Mariam Narchemashvili: "Georgia is a successful example of the EU projects"
The main result of the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Johannes Hahn’s two-day visit to Georgia was the opening of a European School for high school students from the six member countries of the EU's Eastern Partnership program. The educational institution of regional importance was opened by the Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze along with the high European guest. The observers drew attention to the several important ‘messages’, voiced by one of the EU leaders. The European commissioner called the weakness of the judicial system the main problem of Georgian statehood. "An independent, transparent and professional judicial system is important," Hahn said, hinting that during the period of independence and taking into account the succession of the authorities, none of them managed to free themselves from the temptation to influence the judiciary using the administrative tools.
One of the methods of strengthening democratic institutions is an educational work. The project of the European School is designed to develop multilingual programs, which will enable young people to improve their knowledge for a successful movement towards the European universities. The school opened in Tbilisi should become a center of attraction for high school students not only from Georgia but also from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine. The Ministry of Education of Georgia assured Vestnik Kavkaza that all the necessary mechanisms and fair procedures for admission to the European School have already been worked out in a strict accordance with the EU rules and will be implemented with the participation of European representatives. As the head of the third department of the Georgian Foreign Ministry Mariam Narchemashvili stated in an exclusive interview to Vestnik Kavkaza, Tbilisi is fully aware of not only the rights but also the responsibility for the successful implementation of a unique multinational project.
- Why did you decide to open the European School in Tbilisi?
- Georgia is a successful example of implementing the EU projects. We signed an Association Agreement with the European Union and reached a visa-free regime. The EU has repeatedly recognized the progress of our country in deepening the democratic reforms. Therefore, it is not surprising that the EU decided to open its school in Tbilisi. But this regional educational institution will work for the benefit not only of Georgian youth but of all EU partners.
- What is the status of the European School?
- It provides Bachelor’s programme. It makes easier to continue studying in the European Union. But its mission is much more extensive - to promote the cooperation of the regional countries, bringing young people closer and affirming the European values of peace, cooperation, and the protection of human rights.
- How large is this project?
- It is such a large-scale project that several departments worked on it from the Georgian side. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs dealt with the organizational issues, the Ministry of Education worked out mechanisms for admission to the school for high school students from Georgia, the neighboring countries, as well as from Belarus and Ukraine.