May 02, 2024

European Commission Director General to visit South Caucasus

European Commission Director General for Neighbourhood & Enlargement Negotiations, Gert Jan Koopman, will travel to Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan between 30 April and 4 May to discuss bilateral and regional cooperation and launch new initiatives. 


On 30 April, Mr Koopman will visit Armenia. His visit comes as a follow-up to the high-level EU-US-Armenia meeting on 5 April and the announcement of a Resilience and Growth Plan for Armenia.  During the mission, the Director General will discuss the next steps for the strengthening of EU-Armenia relations, including stepping up sectoral cooperation and EU investments in the country, as well as EU support to reforms and to the integration of displaced people. He will meet Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, as well as members of the government, including Deputy Prime Ministers Mher Grigoryan and Tigran Khachatryan, Members of the National Assembly, business and civil society representatives. Mr Koopman will also launch a joint EU-German project to improve access to energy efficiency and sustainable energy solutions in rural communities in Armenia.


On 1 and 2 May, Mr Koopman will be in Georgia to discuss EU-Georgia cooperation, including the work on the 9 steps linked to Georgia’s EU candidate status. He will meet President Salome Zourabichvili, Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze, as well as members of the government including First Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili and Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili. He will also meet representatives of parliamentary parties and civil society, as well as investment partners. Mr Koopman will launch several EU funded projects to help rehabilitate Georgia’s irrigation network, to foster investments in renewable energy generation capacities and to support local currency lending for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.  


On 3 May and 4 May, Mr. Koopman will visit Azerbaijan to discuss EU-Azerbaijan cooperation, including regional connectivity and renewable energy in the run-up to the COP29 climate change conference, which Azerbaijan will host in November.  He will meet with Government officials, including the Head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev, Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov and Minister of Digital Development and Transport Rashad Nabiyev.  The Director General will launch – together with representatives of EU Member States – a Team Europe initiative on mine action in Azerbaijan to help address issues such as capacity building, mine risk education, and victim support building. Together with the EIB, the Director General will also launch –EU support to improve the financial inclusion of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.