Georgia: Local Development Strategy adopted in Keda with EU support
The Georgian municipality of Keda has recently adopted a Local Development Strategy that it drafted with the support of the EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).
The key areas covered by the strategy include diversification of economic activity in rural areas, development of smart agricultural value chains, environmental protection, natural resources management and disaster risk reduction, education, culture, sport and support for youth activities.
Prior to officially adopting the strategy, the draft was presented to the government of Keda municipality and the local communities.
The EU is supporting 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. The first phase of ENPARD focused on developing national agriculture potential, while the second and third phases focus on creating economic opportunities for the rural population that go beyond agricultural activities.
PRES RO priorities in Eastern neighbourhood
Ensuring proper consistency of European action in the Eastern neighbourhood will be of particular importance for PRES RO, as the EU will celebrate ten years since the launch of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and five years since the conclusion of the first Association Agreements. Romania will work together with the EEAS, COM, Member States and EU’s partners to properly mark this symbolic context and to communicate the tangible benefits for the citizens provided by the EaP.
Romania will also support the efforts undertaken by the EEAS and COM for continued implementation of the deliverables under the EaP Agenda for 2020.
Romania will support the further extension of the benefits of the existing DCFTAs, as well as stronger interconnections with the most advanced EaP states. It will devote special attention to consolidating concrete answers the EU could offer to the aspirations of states such as Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia for an explicit European perspective. Equally, Romania aims at boosting the importance of the Black Sea on the EU’s agenda. In the context of finalizing the new EU Strategy for Central Asia, Romania intends to contribute to reanimated relations between the EU and the Central Asia.
The main actions and evolutions of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union could be followed on the website: www.romania2019.eu.
Georgian designers and furniture producers strengthen international ties with support from EU4Business
A group of Georgian interior designers and furniture producers are visiting the German city of Cologne this week to showcase their products at the design fair taking place during Passagen Interior Design Week, Germany’s largest annual design event.
The visit agenda also includes trips to leading German furniture producers to explore the potential for cooperation.
All are members of the Georgian Furniture Cluster, which was established in 2017 with the support of the European Union and its EU4Business initiative.
The visit has been organised within the SME Development and DCFTA in Georgia project implemented under EU4Business. It assists Georgian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become more competitive and adapt to the new regulatory environment created under the EU Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.
President S. Zourabichvili to Visit Brussels
Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia will leave for Brussels on January 21 to hold meetings as part of her fist working visit abroad.
According to Natalie Sabanadze, Ambassador of Georgia to the Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Head of Georgian Mission to the EU, President Zourabichvili’s first visit to Brussels has a political significance.
“The President of Georgia will meet with our partners in NATO and the EU. Meetings are planned with all three presidents of the EU, namely Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament. To discuss foreign affairs, President Zourabichvili will hold meetings with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. It is likely and I am certain that the President will once again underscore the importance of Georgia’s European integration,” Natalie Sabanadze said.
President Zourabichvili’s visit will end on January 23.
Bank of Georgia Group receives support for energy efficiency and renewable energy loans
The EU-supported, multi-donor Green for Growth Fund (GGF) has provided a loan of USD 25 million to Bank of Georgia Group. The main aim is to support the bank in diversifying and growing its energy efficiency and renewable energy lending portfolio for large companies and SMEs, as well as public entities. Potential beneficiaries include manufacturing, construction and agriculture industries, as well as renewable energy projects.
Kaha Kiknavelidze, the CEO of Bank of Georgia Group commented on the new agreement with GGF. “This is our second co-operation with GGF, which will significantly contribute to the further improvement of our environmental footprint”, he said.
The Green for Growth Fund, part of the EU4Energy Initiative, invests in measures designed to cut energy use and CO2 emissions and improve resource efficiency in 19 markets across southeast Europe, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Moldova, the Middle East and North Africa. The fund provides such financing directly to renewable energy projects, corporations and municipalities or indirectly via selected financial institutions.
The GGF was initiated as a public-private partnership in December 2009 by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, with financial support from the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Austrian development bank OeEB.
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.