Lia Gigauri, Advisor to the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, addressed the participants of the seminar “The Importance and Prospects of Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Process”.
The seminar was attended by students living in occupied Abkhazia who are receiving higher education in the territory controlled by Georgia.
Lia Gigauri told the young people about the activities of the Office of the State Minister and the current matters within the competence of the agency. Particular emphasis was placed on the policy of reconciliation and engagement and the peace initiatives of the Georgian government, and the efforts made by the Office of the State Minister in this direction.
She stressed the need to raise awareness and inform the younger generation about the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration and the need to create a better future for the people living in the occupied territories before the conflict is fully resolved, including the benefits of European integration.
The seminar was opened by Tamara Tsuleiskir, Director of the Information Center on NATO and the European Union at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and stressed the importance of raising public awareness of Georgia’s involvement and strengthening resilience against anti-Western propaganda in the European and Euro-Atlantic integration process.
During the one-day seminar, the young people also had the opportunity to hear information from Davit Bujiashvili, Director of the EU Assistance Coordination and Sectoral Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, on Georgia’s European integration process, its importance and prospects. Talks focused on the importance of applying for EU membership and the next steps to be taken in accordance with the established criteria. Tornike Farulava, Director of the Security Policy and Euro-Atlantic Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, briefed the audience on the dynamics of NATO-Georgia relations and cooperation mechanisms.
At the end of the seminar, the young people, together with the invited expert, Davit Dzidzishvili, a researcher on hybrid wars, discussed the main goals and objectives of anti-Western propaganda, as well as methods and challenges in combating disinformation, in particular, disinformation campaign messages against NATO and the EU.
In cooperation with the Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, three seminars have already been held at the NATO and EU Information Center in Tbilisi. A total of 5 meetings will be held in 2021-2022 as part of a series of one-day seminars with the participation of approximately 100 students.
The seminar was part of the US Department of State-sponsored project “Increasing Awareness and Involvement in Western Integration in the Regions of Georgia”, which is implemented by the Information Center on NATO and the European Union in cooperation with the US Embassy in Georgia.