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EU hosts “Black Sea Connectivity Talks” with youth and entrepreneurs in Batumi


21 October 2021, Batumi – Representatives of the EU, EIB, EBRD and World Bank discussed the future of Black Sea Connectivity with local youth and young entrepreneurs from Black Sea. The “Black Sea Connectivity Talks” were based on the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for Georgia, revolving around transport, digital and environment related issues.

The discussion panel included keynote speakers:

  • Mr. Lawrence Meredith, Director Neighbourhood East, European Commission,
  • H.E. Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia
  • Mr. Maciej Czura, EIB Regional Representative for the South Caucasus,
  • Ms. Catarina Hansen, EBRD Regional Director for the Caucasus,
  • and Mr. Sebastian Molineus, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus.

The panel was moderated by Mr. Sandros Charalampopoulos, Advisory Board Member of the European Business Association (EBA).

“Strengthening Black Sea Connectivity is a priority for the relations between the European Union and Georgia. Through our new Economic and Investment Plan, we will create jobs for young people, improved transport links and strengthened digital connectivity,” said Director Lawrence Meredith during the event.

“Makin full use of the Black Sea’s potential will have major influence on the development of Georgia as well as its direct connection to the European Union. It was interesting to discuss our vision for its development with young entrepreneurs and youth and hear their perspectives. We will continue to work on improving transport and digital connections and turn the Black Sea into a real bridge between the EU and Georgia,” stated Ambassador Carl Hartzell

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the event was held in a hybrid format with a livestream on the Facebook Page of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.

Background information

The European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy outlined a proposal on how to take forward priorities for cooperation with the EU’s Eastern partners in the years to come. The comprehensive agenda aims at increasing trade, growth and jobs, investing in connectivity, strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law, supporting the green and digital transitions, and promoting fair, gender-equal and inclusive societies.

The priorities are will be underpinned by an Economic and Investment Plan with a potential to mobilise public and private investments. This proposal will contribute to the discussions on the future Eastern Partnership policy, including at the Eastern Partnership summit planned for December 2021.

In the coming years, the European Union will work together with Georgia to:

  • Help 1,000 rural communities gain access to high-speed internet connections, aimed at making sure that Georgia keeps up with the pace of global technological change, and that it does so in an inclusive, citizen-oriented way.
  • Create stronger transport and digital connections between the EU and Georgia, to advance the country’s European integration and cooperation.
  • Assist thousands of local businesses to grow, by supporting their recovery from COVID and make best use of their market position, including through the EU-Georgia (Deep and Comprehensive) Free Trade Area.
  • Allow millions of citizens in the country to breathe cleaner air by stepping up our efforts in the environmental field.

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