On the 29-30th of September Europe-Georgia Institute, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom South Caucasus and Strategic Dialogue Center organized the Future of the Black Sea Region Conference (FLEECE). The conference lasted for two days. On the first day international experts and their colleagues from Georgia discussed the challenges and perspectives of Black Sea Region. On the second day the junior fellows of FLEECE, who participated in the mentorship program presented the Opinion Papers written by them. Additionally to this, the second day and the conference was finalized with the online interview with the former Ambassador of the US in Georgia – Ian C. Kelly.
Experts both from Georgia and other countries participated in the conference in the hybrid mode – some of them attended it in person, while others participated via the Zoom platform.
Black Sea in European Security Context (Panel 1) – Tengiz Pkhaladze (Moderator) (Georgia), Jelger Groeneveld (Netherlands), Giorgi Badridze (Georgia), Velizar Shalamanov (Bulgaria), Ioannis N. Grigoriadis (Greece).
Mr Shalamanov started discussion about Black Sea initiatives that occurred since the 1990s. He analyzed both successful and failed attempts of such initiatives. Later he discussed the policy of different regional and international actors in the Black Sea area and future perspectives of the region. Mr Groeneveld discussed generally the attitudes of the Netherlands towards the EU and its interests in the Black Sea region. Mr Grigoriadis’s speach was dedicated to patterns of activity of Germany and the US in our region. Giorgi Badridze discussed the perspectives and challenges of Association Trio – Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova, leading countries in Eastern Partnership aspiring for Euro-Atlantic integration. The Q&A session was mostly about the necessity of containing Russia, connections of some Western politicians with Russia, economic dependence on the Kremlin and potential impact of the outcome of German elections on the attitudes of Berlin towards the NATO membership of Georgia and Ukraine.