Georgia’s public communicators learn from Estonia’s EU experience

Georgian Government representatives and local journalists visited to Estonia., 02 Oct 2014 - 12:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

Estonia has invited Georgian Government representatives and local journalists to learn from Estonia’s experience of communicating with the European Union (EU), as Georgia continues moving towards Europe.

The visit was part of a larger plan for official speakers and public communicators of Eastern Partnership countries to develop strategic and EU-related communication skills.

Members of the Georgian delegation included press speakers from various ministries and Governmental offices that dealt with EU integration issues. The other half of the delegation involved journalists from Tbilisi and Georgia’s regional areas.

The Director of the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership, Marge Mardisalu-Kahar, said it was important to share its experience with Georgia so it did not face the same challenges Estonia faced when it pursued EU integration. She highlighted the importance of clarifying EU-related issues to the Georgian public and the need to discuss both sides of issues to give the public comprehensive information.

"Based on our experience, at the end of the day people will believe the messages coming from their own opinion leaders and both sides need to be discussed - the advantages as well as the difficulties of the association process,” Mardisalu-Kahar said.

The official agenda of the visit included meetings with representatives of Estonian governmental offices. The Georgian guests have also met Head of the Committee of European Affairs of the Estonian Parliament, Kalle Palling, and the Secretary General of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alar Streimann.

The delegation will also visit the Representation of the European Commission to Estonia, the Estonian Public Broadcaster, the office of the Postimees newspaper and Enterprise Estonia.

The visit, which began on September 30 and will end on October 5, was organised by the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership together with the Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Georgian Information Center on NATO and EU and the Georgian Embassy in Estonia.