injuries in the country. Failure to maintain one lane, speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol are all significant causes of traffic accidents in Georgia. Over the past two years, 15,222 people have been injured in car accidents and 879 people have been killed, including 22 children.
“Systematically preventing deaths and serious injuries linked to road crashes is a priority of the EIB, the EU’s bank,” said Maciej Czura, the Head of the EIB Regional Representation for the South Caucasus. “Improving road infrastructure safety in Georgia has been one of our key priorities since 2007 when the bank began operating in the country. In order to achieve that, the EIB is supporting the Georgian East-West highway project with €1 billion financing guaranteed by the European Union, supplemented with up to €40 million of EU grants to Georgia.”
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