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Europe is our choice

Tuesday, October 14
With the goal to discuss EU integration process in their countries young leaders from Georgia and Ukraine came together in Mestia, Svaneti at the end of the August 2014. Five days training course called “EUROPE IS OUR CHOICE” was hosted by Georgian non-government organization Alliance for Society Advancement (ASA).

“As Georgia and Ukraine have the same challenges on the way to EU integration,

the training course was targeted to inform youth leaders in Georgia and Ukraine about advantages of EU integration and to provide them correct information on EU values and Association Agreement. Enhance youth leaders’ involvement in the monitoring of the “Association Agreement Implementation”, explains Nona Balavadze, chairperson of ASA.

Georgian and Ukrainian participants were mainly trained by Ivane Chkhikvadze, EU Integration Program Manager at The Open Society Georgia Foundation. Trainees got detailed information about Association Agreement and discussed topics related to the human rights and democracy in Georgia, Ukraine and in the region of the Caucasus.

“Training was really interesting and entertaining at the same time. The group was really active. There were a lot of work to be done, however it was really fun, because everything was really entertaining as well as educative,” says Natalia Kokolashvili from Tbilisi, Georgia.

Kokolashvili mentions that the fact that Georgians and Ukrainians worked together made the training special. “Finding out more about your neighbor country is very important and then we are in very close relationship with Ukraine and we support them all the ways we have. “

“I can get information about EU and Ukraine for example from books, websites and so on. But I decided to come Georgia because I wanted to know about relationship between Georgia, Ukraine and EU,” said Nadiya Ushchapivska from Kiev, Ukraine. She participated in the protest rally at Euromaidan to demonstrate European choice. As she said for that time she was not such informed about EU integration and EU values as after training. “This year I am going to apply for master program at my university. Program is focused on European Union and this training helped me to get new and basic information.”

During the training participants came up with the idea of the new training session. “A lot of good ideas were actually brought up. For instance, we have an idea regarding EU association process and small business development in member countries as well as non-member countries. If I get the chance to participate in any kind of activities like this training I would be more than glad to join,” Says Natalia Kokolashvili.

As Nona Balavadze told Messenger ASA is already working to implement idea of the training drafted during the sessions.

Training course “EUROPE IS OUR CHOICE” held in Mestia was financially supported by “European Youth Foundation” under the Council of Europe