European Union Reiterates Commitment to Georgia at "Georgia's European Way" Batumi Conference (14/07/2016)

EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn stresses economic development as a key priority of EU in Georgia

Speaking at the 13th annual "Georgia's European Way" conference in Batumi, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, who travelled to Georgia specifically for the event, used his keynote speech to stress the EU's continual support to Georgia and other countries in the Eastern Partnership, noting that:

"The European Union is sticking to the commitments that it has made with its partner countries in the neighbourhood. There will be no let-up in our efforts to support the countries closest to our borders"

After congratulating Georgia on the final entrance into force of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement on 1 July and Georgia's progress in meeting the commitments in implementing the Deep and Comprehensive Trade Agreement, the Commissioner addressed the importance of economic development as a key focus for the EU in Georgia. 

He noted economic development's impact foes beyond wealth creation but also on security:  "Using economic development we (EU and our neighbours) can create the conditions in which some sources of instability and insecurity – like conflict, radicalisation, and irregular migration – can be avoided."  He concluded by stressing the importance of the DCFTA in this regard, as well as continued Georgian efforts to fight corruption, ensure rule of law, support SME development and provide education opportunities for its citizens. 

The full text of Commissioner Hahn's speech can be found here (currently only in English): https://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-2019/hahn/announcements/georgias-european-way_en

Following the conference, Commissioner Hahn held a series of bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze and State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Davit Bakradze.

Commissioner Hahn then visited an EU-funded agricultural cooperative in Ochkhamuri village as well as the Kobuleti branch of the Adjara autonomous republic Agroservice Centre to get  first-hand information about the successes of agriculture cooperatives, and the role of agriculture cooperation in boosting rural development in Georgia. Both projects are funded through the EU's ENPARD programme, which has supported Georgia’s agriculture and rural development with over GEL 250 million since 2013.

For information on ENPARD please visit www.enpard.ge or contact:
• Tamar Khuntsaria, Team Leader, ENPARD Communication Unit, Action Global Communications, mob: 595 98 99 16, tamar.k@actionprgroup.com
• Maia Chitaia, Director, Action Global Communications, mob: 599 49 00 12, maia.chitaia@actionprgroup.com
• Lasha Komakhidze, ENPARD Adjara, UNDP, mob: 595 15 84 84, lasha.komakhidze@undp.org

For more information on EU activities in Georgia please visit http://euingeorgia.ge or contact:
• Delegation of the European Union to Georgia: Communications Manager, Mikolaj Bekasiak, Mikolaj-Swietopelek.BEKASIAK@eeas.europa.eu.