On June 3, 2011, experts and policy makers from Georgia, the Baltic Sea region countries and Russia will gather in Riga for a conference entitled “Georgia towards 2013 – reality, reforms, and expectations” to debate the recent internal developments in Georgia, its foreign policy challenges as well as to seek possible solutions. The conference is organised by the Baltic to Black Sea Alliance (BBSA) in cooperation with the Latvian Transatlantic Organisation (LATO) and European House Georgia. The event will be held at the premises of the “Hotel Bergs” (Elizabetes str 83/85, Riga) from 09.00 till 13.30.
The conference will be divided into three sessions focused on Georgia’s security and foreign policy, human rights and humanitarian aspects of occupied territories as well as on domestic policy reforms and political processes.
The recent events unfolded on the streets of Tbilisi – the dispersal of the demonstration organised by the radical wing of the Georgian political opposition – has intensified the interest about the Georgian domestic political events. At the same time, a lack of comprehensive information and detailed analysis is being observed. The conference is providing a unique opportunity to discuss the situation in Georgia with the high officials from the Georgian government as well as with the policy makers and experts across the Baltic Sea region.
The conference will feature such key figures of Georgian political arena as Minister of Reintegration of Georgia, Vice Prime Minister Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili; Deputy Head of the National Security Council Batu Kutelia; one of the leading politicians from the ruling party in Georgia “National Movement”, the Mayor of Tbilisi city Giorgi Ugulava; the leader of the opposition party “The Christian Democrats” Giorgi Targamadze.
The following prominent experts and policy makers will share their views: Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Evaldas Ignatavecius; Vice Chairman of the Commission of European Affairs in the Parliament of Lithuania Petras Austrevicius; Vice President of the Parliament of Norway Per-Kristian Foss; Professor of the MGIMO University (Moscow) Andrey Zagorsky; the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Latvia Ojars Kalnins and others.
The questions of security and defence as well as Georgia’s relations with Russia, especially in the context of occupied territories – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – are the major challenges of Georgia’s foreign policy these days. Latvia in cooperation with other Baltic states, both directly and indirectly, can affect the decision making process within the EU, NATO and other international organisations. The organisers of the conference expect that the discussions will help to comprehend and provide policy proposals for European countries towards Georgia.
The full programme of the conference can be downloaded here.