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International Parliamentary Conference in Batumi

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, July 22
International Parliamentary Conference was opened in Batumi on June 21, at the Sheraton Batumi. The conference will continue for two days. Its aim is to assess the progress of Georgia in the process of EU integration after the signing of the Association Agreement.

Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia David Usupashvili; Head of the European Union Delegation to Georgia, Philip Dimitrov, and Head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Georgia Niels Scott, addressed the participants at the opening session.

The conference discussed issues such as the harmonization of Georgia’s legislation with EU legislation, the supervisory role of the Parliament in the EU integration process, ways of cooperation with Georgia’s European partners and providing information to Georgian citizens about EU integration. The conference also provides a platform for the the Visegrad Group, or V4, an alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovak Republic, to share their experiences in furthering Georgia’s European integration.

The conference bought together members of parliament of countries of the Visegrad Group and Great Britain as well as representatives of diplomatic missions and international organizations.

According to Dimitrov, Georgia has made huge progress over the last 10 years and has a right to move towards the European Union.

“The Visegard countries are a very good example, they were the first who showed the world how to move towards Europe, Georgia can share the experience for its own goals,” Dimitrov stated.

MP Zakaria Kutsnishvili said that the Association Agreement leaves the name of conflict zones free.

“In the agreement, the zones are named as the Abkhazia and Ossetia regions. That means that all those 28 countries are unanimous over the Georgian regions. This fact dispels the fear that the EU is going to accept us in the union without occupied territories,” Kutsnishvili stated.

Member of the parliament majority Tina Khidasheli stated that fulfilling the duties given by the Association Agreement must be monitored by the government.

“Sharing the experience that government members can get from this conference will help us in the future,” she said.

Head of the Committee on European Integration Viktor Dolidze said that not only sharing experience, but the support from the Visegrad countries is also very important.

The conference was organized by the Parliament of Georgia with the support of the European Union and the UNDP.