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Georgia’s European Way

By Vladimer Napetvaridze
Friday, June 15
On June 14-15, Batumi hosts the 15th international conference - “Georgia’s European Way”. The conference is for the first time held under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The conference offers its participants an efficient platform for discussing the geopolitical processes in Europe and the region, as well as throughout the world; the persisting challenges and the ways for their solution and the role of Georgia and the Member States of the Eastern Partnership in the aforesaid processes.

The Batumi International Conference opened on June 14. The President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, the Chairman of the Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze, the Director General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Christian Danielsson, and the Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, Zurab Pataradze gave keynote speeches.

In his speech the president commented on the resignation of the prime minister and expressed hope that the process of electing a new prime minister would be transparent, which will further convince partner countries that Georgia is developing in the right direction:

"The theme of this conference is decisive in our everyday political life, as well as strategic and tactical directions. I hope that open, transparent and democratic processes ongoing in Georgia, including prime minister's selection process, will convince us that we are an open-minded society and in this open process we get the right, democratic and transparent decisions,"- stated the President Giorgi Margvelashvili. However, he also added that the election of the Prime Minister is simply the formality because all the important political decisions are made by only one person.

The speech of the Chairman of the Parliament was focused on security issues, but at the end of his speech Kobakhidze replied to the president: “We are engaged in discussions of important issues in international policy. The regional security remains as one of the main challenges for Georgia. Together we can solve not only national threats to Georgia but regional problems too and maintain sustainable peace and stability," stated Kobakhidze. At the end of his speech, he advised the president to keep calm, saying the stable and decent development of Georgia will continue.

In his speech the Chairman of the Parliament also mentioned the following topics:

- Georgia’s democratic progress recognized by the international community;

- A new edition of the constitution which is a guarantee of democratic governance;

- Regional cooperation - as the main dimension for regional security;

- The issue of territorial integrity and human rights situation in the occupied territories.

The conference will last for two days. Discussions in the format of various panel sessions were focused on key issues of the European agenda, including the modern architecture of European security, new forms of co-operation between the EU and its associated partners and the importance of Georgia’s role in ensuring the regional stability. Such international conferences are crucial for a country that seeks to join the EU and NATO as it is an opportunity to present to the international community the progress that country has achieved, however, the use of such a tribune for an internal political confrontation can't be positively assessed.