Over 200 representatives of local and national authorities from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and the EU Member States have met in Tbilisi for a two-day conference dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the EU Covenant of Mayors in the Eastern Partnership region.
A series of discussions organised throughout the event included a regional workshop hosted by the EU4Climate project, a joint EU and UNDP initiative to assist Eastern partnership countries in fulfilling their climate pledges.
The workshop participants discussed the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and low-emission development strategies on local and regional levels.
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Over the course of ten years of its fruitful work, the Covenant of Mayors East brought together national stakeholders, regional authorities, local governments, civil society, and communities from almost 500 municipalities from the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. With more than 42% of the total population living in the municipalities committed to CoM East objectives, there is a clear positive trend of local authorities in the region joining the initiative.
The cooperation within the initiative aims to embark on the path of energy and climate transition, share the experience among signatories of the project, exchange the best practices, take advantage of the technical expertise and funding opportunities, encourage each other, and jointly search for efficient solutions to shared obstacles.
Organised in the framework of the EU-funded project Covenant of Mayors – Eastern Partnership, the high-level conference “10th Anniversary of the Covenant of Mayors in the Eastern Partnership Region” will take place on 29-30 November 2022 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Conference will host over 150 representatives, including local and national authorities, associations of local officials, and other stakeholders from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, along with the EU institutions, EU Member States and international organisations’ representatives.
“I am very happy to see that the Covenant of Mayors initiative in the Eastern Partnership is ready to deliver on the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The ambition to cut emissions by 35% by 2030 demonstrates that your municipalities are truly stepping up to this challenge. With over 460 signatories, the Eastern Partnership region is a frontrunner and a great example for local authorities around the globe,” said Lawrence Meredith, Director for Neighbourhood East and Institution Building from the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) at theEuropean Commission.
During the Conference, speakers will present the progress achieved by the Covenant and its signatories, and will reaffirm the EU’s strong political will to support EaP authorities in designing and implementing sustainable policies. The event will offer opportunities for discussing the main bottlenecks and barriers encountered by the signatory cities, providing effective recipes for success. It will also outline the future of the initiative and EU support to EaP municipalities in the perspective of the Green Deal and other European initiatives. The workshops, taking place on the second day of the event, will create a space for dialogue between local, national, and EU representatives on the implementation of SECAPs, examples of demonstration projects, and climate policy objectives.
Along with the project’s 10th Anniversary in the Eastern Partnership countries, the event also marks the launch of the CoM East third phase that started its work earlier this year. Moreover, from 2014 to 2021 a total of 33 Covenant of Mayors demonstration projects were implemented in the framework of the initiative with the budget of around 38.5 M€.
The Eastern Partnership countries, throughout the past ten years, were able to build a strong and supportive Covenant community, where both ministries and regional authorities’ associations play an important role by assisting the signatories in meeting their CO₂ reduction commitments and implementing climate change adaptation measures.
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!
In response to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the EU4Youth programme has announced that it has decided to terminate its call for proposals “EU4Youth phase III Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship: Fostering Youth Employment and Societal Change through Social Entrepreneurship”, which was published on 26 January 2022 and extended on 3 March.
“Following the military aggression initiated by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the war in the country and the flood of refugees have comprehensively changed the demographic situation, social environment and labour market in Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries,” the programme said, adding that the need to address the immediate war-related needs and to build capacities for crisis response, including re-qualification, integration to labour markets, and development of entrepreneurship skills, had significantly impacted the context of EU4Youth Phase III.
In order to address these challenges, the priorities of the grant, and the requirements for applicants and procedures will be revised accordingly.
Depending on the situation, further information about the status of the call for proposals “EU4Youth phase III Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship: Fostering Youth Employment and Societal Change through Social Entrepreneurship” is planned to be announced until the end of April.
All those interested in the programme and potential grant applicants should subscribe to the EU4Youth newsletter for updates.
With the support of the European Union, the Open Government Partnership under the EU for Integrity programme has launched an ongoing call for project proposals for its members from the Eastern Partnership – registered civil society organisations and consortia from Armenia, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
Applicants should focus on using the OGP platform for expanding civil society engagement and building cross-sectoral partnerships in the areas of integrity, anti-corruption, public service delivery, justice, COVID-19 response and recovery, and civic space.
