Batumi International Conference opens with officials discussing EU partnership, transatlantic affairs

  • Georgia's PM Irakli Garibashvili speaks at the opening of the conference on Monday. Screenshot from foreign ministry video broadcast., 19 Jul 2021 - 15:18, Tbilisi,Georgia

The latest edition of Batumi International Conference, a discussion platform involving European Union and Eastern Partnership states, has launched in Georgia's Black Sea city of Batumi on Monday.

In the one-day event, dignitaries include Georgi's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, President Salome Zurabishvili, Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, European Council President Charles Michel, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of Moldova Maia Sandu.

Along with their aides, they are scheduled to discuss subjects under two principal themes of the conference - the "upgraded level" of the Eastern Partnerhip countries with the EU and the transatlantic affairs between the Union and the United States.

Held in a hybrid format that sees speakers attend the event live but the audience connecting to the event remotely, the conference is hosted by the foreign ministry, with the 17th edition entitled 'Enduring Power of Attraction - When the EU Makes Difference'.

The first panel will review "possible interests of the EU to engage" in an "enhanced integration process" with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine - the three Eastern European partners of the Union.

The latter section will be devoted to questions of the EU's "renewal of the traditional transatlantic dialogue and possible development scenarios thereof", a preview for the event said.

The speakers and participants will be joined by "international experts" in their discussions of the major themes of the latest edition. Full details of the event are available on its official website.