On the 29th of March, the joint conference „Closer
to People – Stronger Civil Society” took place in Tbilisi with the
participation of government, European Union, and NGO representatives.
The event aimed to support the process of the
European Integration. It was particularly focused on the activities of civil
society organizations (CSOs) working in the regions of Georgia and their input
in the process of European Integration. Thus, more than 150 NGOs from various
regions of Georgia were present.
The Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze
held a speech during the conference, Deputy Head of the European Union
Delegation to Georgia Carlo Natale, Chairwoman of the Georgian National The platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Natia Kuprashvili and team
leader of the project “Georgian Civil Society Sustainability Initiative“ David
Aprasidze also welcomed participants of the conference along with the Prime
Several panels were held within the framework
of the conference to discuss issues such as the role of civil society in the
process of European Integration, the role of civil society in the process of
regional development, strengthening institutions, and good governance.
The Education Development and Employment
Center (EDEC) organized a special panel dedicated to volunteerism. Moderator
was Lika Kiladze, Chairperson of the Board of the Education Development and
Employment Center (EDEC).
Writer Giorgi Kekelidze talked about civic
activism and volunteerism in the historical context. Educational Researcher
Simon Janashia discussed civic activism and volunteerism in Soviet Georgia.
Writer Dato Turashvili reflected on civic activism and volunteerism in the 1990s
and Levan Berdzenishvili, professor at the Ilia State University, talked about
civic activism and volunteerism culture today.
The conference was organized in cooperation with the Eastern Partnership Civil
Society National Platform and the Liberal Academy Tbilisi within the framework
of the EU-funded and Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung co-funded project “Georgian Civil
Society Sustainability Initiative.”