The European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, arrived in Georgia on 7 July at the start of a tour of the South Caucasus, his first mission to countries of the Eastern Partnership.
Between 7 and 9 July, Commissioner Várhelyi will meet with political authorities, business and civil society actors in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, to present the newly adopted Economic and Investment Plan for recovery, resilience and reform for the Eastern Partnership countries and its flagship initiatives per country. He will also discuss key issues of bilateral relations with each of the three countries.
In Georgia, Commissioner Várhelyi met Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and other high level officials to confirm the EU’s solidarity with Georgia and its people, including in the fight against COVID-19 crisis and against political polarisation.
“We are dedicated to mobilise at least €17 billion for the economic recovery of the region. Out of this, we will have €2.3 billion of grants and the rest would be projects and investments put together with our international financial partners, like the European Investment Bank or the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,” said the Commissioner.
In Tbilisi, Olivér Várhelyi also met business and youth representatives to highlight the EU’s Plan for Georgia and to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Georgian business and youth.
On 7 July, the Commissioner exchanged views with the Head of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, Samir Nuriyev, and other officials on the implementation of Economic and Investment Plan, with a focus on connectivity, and the response to COVID-19 challenges.
On 8 July, Várhelyi visited the port of Baku, Azerbaijan. As one of flagship initiatives under Economic and Investment Plan, the port will receive support to become a sustainable hub for smooth and accelerated movement of goods and services for trans-Caspian economic integration.
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