Ms. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, First Deputy State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality and Prof. Guenter Verheugen, former European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy.
Former European Commissioner Prof. Günter Verheugen Delivered a Public Lecture at Ilia State University
Prof. Guenter Verheugen, former European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy and former Vice-President of European Commission, delivered a public lecture at Ilia State University.
The topic of the lecture was "The EU and its Eastern Partnership: Challenges and Opportunities."
Prof. Guenter Verheugen visited the university together with Ms. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, First Deputy State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality.
Former European Commissioner reviewed the history of establishment and enlargement of the European Union in depth. He talked about his direct involvement within 2004 wave of EU enlargement. Prof. Guenter Verheugen also discussed the European Neighborhood Policy, as he was personally involved within the creation of this program. According to Former European Commissioner, the Neighborhood Policy served as a starting point for the accession process of EU’s neighboring countries in a long-term perspective, rather than as an instrument for replacing the EU integration process for the new neighbors of the European Union.
Based on the estimate of Prof. Guenter Verheugen, the EU enlargement was a successful project and it has to carry on through integrating Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova. He expressed his willingness toward the EU to have a more clear policy on accession perspectives for Eastern Partnership countries.
Former European Commissioner also made some remarks on the current situation in Ukraine and declared that these events provide new possibilities for the accession perspectives for new countries in the European Union, including Georgia; also it provides incentive for visa liberalization process by the EU.
Prof. Guenter Verheugen answered the questions of the audience. Various students and professors attended the public lecture at Ilia State University.
Within the auspices of his visit to Georgia, Mr. Guenter Verheugen, former European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy and former Vice-President of European Commission, will travel to village Dvani today.
Mr. Verheugen will be hosted by the First Deputy State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Ms. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, who will introduce the former European Commissioner with problems that emerged across the Division Line after the installation of Barbed Wire Fences by the Russian Military Servicemen.
Special envoys on the issue of "Eastern Partnership" from Lithuania, Sweden, France and Romania will travel with them as well and study the situation on the ground.
Before traveling to village Dvani, Mr. Verheugen will deliver a lecture at Ilia State University on: "The EU and its Eastern Partnership: Challenges and Opportunities" at 14.00 PM.
The former European Commissioner arrived in Georgia on March 5, on a two-day visit.
Mr. Paata Zakareishvili, the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality met with Mr. Guenter Verheugen, former European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy and former Vice-President of European Commission.
The First Deputy State Minister Ms. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, along with Mr. Paata Zakareishvili hosted Mr. Verheugen. They discussed the issues of enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, as well as Georgia’s European integration process.
"I would like to share my European experience, particularly in the spheres of enlargement and Neighborhood Policy. The visit takes place in a critical moment for the Neighborhood Policy. I have traveled to Georgia to convey a clear message for your people - you have done a lot, you have implemented important reforms and you have achieved much better policy with regard to the European Union. I call on the European institutions to provide clear perspective and timeframe for European integration to Georgia", - Mr. Verheugen declared to journalists after the meeting.
Mr. Paata Zakareishvili stressed the experience of Mr. Verheugen:
"He is one of the important politicians in the European Union in recent period - most substantial enlargement of the EU took place during his time in office. Mr. Verheugen has enormous experience in European policy. He shared with us how the EU enlargement process runs, the principles on which this process is based on and the principles and values the Georgian policy should be founded on along its road to European integration. According to his estimate, Georgia has undertaken proper steps and the conditions for responsive action by the European Union are already shaped. This year is very important for Georgia and I am sure that Europe will wage a clear-cut and straightforward policy in relation to Georgia" - Mr. Paata Zakareishvili declared.
Under the invitation of the Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Prof. Gunter Verheugen, former European Commissioner and former Vice-President of the European Commission, will pay a visit to Georgia from March 5 to 6.
During his visit, Prof. Gunter Verheugen, having a wide expertise in conflict studies, will familiarize with the Georgia’s integration process with the EU, the Georgian conflict settlement policies and the current situation with regard to this process.
The visit of the former European Commissioner will start with the business lunch with the State Minister Mr. Paata Zakareishvili and the First Deputy State Minister Ms. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili.
Prof. Gunter Verheugen will also hold meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the Office of the State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration; he will also meet with experts and deliver a lecture at Ilia State University on: "The EU and its Eastern Partnership: Challenges and Opportunities". Prof. Gunter Verheugen will share his experience on Eastern Partnership, conflict management practices within Europe and the realistic possibilities for their possible future settlement.
Within the auspices of the visit, the former European Commissioner, together with Ms. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, will trip to village Atotsi to study the situation that emerged due to the installation of Barbed Wire Fences by the Russian military servicemen. Other Ambassadors of the EU member states will visit the Division Line as well.
"It is very important to have such a high-profile and prestigious politician in Georgia. He will visit the villages separated by the Division Lines and see the face of current Russian occupation in Georgia with his very eyes. Prof. Gunter Verheugen is a German politician. They are particularly well-aware what the Berlin Wall and the dividing communities have been. Considering his unique experience and expertise in EU Enlargement and Neighborhood policies, this visit is reasonably important today, against the background of recent events in Ukraine, which is immensely important for the future of Eastern Partnership countries as a whole", - the First Deputy State Minister Ms. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili declared.
Prof. Gunter Verheugen was European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy between 1999-2004 years. In 2004-2010 he was the Vice-President of European Commission for Enterprise and Industry.
Prof. Gunter Verheugen will leave Georgia on March 7.
Ms. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili Participated into the Session of US-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership
The First Deputy State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ms. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili participated into the Plenary Session of US-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership.
The Prime Minister of Georgia Mr. Irakli Garibashvili and the US Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry opened the Session.
In frames of the People-to-People Working Group, Ms. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, as the Co-Chair of the group, talked about the current situation across the Division Lines. In particular, she delivered detailed information to the participants on the installation process of barbed wire fences on the Division Lines by Russian military servicemen and on additional damage this process had posed for the local population.
During the session, the US Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry condemned the installation of barbed wire fences and expressed his support to the peaceful policy of Georgia and its efforts for reconciliation, whilst reiterating his call for Russia to carry out those obligations that are defined by the ceasefire agreement.
The meeting also outlined those specific directions through which the United States supports Georgia under the Charter on Strategic Partnership.
According to Ms. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, the aim of these efforts is to alleviate the deplorable human rights consequences and to support the contacts between the people separated by the barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers.