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‘Georgia is 100% European,’ EU Commission head says on the 10th anniversary of Eastern Partnership

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, May 15
Head of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker believes that Georgia is a '100 percent European state.'

He made the statement in Brussels on Tuesday during the meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze on the sidelines of the conference dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the EU’s Eastern Partnership [EaP] initiative, uniting six Eastern European countries to support democracy, prosperity and stability in the region.

Juncker said that all the EaP countries- Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine- benefited from the format, particularly Georgia, 'which is the leader of the Eastern Partnership.'

Bakhtadze and Juncker said that the EU-Georgia relations 'are at an all-time high,' the PM’s press office reported, focusing on the EU-Georgia roadmap adopted in 2018 and the cooperation in the field of education.

Juncker mentioned the Erasmus+ program and the opening of the European School in Tbilisi last year.

The first Eastern Partnership European School opened its doors to 30 students from the EaP countries in September 2018 with an innovative academic program while fostering multicultural exchanges and cooperation.

Erasmus+ is the European Union program for education, training, youth, and sports. Erasmus, which became Erasmus + in 2014, aims to modernize education, training and youth work and support the mobility of youth.

“10 million students are involved in the program. The youngsters study, travel, love each other. One million children were born to the marriages of the participants of the Erasmus program,” Juncker said.

Bakhtadze said that Georgia has used all the opportunities, starting from signaling the Association Agreement with the EU in 2014 to the visa-free agreement in 2017, offered by the EaP initiative.

'Our country deserves more,' Bakhtadze said in Brussels, before attending a reception hosted by President of the European Council Donald Tusk late on Monday.

“There is more Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in the EU now than 10 years ago,” Tusk said during the reception, adding that achievements are visible and challenges should be overcome.