UNDP and Government of Georgia commit to GEL 6.8 million rural development initiative funded by EU and Government of Adjara
Shombi Sharp, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia, and Otar Danelia, Minister of Agriculture of Georgia signed an agreement to continue assistance to rural development in the country through a GEL 6.8 million project funded by the European Union and the Government of Adjara.
This initiative will assist in the development of a national Rural Development Strategy of Georgia and a specific strategy for the Ajara Autonomous Republic, and support their practical implementation.
95% of the GEL 6.8 Million (Euro 2.63 million) project budget is provided by the European Union and 5% by the Ajara Government.
The two-year initiative is part of the European Union funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) which launched its second phase in Georgia a month ago.
Through ENPARD, the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia works closely with the European Union, UNDP, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Government of Ajara Autonomous Republic to promote rural development all over the country, and specifically in Ajara, and enhance institutions – respective ministries, national agencies, associations and educational bodies – engaged in this process.
EU assists Georgia to facilitate access to justice and increase professionalism of lawyers
Improved access to legal aid for over 45,000 people every year; training for 2,400 representatives of the legal profession; increased international cooperation in the field of justice – these are just some of the key results achieved by the Legal Aid Service of Georgia and the Georgian Bar Association with assistance from the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
These and other achievements of the EU4Justice programme between 2016 and 2018 were presented to the public in the country’s capital of Tbilisi on 23 January.
“I am confident that the EU played an instrumental role in developing both the State Legal Aid Service and the Bar Association in Georgia over last 10 years,” said Catalin German, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section at the EU Delegation to Georgia. “We have done it through direct transfers of funds into the Georgian state budget, and through different projects.”
The assistance to the Legal Aid Service and Georgian Bar Association is part of a wider EU-funded programme, EU4Justice, which is based on the financing agreement on “Support to the Justice Sector Reform in Georgia”, signed between Georgia and the EU in May 2015.
EU and UNDP helps the Parliament of Georgia to enhance its research and analytical service
The ongoing work and future plans of the Georgian parliament in reforming its research and analytical service were discussed on 20 December in Georgia.
The discussion was organised by the Parliament of Georgia with assistance from the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Parliament of Georgia has been making efforts to reform its research and analytical service since early 2018, aiming to supply MPs with evidence-based information, ensure high-quality research and provide impartial and comprehensive support to law making and government oversight.
In line with the newly adopted Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Georgia, the reformed research and analytical centre will be registered as a Legal Entity of Public Law, which will make it more flexible in hiring professional researchers and working with donors.
The reform is expected to be completed in spring 2019.
The initiative is part of the ongoing institutional reform of the Georgian parliament supported by the EU and UNDP under their wider programme for stronger parliamentary democracy in Georgia.
Georgia: Ajara joins forces with EU and UNDP to boost rural development
The Government of Georgia’s Ajara Autonomous Republic (AR) agreed to contribute €230,000 to enhance the implementation of regional components of a €10 million EU-funded project “ENPARD-3: Improving Rural Development in Georgia”. The project is part of the Eastern Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) and it is aimed at promoting rural development and small and medium-sized businesses.
Under the agreement, in the period of 2018-2022, the EU, in cooperation with United Nations Development Programme, will assist in developing economic alternatives outside agriculture for families in Ajara’s rural areas and support the region’s government to develop and implement effective rural development policies.
The EU supports rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. Aiming to reduce rural poverty, ENPARD has been implemented since 2013, with a total budget of €179.5 million.
Salome Zurabishvili Sworn-in as New President
Salome Zurabishvili, 66, was sworn in as Georgia’s fifth president for a six-year term on December 16 in an oath-taking ceremony in the eastern Georgian town of Telavi.
“I, the President of Georgia, before the God and the Nation, declare to observe the Constitution of Georgia, defend the independence, unity and indivisibility of the country, to perform faithfully the duties of the President, to take care for the security and welfare of the citizens of my country and for the revival and might of my nation and homeland,” Zurabishvili said, holding her hand on the Georgian constitution.
After the oath-taking, Zurabishvili delivered the inauguration speech in presence of invited guests, foreign dignitaries, government members and lawmakers from the ruling party and Georgian soldiers. President Giorgi Margvelashvili attended the ceremony as well.
The oath-taking ceremony marked entry into force of the new constitution, which completes the country’s transition from semi-presidential to parliamentary system of governance.
The new constitution will further reduce president’s executive powers, a process launched in the 2010 constitutional amendments and finalized in the 2017 constitutional changes.
This also marked the last time the head of state was elected through direct ballot. According to the new constitution, which entered into force upon Zurabishvili’s inauguration, the head of state will be elected by a 300-member Electoral College for a term of five years starting from 2024.
A day before the oath-taking ceremony, on December 15, President-elect Salome Zurabishvili laid a wreath at the memorial of fallen Georgian soldiers at Heroes’ Square in Tbilisi. She also visited the Mtatsminda Pantheon, a cemetery of public figures in Tbilisi.
The Presidential runoff was held on November 28. The ruling party-backed candidate Salome Zurabishvili obtained 59.52% of the votes, while her challenger – Grigol Vashadze of the United Opposition finished with 40.48% of the votes. Vashadze did not accept the election results, citing mass election fraud.
68 Georgians Appointed as Young European Ambassadors
On 9 November 2018, newly selected Young European Ambassadors (YEAs) will meet H.E. Carl Hartzell, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, at an official meeting in Tbilisi.
68 young Georgians were selected to take part in the third round of the YEAs initiative. During the meeting with the Head of the EU Delegation Carl Hartzell, Young European Ambassadors will present their previous activities, discuss the ways of empowering youth and initiate plans of future activities. Young European Ambassadors, who have actively participated in various events in Georgia and abroad, will share their volunteering experience and to receive certificates in recognition of their active role.
Within the week of 12 -16 November newly selected Young European Ambassadors from Georgia will visit “Young Farmers Centers” in Tetritskaro Municipality. They will make presentations in order to raise awareness about the European Union, shared values, inform about the EU funded youth initiatives and opportunities for Georgian youth in the field of education and mobility as well as brainstorm on the next activities.
The ‘Young European Ambassadors’ initiative aims to foster cooperation and sustainable links between young people and youth organisations from the European Union (EU) and its Eastern Partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. The initiative facilitates the mutual exchange of ideas and information on the EU, as well as the engagement of young people in informative activities. It is focused on people-to-people contacts and dialogue-driven activities that contribute to an enhanced understanding and perception of the EU and a greater appreciation of its relationships with the Eastern Neighbourhood.