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Estonia trains Eastern partnership countries on EU communication

11.04.2014

The Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership (ECEAP) and the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS) held a high-level Eastern Partnership communication seminar in Tbilisi from 7-8 April bringing together Armenian, Azerbaijani, Belarusian, Georgian, Moldovan, Ukrainian public communicators, civil society representatives, international communication experts, civil servants and EU diplomats from the European External Action Service.

 

The seminar was the first in the series of events aimed at training public communicators from Eastern Partnership countries on communicating EU-related issues. It will be followed by tailor-made courses for communicators and journalists in Georgia and Moldova. The series will conclude with two study visits to Estonia.

 

The Undersecretary of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kyllike Sillaste-Elling said at the seminar that thanks to its own EU integration process more than 10 years ago, Estonia knows how vital EU-related communication is. "Our experience showed that you have to start raising awareness as early on as possible and inform the public what these changes will bring about," she said.

 

According to the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili it is extremely important that Estonia is assisting Georgia in improving communication on the European integration process. "We are very grateful to both, the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership and the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs," said the minister. "Georgia has excellent relations with Estonia and we hope that on our path to the EU and NATO Estonia will be one of, if not the strongest supporters," he stressed.

 

The head of the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership, Marge Mardisalu-Kahar noted that raising awareness on European Union is very important in the Eastern Partnership countries at the moment, because they need to explain to their people why reforms are necessary. "With these trainings we would like to improve the efficiency of EU-related communication in Eastern Partner countries," she added.

 

The Public Administration Reform seminar “Improving European Union related public communication in the partner countries” is organised by the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership in cooperation with GFSIS, Estonian Embassy in Georgia EU Delegation in Tbilisi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden and Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom. The event is supported by the European Commission and the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

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