Commissioner Varhelyi's visit to Georgia kicks off
Commissioner Varhelyi's visit to Georgia kicks off

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi arrived in Tbilisi as a part of his South Caucasus tour.

Before meeting high-ranking officials, Commissioner Varhelyi met with business and youth representatives at a round table on connectivity and recovery in Tbilisi. EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell also attended the meeting.

Varhelyi highlighted the EU’s recently announced Economic and Investment Plan aimed at stimulating jobs, growth and bringing prosperity to the Eastern Partnership region and Georgia. He also discussed the challenges and opportunities facing Georgian business and youth, EU Delegation to Georgia reported.

“Started my first visit to South Caucasus in beautiful Georgia. This morning I’m presenting our ambitious Economic and Investment Plan for Eastern Partnership at a round table on connectivity and recovery. We are mobilising EUR 23 billion to leverage up to EUR 17 billion investments,” Commissioner tweeted.

Commissioner also met Georgian Patriarch in the city of Mtskheta. Patriarch Ilia II thanked Commissioner for the EU’s support of Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Varhelyi, on his part, pledged the EU to continue the support that would “further enhance.”

A meeting with the Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava reviewed the implementation of Charles Michel’s compromise paper. Varhelyi hopes the remaining political parties will sign the document shortly.

Furthermore, parties focused on the ongoing developments, electoral and judicial reforms, the upcoming elections, and the international observers’ mission, parliamentary press service informed.

Commissioner thanked Speaker for returning the EU flag to its place after anti-Tbilisi Pride members took down and burnt the European Union flag outside the Georgian Parliament minutes after the LGBT+ community solidarity rally ended.

“We have also discussed the events of the past two days. Violence and vandalism are utterly unacceptable. The freedom of expression unhindered by violence or any discrimination needs to be upheld. I am grateful to Parliament for returning the EU flag to its place,” Commissioner tweeted.

Commissioner Varhelyi is visiting the three South Caucasus countries on July 6-9. It is the Commissioner’s first mission to the countries of the region, EU Delegation said.