EU supports Georgia in protecting its coastal waters
On 29 June, a five-day water monitoring survey started in Batumi, Georgia, organised by the EU-funded project ‘European Union Water Initiative Plus for the Eastern Partnership’ (EUWI+).
The survey is carried out by Georgian experts from the National Environmental Agency. It aims to assess the quality of coastal and transitional water ecosystems to help identify appropriate measures to protect water resources.
Apart from the survey, the EU also supports the upgrade of Batumi’s laboratory by organising training courses for experts and providing new state-of-the-art analysis equipment. This aims to improve Georgia’s capacities to manage its water resources.
Two similar surveys were held in September and November 2019. The surveys allowed the National Environmental Agency to determine the ecological status of coastal waters in the Chorokhi-Adjaristskali River Basin District.
The EUWI+ project helps Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to bring their legislation closer to EU water management policies, with a main focus on managing transboundary river basins.
A new program to support two state hospitals in Georgia
Tbilisi, 17 September, 2020. The Czech Development Agency continues to support Georgian healthcare system by launching new instrument “Tied Financial Donation”. The first beneficiaries in Georgia are state Republican hospitals in Batumi and Rukhi, which will get Czech medical devices.
A contract was signed today on behalf of the Czech Development Agency by the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Tbilisi, Mr. Petr Mikyska, Mr. Irakli Gvazava Acting Director of Rukhi Republican hospital and representative of Batumi Republican Hospital to lay foundation for new cooperation.
The two hospitals are newly built and started partial functioning after COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. However, not all the departments have necessary equipment. Recognizing the problem, the aid aims to ensure modern technologies are provided to both hospitals in order to enhance and improve services provided by them.
The new Republican Batumi hospital is designed for 170 beds. For the first time in its history, hospital will offer citizens the service of midwifery and pediatric medical care and Czech products are designed for it. Meanwhile, Rukhi Republican hospital is designed for 220 beds and by getting new equipment, they will improve surgical and intensive care departments.
The new cooperation also involves trainings for hospitals’ staff, provided by Czech professionals, who will share their experience and simplify the use of new technologies. The Czech Republic will continue to support both hospitals in the future.
New equipment will be delivered in two stages before the end of 2020. Total cost amounts to EUR 371 000, from which Batumi Republican hospital will get EUR 186 000 and Rukhi Republican hospital EUR 185 000.
Explore the Black sea Jazz Festival with Visa
- Visa became the official sponsor of the Black see Jazz Festival
- Consumers paying with their Visa cards issued by TBC bank will get discounts at the Black sea Jazz Festival
Tbilisi, 21 August 2020 – Visa today announced that it will be sponsoring theBlack sea Jazz Festival, one of the most visited and popular music event in Georgia. The event, taking place in Batumi over three days from 21-23 August, will host thousands music lovers enjoying live performances from artists including headliners: Giorgi Mikadze, Nino Katamadze, Luka Topuria’s trio, Stephane, Young Georgian Lolitaz and MokuMoku.
To make the music experience even more enjoyable for the festival-goers, Visa and its partners TBC Bank and Eastern Promotions are offering some additional perks to all cardholders of Visa cards issued by TBC bank, including 10% cashback while purchasing tickets and 10% discount on spot in the bar.
“Visa is a partner of numerous major global and national projects, including the Olympic Games and FIFA™ World Cups," said Cristina Doros, country manager for the Caucasus region, Visa, CISSEE. “Regional and local sponsorship is also our focus, and we are proud of our successful partnership with music festivals in Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus and Serbia. Music brings people together and talks to everyone with universal language of melody, rhythm and emotion. For us as a global brand, partnering with Black Sea Jazz Festival is an opportunity to contribute to the cultural heritage of Georgia, interact with our business partners and Visa cardholders at an emotional level, and encourage cashless payments via explicit demonstration of their advantages for the consumers.”
“We are pleased to host 14th Black Sea Jazz Festival, despite difficult times, and we are honored to have such a reliable partner as Visa. In these times, it was crucial to support Georgian artists and not to break our annual tradition of hosting festival, which everyone is awaiting year after year. This year music lovers will enjoy the program specially prepared by the Georgian artists for this festival,” – noted the representatives of Eastern Promotions.
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Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com, www.visasoutheasteurope.com, https://www.facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE, www.visanewscissee.com
EU launches new project to target organised crime in the Eastern Neighbourhood
A new Europol-led project, funded by the European Union, has been launched, focused on strengthening the capacity of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to fight organised crime more effectively. The project will contribute to reducing crime and creating a safer living space for citizens in the region.
