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Johannes Hahn, September 3, 2018. Photo: mfa.gov.ge

EU Enlargement Commissioner Visits Tbilisi, Opens New Eastern Partnership School

The Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, who is on a visit to Georgia on September 3-4, met with Georgian officials, discussing the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and the possibilities for enhanced cooperation in the bilateral, regional and multilateral formats.

At a joint press conference with Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani on September 3, the EU Commissioner said “Georgia is probably the most advanced” country in terms of implementation of the DCFTA and the Association Agreement. He, however, added that “there is no reason for complacency, because a lot of opportunities are still untapped.”

Commissioner Hahn also commended the Georgian government for its “strong cooperation” in terms the visa waiver agreement implementation, referring to the authorities’ steps for reducing the number of Georgian asylum applications to EU member states.

Today, the EU Commissioner also opened the first Eastern Partnership European School in Tbilisi, an international diploma program with a focus on European Studies and designed for students aged 16 and 17 from six EaP countries. The school is one of the deliverables of the Eastern Partnership initiative following the November 2017 Summit.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Hahn said “while many challenged” the idea as “too ambitious,” he believed it would be “a symbol of our successful regional cooperation.”

“It was my vision to build the first ever European school outside EU borders, where the brightest students from across the EaP region could have the chance not only to receive a high quality education, inspired by European and international teaching standards, but to have the chance to engage in European values,” he told the first cohort of students.

In Tbilisi, Hahn also met with President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and First Deputy Parliament Speaker Tamar Chugoshvili.

The Commissioner’s visit to Tbilisi came three days after the European Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Georgia for macro-financial assistance of up to €45 million to help the country cover its external financing needs and support economic reforms.

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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