Study Visit 2019 to Georgia
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Study Visit 2019 to Georgia
The Study Visit, held once a year, is a combination of political dialogue and cultural meetings.
The FMA delegation was composed of 21 people.
The FMA Study Visit to Georgia took place from 29 September to 4 October 2019. A delegation of 18 former MEPs from ten EU countries and different European political families headed to Tbilisi. The FMA Vice-President, Jan-Willem Bertens, was the leader of the Delegation. The FMA in co-operation with the Georgian Parliament set up a very interesting programme. The visit was successful and former MEPs were able to participate in high-level meetings with government and parliament’s representatives from the ruling party and the opposition as well as the civil society. Former MEPs collected valuable information on a variety of issues such as economic development, entry into force of the new constitution and impact on the political landscape, independence of judiciary, the occupied territories, or the situation of workers and freedom of media.
FMA Delegation with Tamar KHULORDAVA, Chairperson of the European Integration Committee and Archil TALAKVADZE, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia.
“There is one over-riding impression that strikes anyone meeting with politicians in Georgia; they all seem to be young, highly educated, competent, articulate and multi-lingual. From all sides of the political spectrum there is a prevailing sense of optimism; a feeling that Georgia has a great future and that they are determined to make it happen. They all share the ambition to ensure that future is within the EU, a view supported by over 80% of the Georgian population.”
Struan Stevenson – FMA Member
The FMA Delegation with David ZALKALIANI, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
“First of all, the FMA Study Visit to Georgia was extremely well organized. Thanks to the comprehensive programme, the situation in Georgia and its relations with the European Union could be fully understood by the participants. This knowledge can be used on various occasions.”
Filip Kaczmarek – FMA member
FMA Delegation with Mikheil BENIDZE, International Society for fair Elections and Democracy, Vakhushti MENABDE, Georgian Young Lawyers Association, Eka GIGAURI, Transparency International and Vano CHKHIKVADZE, Open Society Georgia Foundation.
“Georgia is a confrontational democracy. The electoral system gives a reenforced majority to the winner. Therefore the decision of Georgian Dream, the party in power detaining a constitutional majority, to go for an electoral system granting seats in an absolute proportional way, is a bold one, which will diminish the power of the ruling party and will force political parties to cooperate in the interest of the Georgian people.”
Robert Goebbels – FMA Member
Public Lecture at the Tbilisi State University
The keynote speech by Robert Goebbels at the Tbilisi State University, followed by questions and answers, was one of the highlights of the visit. He said : “History shows that our continent shaped human civilization through culture, science, inventions and technological progress generated in Europe. But the same Europeans brought also brutal colonization and many bloody wars to the rest of the world. After two World Wars, which affected nations all over the planet, there was an outcry in many parts of Europe: “Never again”. This “never again” gave birth to one of the most innovative political constructions in human history, the European Union.”
A moment during the visit to Lagodekhi Protected Areas
A cultural visit to the Kvareli wine area and to the Lagodekhi Protected Areas located in north-eastern Georgia on the southern slopes of the Caucasus concluded the study visit.
The FMA Delegation visiting the Kvareli wine area
More pictures of the visit here. A full report of the visit will be published in the December Bulletin.