“The European School for the Eastern Partnership is an innovation not only in Georgia but the wider region,” Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze said in his speech at the opening ceremony of the European School for the Eastern Partnership.
The opening of the European School was attended by Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, European Commissioner Johannes Hahn for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Mikheil Batiashvili, and members of the EU delegation.
“I welcome our students who inspire us. I would like to state with all responsibility that the interests of our youth are our top priority, and so is overhauling the system of education. Today’s project is a vital step toward this reform,” Mamuka Bakhtadze stated.
The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of EU support on the path of democratic development and stability. He also thanked European Commissioner Johannes Hahn for his support in the implementation of the project.
“Notably, the establishment of the European School is reflected in the Eastern Partnership’s document 20 Deliverables for 2020. It is also included in our governmental program. By 2020, we must have 20 concrete deliverables. Today’s project is one of the 20, which makes us especially proud,” the Prime Minister said.
According to the Head of Government, the European School is a project for future generations, for the country’s future, for democratic progress and prosperity.
“We are building a strong state focusing on European values. Of course, the sector of education holds a special place here. Today, this school will welcome 30 students selected in the EU’s six partner countries based on a competition. I would like to congratulate the young entrants who will study here together with their Georgian peers. These are Armenian, Azerbaijani, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Moldovan youth. Through an innovative program recognized at an international level, they will receive top-quality education and international bachelor’s degree diplomas. Along with providing academic education, this project will contribute tremendously to multicultural relations,” Mamuka Bakhtadze underlined.
According to the Prime Minister, historically, relations between different ethnicities cement Georgia’s strength, and the project is a continuation of this commendable tradition.
As the Head of Government pointed out, to ensure the proper functioning of the European School for the Eastern Partnership, work with Eastern European partners continues on the school’s long-term model, which will be implemented through financing from the European Commission. According to the Prime Minister, it is planned to build facilities for the European School and a dorm. In the meantime, the students will be provided with temporary accommodation.
“It is commendable that fairly recently, under the project of the European School for the Eastern Partnership, the project for the international summer camp was implemented with the participation of 100 young people from the Eastern Partnership and EU member states, including those who are about to commence their studies at the European School in Tbilisi. A fully rehabilitated site will host the next year’s summer camp. Large-scale work is already underway in Tskhvarichamia. The project of the camp and construction is co-financed by the EU and the Ministry of Education,” Mamuka Bakhtadze said.
According to the Head of Government, all projects implemented in Georgia under the Eastern Partnership provide great motivation for progress and development.
At the opening of the European School for the Eastern Partnership, the audience was also addressed by European Commissioner Johannes Hahn for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy. The European Commissioner underscored the Georgian Government’s contribution to the implementation of this idea.
“It is no coincidence that the we are opening this school in Tbilisi, because the Government of Georgia was very swift in its response to the idea of establishing the European School for the Eastern Partnership in Tbilisi. As the Prime Minister stated, it is yet another clear demonstration of Georgia’s European aspirations and the country’s attitude toward the European idea. Over the past few years, Georgia has confirmed its decision to be in the heart of the EU family, and we continue deepening our magnificent relations. Learning and education have long-standing traditions in Georgia. I welcome the Prime Minister’s vision of expanding the school’s model based on European values. We will work closely with the Government of Georgia to take relevant steps, so that we may make full use of the opportunities offered by this school,” Johannes Hahn stated.