Grants up to €40,000 will cover 4-12 months of the implementation period.
Unlike regular OGP competitions, this call for proposals does not have a specific due date. The proposals are reviewed quarterly.
The call is announced as part of the EU for Integrity Programme for the Eastern Partnership, funded by the EU and jointly implemented by the Open Government Partnership and the OECD Anti-Corruption Network.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has joined the leaders of EU institutions, member states, and partner countries to participate in the 6th Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels.
The Head of Government, in his speech at the summit, reaffirmed the steadfastness of Georgia's European aspirations and European choice, also speaking about the Associated Trio and describing this format as a clear demonstration of one of the partnership's key principles of differentiation. The Prime Minister expressed hope that the cooperation between the Trio and the EU will grow even deeper to help fully tap into the opportunities offered under the Association Agreement. Irakli Garibashvili, in his speech at the summit, focused on the region's security challenges and emphasized the need of the EU's enhanced engagement in conflict-resolution, including toward the full implementation of the August 12, 2008 Ceasefire Agreement mediated by the EU.
At the summit, the EU Reiterated the strategic importance of the Eastern Partnership and the European choice and aspirations of the Associated Partners, also pointing out that the sovereign right of partner countries to define the depth of their relations and the quality of cooperation with EU.
The summit welcomed the effort of the so-called Associated Trio (Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine) toward deeper cooperation with the EU, seeking to put in place close coordination with one another in this process, including for the implementation of the Association Agreement and intensification of cooperation under the Eastern Partnership.
The leaders reiterated firm support for partner countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity within their internationally recognized borders. Special attention was paid to the region's security situation, emphasizing that blatant violations of international law undermine peace in Europe. In this context, the need to renew efforts toward regulating regional conflicts was emphasized, something also implying the EU's enhanced engagement.
The summit's participants expressed support for differentiation, one of the Eastern Partnership's key principles that defines granting, on an individual basis, EU integration tools to concrete partner countries. In this context, the Associated Trio's gradual integration into the single EU market is planned.
At the summit, the leaders adopted a political declaration expressing full support for pressing priority issues within the scope of the Eastern Partnership. The new agenda of the Eastern Partnership, as part of the declaration, was developed through Georgia's active involvement together with the EU and other partners. Consequently, an ambitious agenda has been set to promote the empowerment of the partner countries' security, economy, institutions, and environmental and digital transformation mechanisms. The new Eastern Partnership agenda, besides maximally strengthening general resilience tools for the Eastern Partnership member states, also involves reaching important short- and medium-term objectives, to be ensured through the new EU External Investment Plan with a volume of 2.3 billion euro (with the potential to attract 17 billion euro in investments). For Georgia, this means stronger transport, energy, and digital connectivity, including through maximally tapping into the Black Sea's potential. Other important projects will be implemented as well to bring tangible results to citizens, including accession to the single euro payments area, reduced roaming fees between the region's countries and with the EU, support for SMEs, including startups, fostering the mobility of students and the academic community, enhanced access to the European Solidarity Corps, Erasmus +, and Horizon Europe programs, and others.
The Eastern Partnership Summit is the highest-level format for dialogue between the EU and the Eastern Partnership member states. Convened one every two years, it involves discussing crucially important strategic and political issues and agreeing them by the relevant parties.
Press Service of the Government Administration
‘Uphill, but an essential and a worthy battle’: Michel welcomes the Eastern Partnership Civil Society AssemblyThursday, 02 December 2021 09:28
Сivil society have played and is playing a crucial role in making progress in the critical areas of the Eastern Partnership, including political cooperation, economic recovery, and democratic reforms, said President Charles Michel addressing the participants of the Civil Society Assembly.
The 13th Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), ‘Road to recovery: fostering reform and resilience for a stronger Eastern Partnership’ is taking place from 30 November to 2 December bringing together online more than 300 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and decision-makers from the Eastern Partner countries and the EU.
We have advanced our partnership in spite of challenges ranging from economic crises to armed conflicts and the COVID pandemic,” said Charles Michel. “You must continue to step forward and make your voices heard.”
