More than 40 journalists and press center representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Chancellery, State Minister’s Office on Euro-Atlantic Integration and the Parliament participated in a seminar that discussed Georgia's role in the European Neighborhood Policy. The meeting was held on July 6, 2005 by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in cooperation with the United Nations Association of Georgia.
Of late, the term ENP (European Neighborhood Policy) has become extremely popular. ENP is a new policy that invites countries from East and South to share the peace, stability, and prosperity that member countries enjoy in the European Union, and aims to create a ring of friends around the borders of the newly enlarged EU. The European Neighborhood Policy is at an early stage, and will be progressively developed with the combined effort of the EU and its partners.
At the seminar, the role of mass media in expansion of the EU area was discussed by Florean Oel, a German journalist. He said that it is necessary to build a transnational mass media and political society, to reinvigorate communication of citizens on political and social issues. “If there is a European political society and the feeling of commonwealth, which means that the citizens of Europe would be engaged in European discourses, it would significantly increase their accountability and receptiveness towards the EU. As for the candidate states, the mentioned development of civil involvement and discourse would catalyze their integration into Europe” -said Mr.Oel.
Mr. Oel also voiced his concern about passive reporting by journalists on EU issues. He said frequently the reporting is based on the perspectives of separate countries and not on EU common vision.
While gathering information regarding the current problems and issues linked to the EU, the Georgian participants also articulated their concerns in guests concerning the current situation in Georgian media.
David Paichadze, Deputy Dean of Social and Political Sciences Department of Tbilisi State University, and Badri Koplatadze, Teacher at Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management, made brief presentations on the shortcomings and advantages of the media. Although no The final suggestion of seminar facilitators was that the Georgian mass media and non-governmental organizations who shape the political landscape should become more aware of EU priorities and help citizens understand them better.