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EU Commissioner Opens Eastern Partnership School in Tbilisi

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, September 6
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, opened the first Eastern Partnership (EaP) European School in Tbilisi, Georgia.

As one of the Eastern Partnership's 20 deliverables for 2020, it will provide students from the EU’s six Eastern partner countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine - with an innovative academic program while fostering multicultural exchanges and cooperation.

Hahn and the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze opened the school for the first 30 students from the EaP countries on September 4.

At the opening ceremony, the EU Commissioner noted that the school is a new milestone in the EU’s cooperation with its Eastern partners.

“Offering high-quality education to youth is an investment in the future of the students, of their countries, and of our strong and enduring partnership. The school's opening is also proof of our determination to implement the 20 deliverables for 2020, which are at the heart of the Eastern Partnership and will bring tangible benefits to citizens,” he said.

According to Mamuka Bakhtadze, the European School for the Eastern Partnership is an innovation not only in Georgia but in the whole region.

"Notably, the establishment of the European School is reflected in the Eastern Partnership's document 20 Deliverables for 2020. It is also included in our governmental program. By 2020, we must have 20 concrete deliverables. Today's project is one of the 20, which makes us especially proud," he said.

The PM noted that the European School is a project for future generations, for the country's future, democratic progress and prosperity.

"We are building a strong state focusing on European values. Of course, the sector of education holds a special place here. Along with providing education, this project will contribute tremendously to multicultural relations,” he added.

The unique diploma program offered at the Eastern Partnership European School combines academic excellence with specialized teaching inspired by the European school system. Students aged 16 and 17 will attend classes in a multilingual and multicultural environment to extend and deepen their knowledge about Europe and the European Union.

Furthermore, they will have access to a rich extra-curricular program and have the chance to participate in high-level conferences on EU subjects. The students will graduate with an International Baccalaureate Diploma in European Studies.

Johannes Hahn paid an official visit to Georgia on September 3-4. In addition to opening the school, he had meetings with PM Bakhtadze, President Giorgi Margvelashvili and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Zalkaliani.

Georgia-EU relations, the successful implementation of the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement, also the further intensification of cooperation in bilateral, regional, and multilateral formats were the key issues discussed by the sides at the meetings.