The President added that the EU will insist in tackling challenges facing the Eastern Partnership: “Strengthening democracy, fighting corruption, defending the rule of law, guaranteeing a free media, and countering disinformation – this is an uphill battle, but an essential and a worthy battle”.
The Assembly will prepare its recommendations in the run-up of the 6th Eastern Partnership Summit (15-16 December 2021).
The Class of 2021: online graduation for EU-funded scholars as Eastern Partnership European School wraps up extraordinary year
22 JUNE, TBILISI – The Eastern Partnership (EaP) European School programme proudly marks the graduation of its second cohort of students from the six EaP countries in a virtual ceremony hosted by New School – International School of Georgia. The students, their parents and the Faculty were joined by the Mr. Mikheil Chkhenkeli, Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Mr.Lawrence Meredith, Director Neighbourhood East and Institution Building DG NEAR, and Ms. Grete Faremo, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNOPS, as well as other dignitaries, to celebrate the spirit of creativity and resilience of the School community to successfully complete the studies in the extraordinary and tough times of the global pandemic.
“My dear students, my most sincere congratulations to all of you! I believe that education received at the European Union Eastern Partnership School will lay a solid foundation to your future endeavors,” – said the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia Mikheil CHKHENKELI in his graduation remarks to the graduating class of 2021 as he has described studying in the time of global pandemic a challenging task, “but you did so well! You are smart and clever young people, full of determination, energy and curiosity and I wish you a life full of opportunities to achieve personal and professional success. Quality education is a major investment in life and I believe this investment will pave the way to remarkable accomplishments for you in the future.”
The Class of 2021 of the scholarship programme comprises 34 students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. All students, among them 24 girls, successfully graduated with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and will pursue their higher education studies in the universities of Europe, the United States and their home countries. Delightfully, 30 percent of the graduates have received full or partial scholarships from well-known universities globally and will join their peers in Spain, The Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Belgium, Estonia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Turkey, United States and Canada.
“The success of today’s graduating class is also a lesson in resilience and determination. You “went digital”, and embraced the chance to learn from the difficulties you had to face. You showed dedication and enthusiasm. The New School has helped you grow personally and become more independent while shaping your own future,” – said Lawrence MEREDITH, Director Neighbourhood East and Institution Building, DG NEAR, in his commencement speech during the graduation ceremony.
Out of 34 graduates from Class 2021, 11 students are from Georgia, including from the capital Tbilisi, Khashuri, Rustavi and Akhaltsikhe. Many of them follow the footsteps of their peers from the first cohort to study Biochemical Engineering, Medicine, Law, Computer Sciences and Economics, mostly in the European as well as US universities.
“Living with students from six different countries helped me notice my cultural lens, and become more understanding. Being part of a diverse community at New School made me realize that efficiency is maximized when people from varied backgrounds work together. Individual and group assignments through the IB curriculum helped me develop a variety of skills, including research, critical thinking and presentation. I believe that experience gained in the last two years will make it easier for me to fit in within the new university group as an aspiring future scientist,” - said a recent graduate Nino Zhuzhunadze from Akhaltsikhe, Georgia, who has been awarded a scholarship at one of the US universities to study Natural Sciences, which she later plans to narrow down to Biochemical Engineering.
Since the launch of the scholarship programme in 2018, overall 105 students from different urban and rural cities of the six Eastern European countries have been awarded with the EU-funded full 2-year scholarship to study on the IB Diploma Programme. By 2021, the European School has a total of 64 students from two cohorts, 44 girls and 20 boys, graduated with the IB Diploma, pursuing the careers in a diversity of areas such as Economics, Biochemical Engineering, Physics, Social Sciences, Arts and Culture, Communications and Media, International Relations and Global Affairs, Medicine, Law, Liberal Arts and Computer Sciences. Another group of 40 students is set to join the programme for the 2021-2023 academic years after completing a very competitive recruitment process through applications, written tests and interviews.
Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNOPS, Grete Faremo said: “Your success today is testimony to your hard work, resilience and resourcefulness. UNOPS is proud and honoured to have been a part of this journey, working together with European Union and other partners to offer high quality education opportunities in Europe’s Eastern Neighbourhood. Together, we can build a better future for all.”
