My European Batumi

author: Mariam Morchadze  12-08-2019

New friends, new opportunities, the biggest networking, increased competencies and knowledge, helping young people around us and strengthening our communities. This is all about Young European Ambassadors’ Program. There has been a lot so far in Georgia during this project. However, I would like to talk about our experience in Batumi during “Georgia’s European Way” Conference days.

Everything started when I imagined organizing the civic engagement in my home city – Batumi. Everybody knows that the lack of information and knowledge is the key problem for our personal and career development today. Batumi is located in the region of Adjara, where the influence of disinformation is quite large. My great wish was giving them the chance to know more about European institutions, their functions and the most importantly what opportunities they are given by EU. One month earlier before our event I met some young people in the city and after our short discussion I realized that there was a need of business training for young entrepreneurs. They did not have any guidelines, they had no idea how to develop their business ideas and what institutions and organizations are ready to help them with some financial resources. These reasons were the main grounds to think about how we could arrange the day so that business as well as educational and working opportunities should be given to everyone.

Luckily for us it turned out that the Batumi International Conference was coming as well in July and we decided to make everything together in this period. We went to Batumi on 10th of July and on the same day we were split into two parts. I with other Young Ambassador Friends went to the Europe Square where we had our banner and the table and during 3 hours about 150 young people were interested in what we were doing and how they can use the EU opportunities to get a good education. Unfortunately, what we have noticed is that some of them didn’t really think and didn’t even have hope that it is possible to be the European Voluntary Service participant for instance without high level of English knowledge. So, one of the Young Ambassadors talked to them and shared his experience in order to tell them how real it is. And this really works, I believe that young people need to be more in touch with each other, we need to share our experiences and break the stereotypes that are so widely spread.

Meanwhile, one of our Ambassadors led the training on EU4Business at the Batumi University Campus.  Some of the training participants were beginner entrepreneurs and the information that we gave them was absolutely timely and useful. Everything went well in the part of our activities and lots of young people are already aware of how important it is to be actively engaged in social media today and how important role it has for our personal and career development.

As for the second day, on the very first day of the conference we met Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, during his speech he quoted the world-renown Georgia writer Vazha-Pshavela and addressed the audience in Georgian language. This was very emotional part for us and we really appreciate that. I would like to note that the words which were spoken by Mr. President during his speech had a very big power and it means already a lot for Georgia and its citizens. He said – “When I say Georgia, I mean freedom, when I say Georgia, I mean pride, when I say Georgia, I mean courage, you are a small country but a great nation”. How is it possible to listen to these words and don’t feel the massive energy inside yourself? We were so pleased and amazed that I am sure everybody was even more motivated to fight for the European integration.

Better moments were still ahead and in the end of the first day, we met special envoy on EaP of the Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Thomas Buchsbaum, and had a discussion covering lots of various areas such as why we decided to become Young European Ambassadors, what we find the most interesting in the project and our activities and what is more we talked about ongoing processes in our country and how we see ourselves in the political life in the future. He is such an amazing and inspiring person that we have already started to think about our new project ideas. This is another reason why it is so crucial for us to have more such discussions with high-ranking European officials.

Not to be left out, on the final day, we had the chance to share our opinions with DG NEAR, Mr. Lawrence Meredith. He was interested in our views of how we consider the Young European Ambassadors’ initiative and some of us noted that it would be nice if we had some basic trainings on itself European Union and its structures. He gave us the special opportunity to represent the project and the main points of our civic activities during the panel discussion. After the speech of our National Focal Point, some ambassadors were given the chance to ask the questions to the panel speakers. This conference was obviously one of the biggest opportunities for us to get acquainted with the public audience.

We are glad and excited to be the part of one of the greatest and inspirational program. We believe that our future is in our hands. Stronger Together!