International Forum: Prospect of Georgia's Democratic and Economic development

News | Publications | Open Government Partnership | Article 6 February 2016

On February 1 and 2, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) organized an international Forum “The Prospects of Georgia's Democratic and Economic Development”. The Forum was held within the framework of the project “Strategic Plan Georgia 2020 – Strengthening Public Involvement”. The project is implemented by IDFI in cooperation with University of Bremen and with the financial support of Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

 

Along with the representatives of the government and diplomatic corps, foreign experts participated in the Forum as speakers: Michael Emerson - Senior Research Fellow at the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS); Federico Tarantini - External Energy Policy Officer, European Commission, DG Energy; Jochen Zimmermann - Dean at the University of Bremen, Germany; Andrei Illarionov - Senior Fellow in the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at Cato Institute; Lincoln Mitchell - Specialist in Political Development, Expert on US-Georgia; Michael Hikari Cecire - Associate Scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

 

Prime Minister of Georgia – Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Director of IDFI – Giorgi Kldiashvili opened the Forum. In his speech Giorgi Kldiashvili pointed out the goals of the forum and stressed the importance of similar meetings, where members of the government, diplomatic corps and representatives of the civil society can discuss challenges and perspectives for Georgia’s development. In his speech, Giorgi Kvirikashvili elaborated on the challenges facing Georgia, and discussed the country's economic and political achievements. Prime Minister noted that the government is open and transparent in its actions and added that participation of different branches of the government, civil society organizations and experts is necessary during the elaboration of government policies. Giorgi Kvirikashvili highlighted the importance of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic choice and discussed the significance of the Association Agreement signed between the European Union and Georgia.

 

Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia – Janos Herman and German Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia – Bettina Cadenbach also participated in the opening ceremony of the Forum. Janos Herman talked about the role of economic development in the democratic development of Georgia, discussed the challenges in this regard and expressed hope that the ongoing economic reforms will further contribute to improving competitiveness and better business environment in the country. The ambassador of the European Union highlighted the role of the European Union in the process of democratic and economic development in Georgia and talked about the significance of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement in building up closer cooperation between Georgia and the EU.

 

German Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia – Bettina Cadenbach introduced the project “Strategic Plan Georgia 2020 – Strengthening Public Involvement” to the invited guests of the Forum and discussed the significance of the projects aimed at increasing civil society involvement in Eastern Partnership Countries. Cadenbach talked about the importance of Georgia to the member states of the EU and positively assessed Georgia’s achievements in implementing the visa-liberalization action plan. German ambassador noted that the European Union and NATO strongly support the territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders of Georgia. According to Cadenbach, the Union continues to support the EU monitoring mission in Georgia and noted that EU recently extended the mandate of EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia - Herbert Salber. Despite existing challenges, Cadenbach expressed hope that Georgia will continue to implement the reforms that will facilitate its Euro-Atlantic integration process.

 

After the opening ceremony started the first panel discussion “Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic Aspiration”. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia – Mikheil Janelidze, State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Aspirations – David Bakradze, German Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia – Bettina Cadenbach, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) – Michael Emerson and Director of Georgian Center for Security and Development (GCSD) – Levan Dolidze participated in the panel discussion. The panel discussion that focused on the process and challenges of Georgia’s integration in NATO and the European Union, was moderated by the expert on defense and foreign policy issues – Mikheil Darchiashvili. After the speeches, the discussion continued with a Q&A session with the invited guests of the forum.

 

The second panel discussion of the first day of the forum focused on the main areas of EU-Georgia partnership. Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia – Gigi Gigiadze, External Energy Policy Officer of the European Commission (DG Energy) – Federico Tarantini, and EU Integration Program Manager at Open Society – Georgia Foundation participated in the panel discussion. The discussion was moderated by Kakha Gogolashvili – Senior Fellow and Director of EU Studies at Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS). Speakers and the invited guests of the forum discussed the challenges to the implementation process of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, negotiations on Georgia’s accession to the Energy Community and EU-Georgia visa liberalization dialogue.

 

The second day of the forum focused on the discussion of Georgia’s democratic and economic development. Current economic situation of Georgia was discussed by Alexi Alexishvili – Chairman and CEO of Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG), Jochen Zimmermann – Dean at the University of Bremen, Yaroslava Babych – Academic director of Policy Institute of International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) and Andrei Illarionov – Senior Fellow at CATO Institute. The panel discussion was moderated by the rector of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University – Vladimer Papava. The speakers discussed the challenges and prospects of Georgia’s economic development and assessed the reforms in this regard.

 

The main theme of the last panel discussion was Georgia’s democratic development. UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia – Niels Scott; Chairmen of the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD) – Ghia Nodia; Specialist in political developments and expert on US-Georgia relations – Lincoln Mitchell and Associate Scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute – Michael Hikari Cecire participated in the panel discussion. The speakers discussed the development of institutions in Georgia, internal and external factors effecting Georgian democracy and the issues of transparent, open and good governance. The panel discussion was moderated by the director of Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) – Giorgi Kldiashvili. 

 

Photo Album: Part I, Part II

Media Coverage

 

View the Opening Ceremony of the Forum:


Prime Minister of Georgia – Giorgi Kvirikashvili
Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia – Janos Herman
German Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia – Bettina Cadenbach

 

View the First Panel of the Forum: Part IPart II

 

Expert on Defense and Foreign Policy – Mikheil Darchiashvili (Moderator)
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia – Mikheil Janelidze
State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration – David Bakradze
German Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia – Bettina Cadenbach
Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) – Michael Emerson
Director of Georgian Center for Security and Development (GCSD) – Levan Dolidze

 

View the Second Panel of the Forum:


Senior Fellow, Director of EU Studies at Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS) – Kakha Gogolashvili (Moderator)
European Commission, DG Energy – Federico Tarantini
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs – Gigi Gigiadze
EU Integration Program Manager, Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF) – Vano Chkhikvadze

 

View the Third Panel of the Forum: Part I ; Part II


Rector of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University – Vladimer Papava (Moderator)
Chairman and CEO at Policy Management Consulting Group (PMCG) – Aleksi Aleksishvili
Dean at the University of Bremen – Jochen Zimmermann
Head of Macroeconomic Policy Research Center at ISET - Yaroslava V. Babych
Senior Fellow in the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at Cato Institute – Andrei Illarionov

 

View the Fourth Panel of the Forum: Part I ; Part II


Director of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) – Giorgi Kldiashvili (Moderator)
UN Resident Coordinator/ UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia – Niels Scott
Chairman of the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD) - Ghia Nodia
Specialist in Political Development – Lincoln Mitchell
Associate Scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute – Michael Hikari Cecire

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