ATLANTA – Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger met with diplomats and representatives from the European Union Consular Corps based in Atlanta to discuss elections in Georgia. The meeting was coordinated by the Georgia Department of Economic Development and was a diplomatic exchange that increased ties between Georgia and democratic partner nations in the European Union.
“Meeting with members of Atlanta’s European Union diplomatic contingent provided a chance for my office to explain American democracy to our friends and partners abroad, increasing ties and building important relationships,” Raffensperger said in a news release. “Discussions like these are key to ensuring free flow of ideas and best practices between us and our fellow democracies around the world.”
“Georgia’s Consular Corps plays a critical role in our state’s international economic development efforts,” Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said. “Our team collaborates with our international partners to ensure open communications on a daily basis, and we sincerely appreciate the time Secretary Raffensperger took to help us further deepen these relationships.”
Raffensperger sat down with representatives from five EU nations to discuss how elections in Georgia work and to answer questions from the diplomats about the election process. During the meeting, the secretary of state lauded the good work of Georgia’s local elections workers and explained the important role they play in successfully executing elections in the state. During the discussion, the EU consular officials compared and contrasted the elections process in their own countries, asking questions both about the elections infrastructure and the American cultural and historical points that shaped them. The meeting lasted an hour.
♦ Heike Fuller, Consul General, Germany and current chair of EU Consuls General;
♦ Michel Gerebtzoff, Consul General, Belgium;
♦ Ciara O’Floinn, Consul General, Ireland;
♦ Esther Smith, Senior Economic Officer, The Netherlands;♦
♦ Emily Rives, Executive Assistant to the Consul General, France;
♦ Abby Turano, Deputy Commissioner of Marketing, Communications, and International Engagement, GDEcD;
♦ Nico Wijnberg, Director of International Relations and Chief of Protocol, GDEcD;
♦ Coryn Marsik, International Relations Manager, GDEcD.