In order to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Ellen Ueberschär, the President of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, and Walter Kaufmann, the Head of the Eastern Europe Department, visited Tbilisi and Yerevan on July 4-7.
During their visit to Tbilisi, the guests met with the strategic partners of the Foundation: Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC), Association "Green Alternative", and Soviet Past Research Laboratory (SOVLAB). The partners introduced to Ellen Ueberschär and Walter Kaufmann the main directions of their work and future plans.
Later on, the guests met with Tamar Khulordava, member of the Parliament, and discussed with her Georgia’s integration process with Europe and the main challenges of internal and foreign policies.
Taking into account that the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation works in the direction of conflict transformation, Ellen Ueberschär and Walter Kaufmann had several meetings to get better understanding of the existing situation in the conflict regions and Georgian government’s perspective. More specifically, the guests met with Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, and experts in conflicts – Paata Zakareishvili, Olesya Vartanyan and Giorgi Kanashvili. Later on, Ellen Ueberschär and Walter Kaufmann had talk with Ivliane Khaindrava, Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council.
At the end of their visit, the official reception was held at Goethe Institute.
On July 6th, Ellen Ueberschär and Walter Kaufmann left for Yerevan where they had official meetings with the representatives of the government, more specifically, with the Deputy Minister of the Education and Science – Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, who is an alumni of the scholarship program of the Heinrich Boell Foundation. Also, the guests met with the Minister of Nature Protection, Erik Grigoryan and his deputy, Irina Ghaplanyan as well as with Arsen Kharatyan, adviser to the Prime-Minister of Armenia.
Apart from the above-mentioned meetings, Ellen Ueberschär and Walter Kaufmann talked with the representatives of non-governmental organizations and media outlets about the situation in Armenia after the Velvet Revolution and the main political, economic and social challenges that exist in the country.