The official launch ceremony was presided by EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, and Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia.
Commissioner Johannes Hahn said: “As European Commissioner, my priority has been to help young people in the countries neighbouring the European Union by providing them with more opportunities, developing their skills and fostering their employability. In this context, we have doubled our funding in the Eastern Partnership for youth and education and achieved significant results. The launch of the European School in Georgia is an excellent example of our commitment to bring tangible benefits to the lives of citizens.”
The School will be built next to Tbilisi’s Lisi Lake, and is expected to open its doors to the first cohort of students in 2023. Students from Georgia, as well as from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine, will be able to follow a unique curriculum that meets the high demands of the Georgian, European and international education systems.
This innovative initiative is based on a pilot scholarship programme launched in September 2018, which offers Students aged 16 and 17 from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine a tailor-made academic programme inspired by the European school system.
On the occasion of his visit to Georgia, Commissioner Hahn also had the opportunity to meet with the new Prime Minister, Giorgi Gakharia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, key members of the Georgian Parliament from various political fractions and the Chairperson of the Georgian Dream Party to discuss the latest political developments in Georgia.
Improving prospects for young people is at the heart of the EU’s cooperation within the Eastern Partnership. Together with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine, the European Union aims to create further opportunities for young people to study and work abroad, participate fully in society and fulfil their potential. With a support package of €340 million, the EU has been working with its six partner countries on improving education and youth employability in the region. To date, this has enabled more than 80,000 youth exchanges including through Erasmus+ programme, the opening of new employment opportunities for youth, giving them greater and easier access to finance to start businesses, and establishing vocational education and training (VET) programmes.
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative that aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. It is a specific dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The Eastern Partnership aims at building a common area of shared democracy, prosperity, stability and increased cooperation. An ongoing structured consultation on the future policy framework is taking place until 31 October 2019.