Eastern Partnership journalists take part in civil protection workshop
EU for Integrity: grants up to €40,000 for CSOs from Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine
With the support of the European Union, the Open Government Partnership under the EU for Integrity programme has launched an ongoing call for project proposals for its members from the Eastern Partnership – registered civil society organisations and consortia from Armenia, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
Applicants should focus on using the OGP platform for expanding civil society engagement and building cross-sectoral partnerships in the areas of integrity, anti-corruption, public service delivery, justice, COVID-19 response and recovery, and civic space.
Grants up to €40,000 will cover 4-12 months of the implementation period.
Unlike regular OGP competitions, this call for proposals does not have a specific due date. The proposals are reviewed quarterly.
The call is announced as part of the EU for Integrity Programme for the Eastern Partnership, funded by the EU and jointly implemented by the Open Government Partnership and the OECD Anti-Corruption Network.
Prime Minister I. Garibashvili participates in 6th Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has joined the leaders of EU institutions, member states, and partner countries to participate in the 6th Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels.
The Head of Government, in his speech at the summit, reaffirmed the steadfastness of Georgia's European aspirations and European choice, also speaking about the Associated Trio and describing this format as a clear demonstration of one of the partnership's key principles of differentiation. The Prime Minister expressed hope that the cooperation between the Trio and the EU will grow even deeper to help fully tap into the opportunities offered under the Association Agreement. Irakli Garibashvili, in his speech at the summit, focused on the region's security challenges and emphasized the need of the EU's enhanced engagement in conflict-resolution, including toward the full implementation of the August 12, 2008 Ceasefire Agreement mediated by the EU.
At the summit, the EU Reiterated the strategic importance of the Eastern Partnership and the European choice and aspirations of the Associated Partners, also pointing out that the sovereign right of partner countries to define the depth of their relations and the quality of cooperation with EU.
The summit welcomed the effort of the so-called Associated Trio (Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine) toward deeper cooperation with the EU, seeking to put in place close coordination with one another in this process, including for the implementation of the Association Agreement and intensification of cooperation under the Eastern Partnership.
The leaders reiterated firm support for partner countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity within their internationally recognized borders. Special attention was paid to the region's security situation, emphasizing that blatant violations of international law undermine peace in Europe. In this context, the need to renew efforts toward regulating regional conflicts was emphasized, something also implying the EU's enhanced engagement.
The summit's participants expressed support for differentiation, one of the Eastern Partnership's key principles that defines granting, on an individual basis, EU integration tools to concrete partner countries. In this context, the Associated Trio's gradual integration into the single EU market is planned.
At the summit, the leaders adopted a political declaration expressing full support for pressing priority issues within the scope of the Eastern Partnership. The new agenda of the Eastern Partnership, as part of the declaration, was developed through Georgia's active involvement together with the EU and other partners. Consequently, an ambitious agenda has been set to promote the empowerment of the partner countries' security, economy, institutions, and environmental and digital transformation mechanisms. The new Eastern Partnership agenda, besides maximally strengthening general resilience tools for the Eastern Partnership member states, also involves reaching important short- and medium-term objectives, to be ensured through the new EU External Investment Plan with a volume of 2.3 billion euro (with the potential to attract 17 billion euro in investments). For Georgia, this means stronger transport, energy, and digital connectivity, including through maximally tapping into the Black Sea's potential. Other important projects will be implemented as well to bring tangible results to citizens, including accession to the single euro payments area, reduced roaming fees between the region's countries and with the EU, support for SMEs, including startups, fostering the mobility of students and the academic community, enhanced access to the European Solidarity Corps, Erasmus +, and Horizon Europe programs, and others.
The Eastern Partnership Summit is the highest-level format for dialogue between the EU and the Eastern Partnership member states. Convened one every two years, it involves discussing crucially important strategic and political issues and agreeing them by the relevant parties.
