As part of the Horizon2020 project EU-STRAT –The EU and Eastern Partnership Countries: An Inside Out Analysis and Strategic Assessment – Katharina Hoffmann and Ole Frahm from the University of St Gallen conducted a workshop in Tbilisi on 20-21 November 2017 with mostly young researchers and practitioners from five Eastern Partnership region countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine). In addition to the main objective of jointly developing a common framework for event data collection on Eastern Partnership countries’ bilateral relations with Turkey, another key aim was to transfer knowledge on best practices of social science methods.
In organizing and running the workshop which took place at Fabrika, a converted former sewing factory, the team from St Gallen cooperated closely with the Caucasus Research Resource Center in Tbilisi with whom the university had already collaborated as part of the FP7 project ISSICEU (www.issiceu.eu). The meeting in Georgia therefore also served to strengthen and enlarge an existing network of researchers from the region. Befitting the occasion, the conversation at the closing dinner was held in a mixture of German, English, Russian and Turkish.
A follow-up event is planned for 2018 to ensure that all participants can make ample use of the data both during the project and beyond.