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EU Skills project launched

By Mzia Kupunia
Friday, September 25
On September 23 British Ambassador to Georgia Denis Keefe launched a new project called EU Skills which aims to strengthen the capacity of State institutions and agencies in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan to manage the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and Eastern Partnership processes more effectively. The three year project, implemented by the British Council and funded by the UK Government’s Strategic Programme Fund, supports the development of Georgia by building its capacity to achieve EU integration, officials state.

The project envisages undertaking capacity building through training sessions on the issues of communication, negotiation, PR and media management, presentation and project management skills, European structures and terminology. Up to 100 Government officials from each of the three countries will participate in these trainings.

The programme will also include ‘training of trainers’ sessions in order to identify and develop the skills of about 30 local trainers from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. British Council representatives say that regional workshops will also be held as part of the project, covering topics of interest to all three countries. In addition, study visits to Brussels for officials from South Caucasus countries will be arranged in order to help familiarise them with the structure and functions of European bodies, and the practical details of how the European Union operates.

British Council Director in the South Caucasus Paul Doubleday said that the project is based on a needs analysis conducted this summer in all three participating countries. “Through the needs assessment which we carried out we found that about 50-60 percent of the staff actively involved in negotiations lack some language skills, negotiation and communication skills and knowledge of the systems and structures of European bodies. From this needs analysis we have been able to design a programme specifically for the Georgian context which will help a broad number of civil servants build their capacity,” he noted.

British Ambassador Denis Keefe stressed the importance of such projects and of countries continuing to learn new skills as they integrate with Europe. “This project, which will be carried out not only in Georgia but in Armenia and Azerbaijan as well, is very important for these countries. The aim of the project is to help these countries integrate with Europe. I am sure that it will be successful,” Ambassador Keefe said at the presentation.