Press Service of the Government Administration
‘Uphill, but an essential and a worthy battle’: Michel welcomes the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Assembly
Сivil society have played and is playing a crucial role in making progress in the critical areas of the Eastern Partnership, including political cooperation, economic recovery, and democratic reforms, said President Charles Michel addressing the participants of the Civil Society Assembly.
The 13th Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), ‘Road to recovery: fostering reform and resilience for a stronger Eastern Partnership’ is taking place from 30 November to 2 December bringing together online more than 300 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and decision-makers from the Eastern Partner countries and the EU.
We have advanced our partnership in spite of challenges ranging from economic crises to armed conflicts and the COVID pandemic,” said Charles Michel. “You must continue to step forward and make your voices heard.”
The President added that the EU will insist in tackling challenges facing the Eastern Partnership: “Strengthening democracy, fighting corruption, defending the rule of law, guaranteeing a free media, and countering disinformation – this is an uphill battle, but an essential and a worthy battle”.
The Assembly will prepare its recommendations in the run-up of the 6th Eastern Partnership Summit (15-16 December 2021).
STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
First of all, the Ministry of Internal Affairs condemns actions motivated by violence, including any form of violence against media representatives. We call on citizens gathered in the streets of the capital to observe law and order, adhere to the rightful requests of the police and protest any issue within the frames of the law.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation with regard to illegal activities carried out at the offices of the “Shame Movement” and “Tbilisi Pride” in Tbilisi under the Article 187 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which envisages damage or destruction of another person’s property.Some of the citizens gathered on Rustaveli Avenue tried to break into the office of the “Shame Movement” behind the Parliament building. Journalists were in the office and were covering the current events. Rally participants also damaged their equipment.The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia launched an investigation under the Article 187 (Damage or Destruction of another Person’s Property) on the fact of removal of a flag, destruction and damage of inventory by demonstrators from the “Tbilisi Pride” office located at N17 Akhvlediani Street in Tbilisi.The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has already informed the society that, in addition to already mentioned violations, the investigation was also launched on the facts of violence against media representatives and illegal interference in their professional activities occurred today on Rustaveli Avenue. All relevant investigative activities will be carried out on the stated facts and all materials reflecting incidents will be examined.We call on the mass media members, taking into account the existing risks to cooperate with the police, to take into account the instructions and recommendations of the representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.The police forces remain mobilized in the streets of the capital and continue maintenance of public order. We once again call on everyone to follow the requirements of the law. Otherwise, the police will act within its’ own mandate and each case of violation will be prevented and a strict legal response will be followed.
Far-Right Groups Massively Attack Journalists
At least twenty journalists have been attacked by hate groups gathered in a counter-rally against today’s Tbilisi Pride March, according to the latest media reports.
Those attacked include journalists and cameramen from television channels TV Pirveli, Formula TV, Rustavi 2, Imedi TV, Georgian Public Broadcaster, Mtavari Arkhi and online media outlets On.ge, Netgazeti and Tabula, reports say.
TV Pirveli said counterprotesters smashed its equpments, while Tabula Magazine noted its journalist Mako Jabua was hit by a stick. Several journalists reportedly sustained various degrees of injuries.
The Interior Ministry said it has launched investigations into cases of interference with journalist’s professional activities (Article 154, Criminal Code) and violence (Article 126). The statement did not specify how many incidents have taken place.
The statement also called on Tbilisi Pride activists not to hold the March “in an open public space” because of the “scale” of the ongoing counter-rally.Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava said “violence is inadmissible and I particuparly condemn violence against journalists and in general, media representatives.”
“The situation poses a real threat to the life and health of representatives of the media and hampers their journalistic activities,” stated the Public Defender of Georgia following the attacks.
Ombudsperson Nino Lomjaria called on the law enforcement agencies to “use legal mechanisms” to remove alleged offenders from public spaces, and reminded the state authorities of their constitutional obligation to protect freedom of peaceful expression and assembly “including by responding to counter-demonstrators’ violent actions.”