EU project aims at bringing students from eastern partnership countries closer to European values
Coming back to school after the summer break is not always easy, but this September Miriam Kebadze from the small Georgian town of Kareli has started a new adventure.
Thanks to a scholarship by the European Union, she attends the first European school in the capital Tbilisi.
A great opportunity to pursue her dream to become a diplomat.
"I am a little bit nervous because it will be probably hard for students, but I hope my study year will be great for me."
Her family is confident that with a better education, Miriam can contribute to the development of the country, in which the past has left open wounds.
One of them is the memory of the war with Russia, which occupies South Ossetia since 2008, a region 20 kilometers from Miriam's hometown.
30 students from Georgia and five other countries of the region have received scholarships.
One student is Constantin from Moldova.
"They have no borders in Europe, they share the same values like freedom, equality, the rule of law and I like this, that’s what Europe means to me."
Another is Ulvi from Azerbaijan.
"I personally think the European Union is a political dinosaur, it is very strong but it is not up-to-date with the 21st century. This is why you see countries like UK leaving, this is why you see internal rifts on economics, on migrants and on other issues and this is why I think the EU is in a very dangerous role in the future."
Giving perspectives to young people is one of the objectives of the cooperation between the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries.
In regions characterized by old conflicts and political instability, the possibility of embarking on international studies can bring new generations closer and promote peace and security.
The school just opened its doors on September 4th. It is a soft power exercise for the European Union which aims to increase its role in the region.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for enlargement:
"We have to deal with our neighbors, we have to improve not only the relationship but also the living conditions in our neighborhood because this would have an immediate impact for us as Europeans in terms of either we export stability or we import instability. So certain things have to be done in parallel".
One thing is certain, the school is bringing hope to Georgia and has already inspired other neighbor countries that wish to open other European schools.