On 13 and 14 December, the National Committee of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly, together with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Georgia, organized, a Georgian-Ukrainian-Russian Round Table at the Caucasian International University, with the participation of the representatives of public and government authorities, independent experts and diplomats from three countries. At the event, the ways and means to overcome the crisis in Ukraine were discussed. Despite the tense situation, the dialogue was created and different formats of cooperation on civil society level were planned.
In 2014, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) with the support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) carried out the monitoring of official websites of state bodies of Armenia. Investigated was the level of information and the transparency of the websites. The results were published in three languages (Armenian, English and Russian). Presenting the originated publication on December 17 in Yerevan, issues and possible strategies with representatives of ministries, regional administrations, NGOs and journalists were discussed.
The publication in PDF format can be downloaded here.
Although on September 3, 2013 Armenian announced its intention to join the Eurasian Customs Union, European integration is declared by the government as an important vector in Armenia's policy. The choice to integrate with the CU is represented from the point of view of economic interest, however its political component and its impact on democratic development is concealed. The three-day workshop organized by FES and implemented by the Urban Foundation on 12.-15. December 2014 in Aghveran aimed at correcting information misbalance created by official media, and discussing economic and democratic development perspectives of Armenia in the Eurasian Economic Union and further integration with European structures. 35 young activists and students from 6 regions of Armenia had the chance of discussing these complicated issues with well known political experts. In the result of the workshop young participants received first-hand and updated information and became able to make their own judgment as active citizens.
The dominance of monopolies hampers the diversification of economics and the development of competition. Both have inhibitory effects on the economic development of countries. The society feels the impact of monopolies on every day basis, without necessarily being aware of itself. The simplified visualization of the relationships in the form of a video clip is to sensitize the population to the issues and also equip them for everyday debates regarding it.
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Politically interested young citizens have difficulties to orient themselves in the ideological chaos of political parties in Armenia. In addition, due to non-transparent structures and the lack of ideology and programs traditional parties in Armenia, do not present a political “home” for youngsters. Therefore, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Armenia invited about 45 young multipliers from different faculties of universities (law, economics , political science , linguistics, art, etc.) to learn and discuss the basics of social democracy within the framework of a 3-days seminar. From 07th - 09th and from 28 - 30th November 2014, the seminar participants, with the support of experienced trainers and innovative methodology, have attempted to determine their own position and the goal of their actions from the perspective of social democracy. In addition seminar participants had the opportunity to discuss acute themes like Constitutional reforms and integration in the Customs and European Unions with renowned Experts.
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Academy of Social Democracy
On 25. November 2014, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Georgia hosted the fifth International Conference on Social Dialogue and Labour Standards in Georgia. The conference was organized in cooperation with the Georgian Trade Union Confederation and the Georgian Employers' Association. Alongside the social partners, the conference was attended by the representatives of the Government and the Parliament of Georgia, diplomats, representatives of the ILO, civil society organizations and international guests. This years Focus was the legal framework, the implementation of the new labor law, with a special emphasis on institutional development and the social dialogue at national and enterprise levels.
"The Way of Georgia's integration with the West" was the title of a public meeting with the Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze that took place in the premises of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Berlin on 22 October 2014. The event marked the conclusion of a two-day official working visit of the Foreign Minister in Berlin.
In their introductions Alexander Kallweit, Head of the International Department of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Gernot Erler, coordinator of the German government for the Inter-societal collaboration with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership countries emphasized the difficult conditions in the wake of the Ukraine-crisis on the one hand and the challenges of the Georgian integration process to the European Union under the Association Agreement on the other.
In her presentation, Ms. Pandjikidze laid out the latest developments in the region. In the previous week, a draft agreement between Russia and Abkhazia was confirmed, which aims at closer military cooperation and the integration of Abkhazia into the Eurasian Union. Ms. Panjikidze critizised this initiative.The Foreign Minister also thanked the Friedrich-Ebert-Sitftung for its work in Georgia.
On September 30, 2014 in Tbilisi the Greens Movement of Georgia / Friends of the Earth – Georgia and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung have organized international conference “Challenges in Energy Sector of Georgia and Sustainable Development”.
The goal of the conference was to assess the problems of Georgian energy sector and promotion of energy efficient technologies and raising share of renewable energy sources in energy balance of the country according to the principles of sustainable development. Conference was final event summarizing the work done by group of experts, who prepared reviews, conclusions and recommendations regarding above issues.
Conference presenters have repeatedly stressed that Georgia has great potential of renewable energy sources (hydro, solar, wind, geothermal) but only minor part of them is utilized at the moment. Furthermore, in Georgia there are enormous losses of energy during its production and distribution. Additionally, at the consumption level the scale of energy efficiency is extremely low. All this pose serious problems to Georgian economy due to the fact that about 60% of consumed energy in Georgia is being imported from different countries.
It was also stressed that according to the different international agreements Georgia has the obligation to develop renewable energy sources and promote introduction of energy efficient technologies and solutions. Therefore, there is urgent need from governmental side to introduce effective measures for implementation of these obligations.
Conference was attended by the representative of EU Delegation to Georgia, Ministry of Energetic, Ministry of Environment, Tbilisi City Hall, NGOs, Diplomatic Missions and international organizations, Experts, Head of Environmental Committee of Parliament of Georgia, Head of Greens Party of Georgia and other.
On 26-28 September the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Armenia (FES) and the Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC) carried out the international conference “The Future of EU’s Eastern Partnership Program in Armenia”. The main focus was on the findings of the national monitoring of the Visa Facilitation Agreement EU-Armenia which was implemented by the ACGRC with support of FES Armenia. The conference was attended by international experts, representatives of the Armenian Parliament, the EU Delegation, NGOs, academics, journalists and students.