Through this four-year initiative, Europol will support cooperation between law enforcement authorities, both on a strategic and operational level. Special funding will enable the Eastern Partner countries to participate in operational activities against some of the ten most significant threats to EU security listed under the EU Policy Cycle. Existing networks for information sharing and operational cooperation may be further extended into joint investigations to improve the effectiveness in fighting transnational organised crime.
“This initiative is an important step in developing strong operational cooperation and trust between the law enforcement authorities of the EU Member States and our Eastern partners,” said Catherine De Bolle, Executive Director of Europol. “Our aligned efforts will bring a stronger response to the common challenges and cross-border threats we face.”
Lawrence Meredith, Director for Neighbourhood East at the European Commission, stated: “Organised crime networks operate across national borders and destabilise the entire region. Tackling serious and organised crime is a shared challenge by the European Union and its partner countries. By strengthening the strategic and operational cooperation between Europol and partner countries, we are proud to contribute to joint investigation successes.”
Located along the Black Sea and forming part of the ‘heroin route’ from the Middle East to Europe, all six Eastern Partner countries are threatened by organised criminal groups active in the area. These groups are involved in migrant smuggling, organised property crime, trafficking in human beings, firearms and drug trafficking, money laundering, and other related crimes such as document fraud. These criminal syndicates threaten not only the safety and security of people, but also the stability of the Eastern Partnership region and of the whole EU. More cooperation between law enforcement authorities of EU Member States and the Eastern Neighbourhood countries is crucial to improving the effectiveness of the common response to organised crime across borders.
As part of a larger €10 million EU cooperation initiative, the EU has dedicated €2.5 million to support the project that will run for the next four years. Two other components are focused on law enforcement training and threat assessment (a project led by Cepol with the participation of Europol) and on criminal asset recovery (managed by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute - UNICRI).
UN and EU launch ambitious initiative for gender equality in Eastern Partnership
With support from the European Union, the two UN sister agencies will work with government bodies and civil society partners in six countries to challenge deeply ingrained gender stereotypes, increase men’s involvement in domestic work and childcare, and engage with potential perpetrators to prevent gender-based violence.
UN Women and UNFPA, together with the European Union (EU), have launched a three-year regional programme to tackle gender stereotypes and gender-based violence in six countries of the Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
The programme, entitled “EU 4 Gender Equality: Together Against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-Based Violence,” ultimately seeks to strengthen equal rights and opportunities for women and men by challenging perceptions about men’s and women’s roles in the family and in society and working to eliminate gender-based violence.
“This is our first regional programme covering gender equality in the Eastern Partnership region and we are intensely proud of it,” said Lawrence Meredith, Director for Neighbourhood East in the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission. “We can and we will do more to develop this underused economic and social potential with our Eastern neighbours. As we emerge from the pandemic, we will propose that the future Eastern Partnership be more inclusive.”
A first of its kind, the programme has been informed by an in-depth situation analysis and intergovernmental consultations with the six countries. It is designed to engage a wide range of government bodies, civil society organizations, and individuals.
“We will work closely with governments and civil society organisations in the six countries to ensure the success of the programme,” says Alia El-Yassir, UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia. “This work is even more crucial now as the COVID-19 crisis has put into stark relief the imbalanced distribution of responsibilities based on traditional gender stereotypes.”
The programme aims at achieving real behavioural change. It relies on strategies designed to challenge structural gender barriers and norms, with particular emphasis on transforming gender-stereotyped behaviour, strengthening men’s involvement in parenting and domestic responsibilities, increasing men’s access to parental leave, and reducing the number of people affected by gender-based violence through prevention interventions with potential perpetrators.
“During the COVID-19 crisis, we have unfortunately seen an increase in women’s unpaid care workload and in cases of gender-based violence across the six countries,” says Alanna Armitage, UNFPA Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “Our programme comes at the right time to fight these trends. We all have to work hand-in-hand to build a more just, equal, safe and secure world for all.”
The programme has a budget of €7,875,000 and is anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework, launched by the United Nations in 2015, and the EU Action Plan 2016-2020 on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women Through EU External Relations. It provides a unique opportunity for the EU and the six participating countries to affect social discourse, perceptions, and practices related to gender equality with the ultimate goal of achieving gender equality and related SDGs.
For more information, please visit: https://europa.eu/european-union/
Council agrees to start lifting travel restrictions for residents of some third countries
The Council of the European Union adopted, on 30 June, a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU. Travel restrictions should be lifted for countries listed in the recommendation, with this list being reviewed and, as the case may be, updated every two weeks.
Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 1 July member states should start lifting the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively.