On his first trip outside of Tbilisi, Carl Hartzell, recently appointed Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, travelled to Guria and Adjara on 11-13 October. During his visit he attended a series of project visits and events to showcase the practical impact of EU support in the regions of Georgia.
Within a few weeks after his appointment, Ambassador Carl Hartzell travelled to Guria and Adjara to learn about local issues in the regions and highlight the practical impact of EU support. In Guria the Ambassador consulted with both civil society organisations and representatives of the local government and the municipalities on current challenges and future perspectives for EU support.
Moving on to Adjara, the Ambassador visited several projects designed and funded by the EU to strengthen economic development in the region and create jobs for the local population. Economic development has high priority for the European Union in Georgia. Over half of the funding dedicated to Georgia in the next four years is focused on it.
As a first stop in Adjara, the Ambassador visited Chakvi water reservoir, which is providing clean and reliable water supply for 1.000 households in Chakvi village thanks to EU support.
He continued his trip by meeting Members of the Local Action Groups (LAGs) of Keda and Khulo municipalities, who presented their new local development strategies, aiming to combat rural poverty. Countrywide eight Local Action Groups are supported by the European Union and work on non-agriculture activities in rural areas to combat poverty.
Furthermore, Ambassador Hartzell met with students of the vocational education programme at Batumi State University, who learned about www.worknet.gov.ge, which has been established within the EU’s Skills4Jobs programme. The European Union is working together with the Government of Georgia on helping Georgian citizens getting the right skills for the market and finding suitable jobs.
At “Batumuri Ludi” brewery the Ambassador tried the local beer, produced by an SME which has benefitted from the EU4Business-EBRD Creditline. Close to 150 businesses have received similar support in Georgia.
Saturday morning started off with a drive to the border between Georgia and Turkey at Sarpi. The European Union has provided high-tech surveillance equipment to support border security in Georgia. Ambassador Hartzell visited the command centre and was shown details of the work of the border police and the State Security Service of Georgia.
On the way back to Batumi, Ambassador Hartzell visited a cooperative producing lettuce in greenhouses provided by the European Union. The EU has financially supported 77 cooperatives in Adjara and over 1.500 cooperatives countrywide.
Finally, the Ambassador opened the Europe Day event in Batumi together with Tornike Rizhvadze, Head of the Adjara Government. During the Europe Day event, Ambassador Hartzell showed some talent previously unknown to the public. Watch the video below to find out more.
For further information please contact:
Tamriko Mikadze, Press and Information Officer, Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, Tamriko.Mikadze@eeas.europa.eu