Main goals of the advocacy and fact-finding mission to Tbilisi included learning about the country’s current status of the accession to the European Union, discussing developments in the internal politics and possible challenges for democracy, security situation in the temporarily occupied Tskhinvali region as well as the cooperation and security environment in the Black Sea region. The visit was organised within the broader advocacy campaign #NewCEEnter aimed at improving the understanding of the needs and challenges of Poland’s Eastern partners.
On April 21-22, 2023 the Casimir Pulaski Foundation’s representatives: Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee Paweł Kowal, Tomasz Smura, Member of the Board and Head of the Research Office, Bartłomiej Kot, Head of the Advocacy Office and Program Director of the Warsaw Security Forum paid a visit to Tbilisi to perform a set of high-level meetings with the government officials, members of the parliament and non-governmental organisations’ representatives.
During the first day of the visit the delegation met with the Deputy Foreign Minister Teimuraz Janjalia, where Georgia’s current foreign policy priorities as well as progress on the implementation of the European Commission’s recommendations were discussed. Another important subject raised during the meeting was the compounding security environment in the region caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The delegation also received a warm reception at the Parliament, where together with the First Vice-Speaker Giorgi Volski we discussed domestic political developments and positive tendencies in the Polish-Georgian bilateral relations within the Euro-Atlantic formats.
At the Parliament we also had a multipartisan meeting with the representatives of the Foreign Relations Committee, including the Chairman Nikoloz Samkharadze, Irakli Chikovani and Grigol Vashadze and touched upon major steps that Georgia has been taking towards the EU integration process, challenges it has faced and a Georgian component of the 2023 Warsaw Security Forum.
Afterwards, Foundation’s representatives discussed Georgia’s path to the EU and tasks to be performed ahead of the summit of the European Council in December 2023 with the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia HE Paweł Herczyński.
Appeals to grant Georgia a candidate status to the EU were also heard during the meeting with the prominent figures representing the opposition: Giorgi Gakharia, Ana Buchukuri and Khatia Dekanoidze.
The second day of the advocacy mission started with visit to the occupation line in the Tskhinvali region, where the delegation was briefed on the most recent developments in the region occupied by Russia, including notorious provocations along the line, attempts to expand the occupation zone and kidnappings of the local population.
At the International Republican Institute office in Tbilisi the Foundation’s representatives were welcomed by the Program Director John DiPirro, who shared insights into the tendencies in the society, state of the democracy in the country as well as the newest IRI poll ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for 2024.
Georgia’s growing role in the Black Sea region and its foreign policy priorities were the main subjects of the discussion with the Chair of the think tank Geocase Victor Kipiani.
The two-day visit to Tbilisi was concluded with the meeting with the President of the Europa-Georgia Institute George Melashvili. Among the topics touched upon were the country’s bilateral relations with the neighbours, growing influence of the global powers and current state of the Georgian armed forces.
Casimir Pulaski Foundation will continue to support Georgian aspirations with a dedicated format during the upcoming Warsaw Security Forum.