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.
On 18 September, the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, in cooperation with the Public Defender of Georgia and local NGOs from Svaneti organized a conference in Mestia, with the title -"The Khudoni H.P.P: protection of human rights and citizen participation in decision-making processes". Representatives from experts, government and society circles discussed the lack of transparency of the project and the necessary participation of citizens in decision-making. In addition, the impact of the project on the environment, health, safety and the protection of cultural heritage were discussed. The conference was attended by representatives of the local population as well as of diplomatic and international organizations.
According to the social democracy, social and democratic participation is possible only if the basic material security is guaranteed. The growing social inequalities around the world are not acceptable in this context. But how to succeed in a modern social state, which on the one hand ensures equal opportunities, avoiding poverty and creates employment, and on the other hand makes a productive contribution to economic development? With what justice terms, we assess the social state? What rights and obligations exist for individuals in a social state? How can social security be ensured in times of globalization and individualization? Answers to these questions provides a reading book series of the Political Academy of the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation. The third reading book in this series, entitled "Social State and Social Democracy" is now published in Armenian. It can be downloaded here.
The Political Science Association of Armenia and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung have published a book with the title “Armenian-Georgian relations: Challenges and Opportunities for the Bilateral Cooperation”. Georgian and Armenien experts present the status quo of Georgian-Armenien relations and opportunities of their development. They come to the conclusion, that Georgia’s signing of the EU Association Agreement and Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Custom’s Union will be challenge and opportunity at the same time. On 6 September the book was presented to the public. Click here to download the publication.