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EU Commissioner Federica Mogherini visits Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, November 11
“There is no sustainable development if there is no gender equality,” stated Federica Mogherini, the European Commissioner, at the opening of the international conference, which is entitled “Achieving Gender Equality Challenges and Opportunities in the European Neighborhood Policy Region”, held in Tbilisi from November 9-10.

Mogherini is a High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, whose visit is part of a broader tour of the partner countries of the Eastern Partnership.

“Gender equality is not only a moral obligation, nor anything to do with social status. Granting women and men the same rights enriches our society,” the EU Commissioner stated at the conference.

She emphasized that sustainable development is impossible if there is no gender equality.

“Strong women bring many benefits to any society. It is easier to overcome economic and social barriers when women are strong and they are recognized as equal citizens in the community. This is part of the sustainability of our society. Because of this, the EU continues to campaign for women's rights,” said the EU High Representative.

After the conference, the EU Commissioner also met with the representatives of various Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), during which she discussed the Rustavi 2 TV case, the visa liberalization process with the EU, the development of democracy and many other issues.

Federica Mogehrini also held a meeting with the parliament speaker, Davit Usupashvili.

According to the parliament press center, the parties spoke about the visa liberalization process and Mogherini stated that Georgia has already implemented the greater part of the obligations and shall maintain this trend to receive a positive recommendation. She noted that she is optimistic in terms of foreign and security issues.

After meeting the Parliament Speaker, Mogherini met with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili.

They discussed bilateral cooperation priorities, the implementation of the Association Agreement and the Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP), as well as regional security issues.

Garibashvili stated that the successful completion of the visa dialogue with the EU is a top priority on the agenda of cooperation. According to him, the government is doing its utmost to fulfill all the requirements of the VLAP.

“On November 16, the Georgia-EU Association Council's second meeting will be held in Brussels, which gives us the opportunity to summarize the progress made by Georgia and prepare the ground for new achievements and initiatives," said the PM.

Mogherini noted that media pluralism, the independence of the court and the rule of law are of the most vital importance in politics.

“We discussed the political situation, and I am sure that Georgia is able to hold democratic elections and keep democratic processes in 2016,” she said.

The visit of the EU Commissioner is the first not only in Georgia, but in the Caucasus region.