WEASA 2023 summer academy completed its mission 

The WEASA2023 program was deliberately designed with the global geopolitical environment in mind, with a particular emphasis on the effects of the Russian aggression against Ukraine in the countries of Eastern Partnership and Western Balkans.  

40 representatives from 13 countries participated in the intense 10-day summer academy, which included panel discussions, workshops and sessions on the future of the Eastern Partnership and Western Balkans, the role of NATO in the regions, as well as tips, tricks, and tools to safely navigate in the digital space.  In addition to major themes, this year we had 2 novelties proposed by our alumni members: the oxford style debate, which we used to debate the usage of AI tools in present and future. Another novelty was to have country presentations about their Euro-Atlantic integration. This was done through a SWOT analysis. This session was very effective as participants discovered many commonalities between their countries’ pathways.  

As it has already become a tradition, 5 alumni members were selected to be WEASA Group Facilitators and help us in the organization and management of the groups. Furthermore, this year hosted 2 alumni members as WEASA Speakers. 

Apart from the summer academy, the alumni activities beautified with year. Here is the summary of those activities. 


WEASA Peer-to-Peer Meetings proved to be successful 

We are happy to see that our alumni are eager to support each other, improve their academic and soft skills, and stay connected. 

The aim of the initiative is to satisfy the requests and recommendations of our alumni who want to get to know one another better. It promotes the interaction between alumni members by providing them support for visiting their peers, researching a field of interest, holding interviews, or other professional initiatives. This year we sponsored 3 alumni members.  

In frames of WEASA P2P Meetings initiative Vlada Ciobanu (our WEASA2022 Moldovan alumnae) took part in the annual international data event in the South Caucasus: DataFest, the founder of which is our beloved alumnae Nino Macharashvili (WEASA2018). For her it was interesting to learn about the different types of visualisations, the good examples provided by the speakers, tips on how to create good storytelling, including how to use colour and create design. More about Vlada’s story. 

For Giorgi Iashvili (WEASA 2017 alumnus from Georgia) WEASA P2P meeting served as the initial phase towards a broader collaboration in cybersecurity field between his company – Cyber Trust and Marija Gjorgieva’s institution – Global Cyber Alliance. Specialising in cyber security governance and risk management Giorgi with the facilitation of Marija has been engaged with the stakeholders of the elections and cybersecurity sectors, aiming to explore potential cooperation for enhancing cybersecurity resilience in preparation for the upcoming Parliamentary elections scheduled in Spring 2024. More about Giorgi’s story. 

Nino Samkharadze (2020, Georgia) was hosted by Gentjan Skara (2021, Albania) in Epoka University to carry out field research about Albania as a candidate state of the EU and make correlations with Georgia in order to make recommendations and/or scenarios of her workplace related to Georgia. 

The research findings will be finished in January 2024. 


WEASA Research papers also completed 

Here are the topics of WAESA Research  

  1. “The lobby of the Belarusian regime in the EU”, which was proposed by Vadim Mojeiko, Belarusian Alumnus  
  2. “Cooperation through change: Mediating the Balkan conflict – the role of good neighbours”, a joint research project proposed by Jovan Gjorgovski from North Macedonia and Jetnor Kasmi from Albania. 

Next January we will have a presentation of the research findings. 


Inspiring alumni meetings  

We held three alumni meetings this year in Skopje, Yerevan, and Tbilisi. These provided us with the opportunity to learn more about our alumni and to come up with ideas for the content of the following year’s edition. Furthermore, it was really encouraging to see our alumni from Ukraine get together virtually and talk about how the Ukrainian civil society contributed to the post-war restoration of their country.  The year was finalised with the traditional annual online gathering. It’s a wonderful occasion to catch up, recall joyful moments we spent together and play games online.

Additionally, several minor reunions have been planned by our alumni members through their initialization. More about the alumni meetings.

The year was finalised with the traditional annual online gathering. It’s a wonderful occasion to catch up, recall joyful moments we spent together and play games online. All these activities demonstrates how incredible our alumni members are!

The WEASA Team is wrapping up the 2023 edition and is already preparing for the next one! Wait for us!