EU helps make Georgian fashion trendy across the world
The EU is the world’s largest market and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine offers new opportunities for companies in these countries. Fashion house ‘Materia’, based in Tbilisi, is one of them, says an article published by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Offering its customers a premium clothing line and more affordable products, the fashion house also sells its clothing to various public institutions in Georgia including the army, police, post office staff and many more.
It works closely with the Georgian Rugby Federation to produce uniforms for the national team’s junior players and a wide range of rugby clubs, including Goris Jiki, which won this year’s domestic club championship.
The business has secured financing to modernise its equipment and introduce the best workplace health and safety practices for a new clothing factory, in line with EU standards. This will help the fashion house to take full advantage of export opportunities. The firm was one of the first to benefit from the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line.
The EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line – a joint initiative between the EBRD and the European Union – targets small and medium-sized enterprises in Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. All three countries are signatories to an Association Agreement and benefit from signing up to the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the EU.
The Credit Line helps interested businesses to make the most of open access to the EU, the world’s largest trading block, by modernising their production and services in line with EU standards.
From growing saplings to harvesting grapes: EU and FAO conduct training for Georgian winemakers
Two dozen Georgian grapevine producers have taken part in a training recently held at several locations in Kakheti, a traditional winemaking region of Georgia.
The training was conducted by an expert from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture with the support of the European Union and FAO in the framework of the EU4Business programme.
The learning sessions covered the entire vineyard cultivation process and the complete cycle of grapevine production from growing saplings to harvesting grapes, and included such topics as general management of various types of vineyards, planning of pruning, fertilisation, irrigation, organic grapevine production and Integrated Pest Management.
EU Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia is a joint initiative of the EU and four UN Agencies, which was launched in 2019 with a budget of €5 million. The project aims at enhancing entrepreneurship and business sophistication by strengthening the capacities of government and local entities.
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.
EBRD adopts new country strategy for Georgia
Enhancing the competitiveness of Georgian companies
The EBRD stands ready to help companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), boost their productivity and resilience by enhancing their competitiveness and improving their access to finance, for instance, through investments in digitalisation. The Bank will also continue its work to deepen the local capital market to provide companies with a wider variety of financing options.
Promoting inclusion and regional development
The Bank will step up its efforts to support access to skills development, especially for young people, women and other marginalised groups, supporting job creation, also in regions outside the capital, Tbilisi. Better access to finance and essential municipal services for regional populations is a key focus of the EBRD’s work.
Supporting Georgia’s green economy transition
The EBRD is well positioned to help accelerate Georgia’s green economic transition by supporting initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy. Based on the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach and building on its strong track record in this field, the Bank will combine investments in renewable energies with policy engagement. It will support the reform of state-owned enterprises, including greater energy and resource efficiency, and continue to expand its Green Cities framework.
Georgia has made great efforts in recent years to advance reforms and create a sustainable market economy. The new EBRD strategy will support the Georgian economy, significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, in its recovery and further development.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia. Since it started operating in the country, the Bank has invested more than €4.53 billion in 269 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 78 per cent of these investments in the private sector.
Georgia: Statement by the Spokesperson on the appointment of Supreme Court judges
On Wednesday, the Parliament of Georgia appointed four Supreme Court judges for a life-long term. Such appointments, made before the existing shortcomings in the nomination process were addressed, are not in line with the recommendations of the OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission.
These latest appointments contradict the commitment to ambitious judicial reform made by Georgia’s leaders in the political agreement of 19 April this year, and restated on 28 July. This included addressing issues in the Supreme Court nomination process before proceeding with appointments of the judges. These actions risks further undermining judicial independence and public trust in the Georgian justice system.
The European Union reiterates its calls on the Georgian authorities to strengthen the independence, accountability, and quality of the judicial system, including of the High Council of Justice, through a broad, inclusive and cross party reform process. The European Union reminds that, while it remains fully committed to support Georgia’s reforms in line with the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, the EU’s assistance to Georgia remains conditional on progress on key reforms, including on judiciary.
Statement by the EU Spokesperson
EU helped make three kindergartens in Rustavi energy efficient
Most buildings in Georgia fail to meet European energy efficiency standards. Energy-efficient reconstruction helps improve energy security, reduce energy consumption and avoid negative impacts on the environment. Even routine heating of buildings is otherwise quite a challenge and is associated with a number of problems.
In order to meet these challenges, three kindergartens in Rustavi, N6, N40 and N41, have been reconstructed to make the buildings energy efficient and compliant with modern standards. The projects were supported by the European Union, and halved electricity consumption in all three buildings and reduced carbon emissions.
The project started in 2015, and the situation in the kindergartens was really challenging: for example, nine natural gas heaters were used to heat the N6 kindergarten building, with eight heaters installed in playrooms and bedrooms, and one placed in the principal’s office. There was no hot water system, so the staff had to heat the water themselves.
The building rehabilitation included covering of the walls, roof, floor and basement with thermal insulation tiles, and installation of a new lighting system equipped with energy efficient bulbs. A new heating and hot water supply system was installed, supported by solar panels, and 8m₂ solar panels were mounted in each kindergarten. In view of the geographical location of Rustavi, a square meter of a solar panel can generate 1050 kWh of power per year.
Old, wooden window and doorframes were replaced with energy-efficient ones. The new low emission, double-glazed PVC windows prevent heat leakages from the building.
The project developers also equipped the buildings with modern ventilation systems to supply filtered, fresh air for better health of the kindergarten beneficiaries and staff.
The Sustainable Development and Policy Centre (SDAP) implemented the “Reconstruction of three kindergartens in the city of Rustavi for achieving high energy efficiency standard and reducing carbon emissions” with the support and funding of the European Union and the Municipality of Rustavi. This initiative is part of a demonstration project under the Covenant of Mayors.
Thus, the old Soviet infrastructure in Rustavi was replaced with modern energy efficient technologies, and the EU’s support has helped achieve the main goal of the project – to reduce heating and electricity costs for all three kindergartens, and to create a clean environment for children.