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The European Commission’s November recommendation to grant Georgia EU candidate status is the latest in a series of hard-fought victories won by the Georgian people in recent months. In March, hundreds of thousands of Georgians took to the streets, forcing the government to abandon a draconian Russian-style NGO law. In October, a controversial partisan move to impeach President Salome Zurabishvili failed due to vocal opposition from both parliament and civil society at large. The loudest voices opposing the democratic decline in the country belong to youth, civil society and parliamentarians like the women in this body. Women from different political parties come together to highlight the importance of expanding political participation and continuing to make European integration the country’s top priority. Join our conversation with distinguished panelists and Georgian parliamentarians discussing Georgia’s political development and their work at the forefront of the fight for Georgia’s European future. This event is co-sponsored by the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center.

Ambassador Daniel Fried (Opening Remarks) is currently a Weiser Family Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy. In the course of During his forty-year career in the Foreign Service, Ambassador Fried played a key role in shaping and implementing American policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. As Special Assistant and Senior NSC Director to Presidents Clinton and Bush, Ambassador to Poland and Assistant Secretary of State for Europe (2005–2009), Ambassador Fried shaped the policy of NATO expansion to Central European countries and, in parallel, NATO-Russia relations.

Ana Buchukuri is a MEmbers of PMember of the “For Georgia” party and adjunct professor at “New Vision” University. She has served in various positions in the Government of Georgia over the years, including the following roles: Deputy Head of the Prime Minister’s Office and Head of the Administrative Rights Secretariat of the Government of Georgia in 2020; Deputy Head of Administration at the Ministry of Interior (2018-2020); Deputy Director of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Interior; Head of the Parliamentary Relations Department at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (2017); Chief Specialist of the Public Defender’s Analysis Department (2014-2015).

Khatia Dekanoidze is an independent Member of Parliament. She served as an expert witness for the United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (2018-2019); OSCE expert on police reform (2017–2018); Marshal Security Center Fellow (2017-2019); Chief of the National Police of Ukraine (2015–2016); Consultant, U.S. Department of Justice International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (2014-2015); Minister of Education and Science of Georgia (2012); and principal of the Police Academy of Georgia (2007-2012).

Tinatin Khidasheli is a visiting professor at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) and Ilia State University. Previously she was: Minister of Defense of Georgia (2015–2016); Member of Parliament, Chairman of the European Integration Committee, Chairman of the Temporary Commission of Inquiry in the Parliament of Georgia (2012-2015); Vice President of the Political Committee (2012-2015); Vice-President ALDE, PACE, Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe; President of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (1997-1999); World Fellow at Yale University (2004); Human Rights Fellow at American University Washington College of Law (1999).

Ana Natsvlishvili A Member of Parliament from that “Today” party and associate professor at the Institute of Public Affairs. She served as Parliamentary Secretary to the President of Georgia (2018) and was named Human Rights Defender of the Year. She was the one Chairman Member of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (2014-2017) and worked in the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (2013); Center for Human Rights (2008-2010); and the NGO, “Article 19” (2007-2008).

Miriam Lanskoy (Moderator) is Senior Director for Russia and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy. In 2003, she received a doctorate in international affairs from Boston University for her dissertation on the Russian presidency, the Chechen wars, and social and political problems of the North Caucasus. She has fourteen years of experience in political analysis and democracy promotion in post-Soviet Eurasia and became a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations in 2005. She has published articles in the Journal of Democracy, SAIS Review, and The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, and has appeared on numerous panels and conferences to discuss political developments in Russia and Eurasia, testified in Congress, and appeared on the PBS Newshour.

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