The Center on the United States and Europe and the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies organized and hosted an event entitled “Frontiers of Europe Workshop: Challenges of Stabilization and Reform in the Caucasus” which took place on 6 – 7 April in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The two-day event, officially opened with a keynote address by Nino Burjanadze, Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, featured a series of working sessions including EU Policy in the Caucasus, Regional Security, Energy and Democracy and included the participation of local, regional and international experts and specialists as panelists and participants.
“[The conference] is a very timely event given the recent NATO Summit in Bucharest last week and the results there from,” said James MacDougall of the National Defence University who spoke alongside Batu Kutelia, Georgian First Deputy Minister of Defense, and Nicu Popescu, Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (London), in the workshop’s second session on Regional Security. “Georgia is clearly on its way towards the West and belongs within the Euro-Atlantic community.”
Temur Yakobashvili, Georgian State Minister for Reintegration, delivered a keynote address during the fourth session on Regional Conflict Resolution which was held at the Meidani restaurant in Old Tbilisi. “We did not receive the MAP [Membership Action Plan] at the Summit,” Yakobashvili said during the lunchtime working session, “but we got something better. We have the promise that we will be in NATO. The Summit raised international awareness about Georgia and for the first time we have this international focus on the [Abkhazian and South Ossetian] conflicts.”
The workshop concluded with a Dinner Discussion on the Great Power Politics in the Region, opened and with introductory remarks delivered by Daniel Benjamin, Director of the Center on the U.S. and Europe and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and featured a keynote address by Peter Semneby, EU Special Representative to the Caucasus.