Ceci est une version HTML d'une pièce jointe de la demande d'accès à l'information 'Meetings between Neighbourhood and Churches'.

Ref. Ares(2019)4334172 - 08/07/2019
RE: Working level meetings for the second church delegation from Georgia
12 May 2017 14:40:34
Yes, it makes sense for us to be in touch on this directly. Here below are some materials for
The level of support among the Georgian population towards Georgia’s European and
Euro-Atlantic integration is very high. Results of various polls conducted this spring show
an increase from 60–65% in 2015 to 77-82% in 2016. However, awareness of Georgia's
cooperation with the EU and NATO and understanding of the reform process is still low
among the clergy of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
At the same time, the Patriarchate of the Georgian Orthodox Church is one of the most
respected institutions in the country. Based on polls from spring 2016, 89% of the
Georgian population trusts the church, making it the most trusted institution in the
country. Based on official data available after the 2014 census, 83.4% of the total
population in Georgia are Orthodox Christian.
, the Information Center on NATO and EU and the State Ministers office of
Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration are organising an official study visit to
Brussels for the Clergy of the Georgian Orthodox Church from 7-11 November. The
group was composed with special blessings of Patriarch Ilia – II, and is organised by the
Center for Development and Democracy with the financial support of the British
Embassy in Tbilisi.
The group will visit NATO HQ, European Parliament, EESC and other EU institutions. They
will be accompanied by journalists from the Patriarchy television “Ertsulovneba”, where
new TV series about Georgian European and Euro–Atlantic integration will be broadcast
from November 2017.
Explanation from the head of the NGO:
Concerning your question, our project apart from visit was including other components but
approximately can say: so 20 person visit for 4 days including air ticket, airport transfer,
accommodation (in Single and double rooms), meals, local transport (mini buses – not the best
quality), health insurance (Georgian) costed = 25 000 Euro. Donor of the visit was UK Embassy
Tbilisi via Good Governance Fund.
Reports from first meeting in Brussels:

Sent: Friday, November 11, 2016 11:34 AM
Subject: FW: Visit of Georgian Orthodox Church representatives
For info. I had similar, encouraging messages from the Georgian clergy in my meeting
with them on Wednesday: 
From: MATHERNOVA Katarina (NEAR)
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2016 11:25 AM
To: DANIELSSON Christian (NEAR); 
); MATHERNOVA Katarina
Subject: Visit of Georgian Orthodox Church representatives
DG NEAR DDG Katarina Mathernova and 
met Georgian Orthodox Church on 10 November 2016. In a
constructive and very positive atmosphere, clear message
from the Church that they do not interfere with political
processes and that they support the European and Euro-
Atlantic integration of Georgia. Call for EU support to
economic development, support to rural areas, and traditional
food and craft production. Call for EU direct support to Church-
supported economic activities (honey, wine, berries ).
Very constructive exchange on EU values and on what EU
stands for, the importance of non discrimination,
A large representation of the Georgian Orthodox Church led by
the Archbishop visited Brussels for a study tour of the NATO and
EU institutions. Main topics proposed for discussion were the
impact of European Integration on Georgian traditional values.
The Georgian Orthodox Church is the most trusted institution in
Georgia and this discussion followed up on previous talks
between the HOD to Georgia and the Patriarch and other high

level discussion of the Georgian clergy with EUMS, NATO and the
Main questions raised by the GE side:
- Georgia decided irreversibly to follow the Euro-
integration path, confirmed by the recent democratic
- The GE clergy representatives confirmed that the
Church is fully independent from the Government, the
two institutions not interfering one with another. But the
Church always had an active role in the social sphere: it
supported development of traditional crafts, agricultural
development projects, collaborated with USAID projects
and supported introduction of new technologies but at
the same time preserving traditional agriculture and
keeping the trust of the Georgian population (as an
example the honey produced by the church is highly
appreciated by the population). It appears that the
AA/DCFTA requires EU standards to which farmers would
have difficulties to adapt ('moving from household
farming to farms is a painful process')
Answers from NEAR side clarified that the EU stands for the
territorial integrity of Georgia, and universality of values, 
 Therefore direct contact between the
Church and Institutions is welcome, also to clarify
misconceptions and misunderstandings. Georgia was praised for
the good reforms and democratic elections, this also led to
enhanced cooperation and more support from the EU side.
On DCFTA impact, it was clarified that EU does not promote one
type of agriculture. Standards are also important for marketing
products, particularly in the EU. Food safety is also an important
dimension. At the same time the EU has been supporting rural

development/agricultural adjustments as well as traditional arts
and crafts in Georgia. A sizeable DCFTA facility is being made
The Georgian part raised the question of eligibility to receive
support programmes as a religious organization to which the
answer was that there is no 'political' limitation that religious
organization cannot be supported. Discussions at the technical
level are to follow during the incoming Programming Mission.
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 2:32 PM
Subject: RE: Working level meetings for the second church delegation from Georgia
 thanks for this explanation!And yes, I would welcome the budget breakdown.
Would it make sense if I put you in contact with our C2 colleagues to discuss a possible
Armenia visit?

Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 2:31 PM
Subject: RE: Working level meetings for the second church delegation from Georgia
For Georgia it was very much a joint exercise between EU, NATO and Member
States. The driving force was the EU NATO Information Centre in Georgia in
cooperation with a local NGO who works closely with the church. The funding
came from the UK and Netherlands embassies. We were the key partners in
Brussels on the EU's side to make sure that the group gets the right amount of
attention and meetings here. I think it is a great idea to do it for Armenia, I am
copying in my colleague 
 who leads on Armenia in our team. We also have
good colleagues at the delegation in Armenia, who could help with this.
No Taiex funding for Georgia, as the MS covered all the costs. If you are
interested in the budget breakdown, I actually just sent it to Azerbaijan, so can
forward it to you as well.
Best regards,
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 11:58 AM
Subject: RE: Working level meetings for the second church delegation from
Our colleagues from our sister unit would like to organize a similar visit
for Armenian Church.
I received the first information about this potential visit from your side.
Would you happen to know who was in charge of organizing and
funding the visit? Was there any TAIEX funding involved or any other
form of support from our side?
Thanks for your help on this.


Sent: Friday, February 10, 2017 1:48 PM
Subject: RE: Working level meetings for the second church
delegation from Georgia
I think the best would be to check with our colleagues in DG
Near (in copy the desks and 
 who might have a better
vision of possible meetings for the GE clergy following the area
of interest below.
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2017 11:03 AM
Subject: Working level meetings for the second church
delegation from Georgia
Dear both,
I met with 
 from EU/NATO info centre yesterday and
we went through the list of participants of the second
Brussels study visit for the Georgian clergy.
This time the group is more working level and keen on
proceeding with the EU cooperation on their different
projects. We discussed particular interest areas and
these could be grouped into the list I have added below.
Do you think we could recommend them any further
useful working level meetings on these topics in
Brussels? Maybe in DG NEAR? DG AGRI? DG EAC?
· Regional development and promotion of
· ENPARD, cooperatives
· Support to SMEs, trade
· Education, lifelong learning
· Learning English (very important to them as
currently the church language is Russian, but
they want to learn more conversational
Any ideas welcome, thank you,