Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe, will visit Georgia from 11 to 13 July.
Roth will attend the 16th Batumi International Conference, Georgia’s European Way, in the Black Sea city on 11 and 12 July. This year’s event is dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the Eastern Partnership. At a panel discussion with the Swedish, Bulgarian, Czech and Polish Foreign Ministers, the Minister of State for Europe will discuss “ten years of partnership – sowing seeds in good soil”.
On the margins of the conference, Roth will hold talks in Batumi with Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani and Archil Talakvadze, the Chairman of the country’s Parliament of Georgia.
Talks with human rights, LGBTI and anti-corruption activists will be a priority of the visit. Roth will also visit a Goethe-Institut language camp for teenagers from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Prior to his trip, the Minister of State for Europe said:
My visit to Georgia will focus on the anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, which was set up ten years ago and has done much since then to foster closer relations between the six partner countries and Europe. We want to continue working in the future to tangibly improve the lives of people in our partner countries. Our aim is to give young people prospects in their home countries and to strengthen exchange between the EU and our eastern neighbours. Our success will largely be measured by progress made in democracy and the rule of law.
As one of the most ambitious partners, Georgia has already carried out an impressive number of reforms. However, the protests of recent weeks have also shown that young Georgians in particular want more political ownership, freedom, respect and democracy. During my visit, I will also speak about this with representatives of the government, opposition and civil society.