The Eastern Partnership European School Project, a flagship Project and one of the "Eastern Partnership - 20 Deliverables for 2020", is a wider initiative by the European Union (EU) for the six EaP countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine – to address the needs of youth, focused on secondary education. The Project offers high quality education to successful high school students from six EaP countries through a competitive and merit-based scholarship IB Diploma programme with a focus on European Studies. The Project is expected to increase students’ educational and employment opportunities, fostering cooperation, multi-cultural understanding, tolerance, and fundamental values, and promoting a better understanding of the EU and its engagement in the region.
The project is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by UNOPS in partnership with New School – International School of Georgia, Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and International Baccalaureate (IB) Organisation.
The news prepared in the framework of the EU project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"
In Georgia the Secretary of the EU Eastern Partnership Regional Project – Road Safety Observatory will be placed. Georgia won in the call for the expression of interest of becoming host of the above mentioned organization which was launched by the European Commission in February 2021. According to the statement of the Ministry of Economy of Georgia еhe project of Eastern Partnership Road Safety Observatory (EaP RSO) envisages establishing integrated analytical platform/center, where specialized information concerning the road safety practice, policy and statistical data will be gathered from each Eastern Partnership member country (Georgia, the Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova). The main purpose of this observatory is to promote in the Eastern Partnership Countries road safety situation based on the best European and international experience and analysis based approach.
The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia presented application on expression of interest in the European Commission, which supported consortium of Policy Institute of International School of Economics (ISET) of Tbilisi State University and international non-governmental organization EASST (The Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport). In the call for expression of interest announced by the European Commission, Moldova and the Ukraine also participated.
Being the host of the Eastern Partnership Road Safety Observatory (EaP RSO) has utmost importance for the country and the region, which is going to improve road safety situation. The above said somehow represents the recognition of the successful policy and practice, which are being carried out on the national level in Georgia for the past years. Hosting this platform, Georgia is going to become an analytical center on the regional level in road safety sphere as well.
New EU programme to support readiness for vaccination efforts in Eastern Partnership countries with WHO
Today, the European Union in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a new regional programme worth over €40 million to provide critical assistance to ensure local readiness and preparedness for safe and effective vaccination of the population in each of the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
By strengthening preparedness and readiness of the countries for vaccinations, this programme will prepare the countries for the effective receipt and administering of vaccines, including those from COVAX and through vaccine sharing mechanisms with EU Member States. The programme includes risk communication and community engagement, support to vaccine supply chain management, vaccination data and safety monitoring, training of health managers and medical staff involved in the vaccination campaign, scheduling of the vaccinations, as well as key logistical support for the delivery and handling of the vaccines and supplies.
Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi, responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, stated, “With this new programme that we launch today in partnership with the WHO, the EU shows that it delivers on its commitment to support our Eastern Partners to fight the health crisis. Acting together now will also allow us to work rapidly on the region's sustainable socio-economic recovery. Today's programme comes in addition to the €1 billion of EU assistance mobilised so far to address the health pandemic and support the longer term socio-economic recovery of the region.”
The programme is part of the Team Europe initiative, and builds on the joint ongoing European Union and WHO Solidarity for Health Initiative in the Eastern Partnership.
This Health Initiative of over €35 million, has already provided substantial medical supplies across the region, including over 11 million items of personal protective equipment, 12,000 lab kits, over 1,500 ventilators, oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters, and over 20,000 PCR testing kits.
The EU is one of the strongest supporters of COVAX, which remains the best vehicle to ensure fair and equitable access to these vaccines and deliver on international vaccine solidarity.
Team Europe has contributed more than €850 million for COVAX, including €500 million from the EU budget. This will be a key contribution for COVAX to secure 1.3 billion doses of vaccines for 92 low and middle-income countries by the end of 2021.
To ensure early access to vaccines and building on the experience of the EU's Vaccine Strategy, the European Commission is operating an EU sharing mechanism to facilitate Member States' sharing of doses secured by the EU, including with our Eastern partners.
The news prepared in the framework of the EU project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"