Public Event: “Germany’s Role in Georgia’s European Future: How to align expectations?”, 8 February 2019, Representation of the European Commission in Germany
The Georgian public often perceives Germany as a sceptical and hesitant partner concerning Georgia’s European aspirations. For instance, the delay in granting visa-free travel to Georgian citizens was partly based on German concerns. Angela Merkel’s visit to the South Caucasus in August 2018 raised hopes in Georgia for an increased interest and support from the German side towards Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, but these expectations were largely disappointed. At the same time, Germany was the first country of the then European Community to recognise Georgia’s independence and is Georgia’s largest bilateral partner in development cooperation. Furthermore, the German government supported the creation of the Eastern Partnership in 2009 and strongly advocated the signing of the Association Agreement with Georgia.
The particular role of Germany for Georgia’s European aspirations as well as possible ways to align mutual expectations will be discussed at the event. After introductory remarks by the Georgian Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Dr. rer. pol. Elguja Khokrishvili (in German), Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) and the Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP) will present the main conclusions of their recent paper on perceptions and misperceptions in Georgian-German relations. This will be followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Kornely Kakachia, Director of the GIP, Liana Fix, Körber Foundation and Dr. Franziska Smolnik, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), moderated by Dr. Katrin Böttger, IEP.