On Thursday 27 February, the EU hosted a EU Alumni reception in Tbilisi, during which EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell launched an EU Alumni network in Georgia. The network will focus on both maintaining the relationship between the EU Alumni and the EU, but also look at ways to support EU Alumni initiatives to share their EU experiences and knowledge in Georgia.
“Over 5,000 Georgians have studied in an EU member state university. There they gained not only academic knowledge, but also friendship, experience of what life in the EU is like, and the key values that underpin it. With the EU Alumni network we have two main goals. First is to maintain and develop this Georgia-EU connection among EU Alumni, and to get their ideas as to what the EU can do more or better here in Georgia. Second is to provide a platform for all those EU Alumni who wish to be engaged and use their experience and talents to further advance Georgia-EU relations. We also hope that this network will be a fun and enriching experience for us all.” noted Ambassador Hartzell.
Speaking at the reception, Giga Zedania, Rector of Ilia State University and alumni of studies in Germany and Hungary noted:
“The European civilisation and cultural experience is what unites each and every member of the EU Alumni network. This culture has never been strange to Georgia. The alumni network might serve as the tool supporting young people, those who return back to Georgia from Europe, to contribute to the approximation and realisation of the goal of Georgia’s full-fledged integration into the European space.”
Music for the event was provided by Rezo Kiknadze, Rector of the Tbilisi Music Conservatory and also EU Alumni, and his band.
The EU Alumni network will be open everyone who completed at least one year of academic studies in an EU member state.