A policy forum on "Public Attitudes towards European Integration and the State Communication Strategy” was held at the Tbilisi Marriott Hotel on December 15. The forum was organized by the East-West Management Institute’s (EWMI) ACCESS project (Advancing CSO Capacities and Engaging Society for Sustainability).
Tamar Kintsurashvili, Chairperson of the Board of Media Development Foundation (MDF), and Lela Khomeriki, researcher at MDF, presented the key findings and recommendations from the survey "Youth Attitudes towards European Integration” conducted within the framework of the project "Debunking Myths and Informing the Public on Euro-Atlantic Integration”. According to the survey, which was conducted in September and covered respondents aged between 17 and 37 years, as many as 78.5% of surveyed youth support Georgia’s integration into the EU. According to the NDI’s countrywide survey conducted in August, the support for the EU stood at 61%.
Along with MDF, Koba Turmanidze, President of CRRC-Georgia, also presented the key findings of the EPF-commissioned survey "Knowledge and Attitudes towards the EU in Georgia”. According to the CRRC survey, public support towards the EU is higher among urban, employed, high-income respondents with higher education. The difference between age groups is relatively small. The CRRC survey has also confirmed that the population mostly receives information from TV channels.
In her address, Ehtel Halliste, senior expert on communication and public diplomacy at Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership, focused on Estonia’s experience and presented the opinions related to the government’s communication strategy in the sphere of EU integration. Tornike Nozadze, head of the Department of Strategc Communication Department at the Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration; Elene Gotsadze, director of Information Centre on NATO and EU; representatives of various government agencies also participated in the forum.
Taking into account the above mentioned surveys and international experience, representatives of government agencies, civil society organizations, media, academia and donor organizations discussed the ways to further improve the government’s communication strategy in the sphere of EU integration.