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.
Georgia: Statement by the Spokesperson on the latest political developments
Following the arrest of Nikanor Melia, Chairperson of the United National Movement - the largest opposition party in Georgia, political polarisation in the country has regrettably further deepened. This polarisation risks undermining Georgia’s democracy. The European Union urges all parties to step up efforts to de-escalate and come together to find common ground.
Starting with those in power, we expect the Government to provide inclusive leadership, putting the interests of the Georgian people first. A fair, independent and accountable judiciary is also paramount. The European Union will remain very attentive to developments in this regard.
It is crucial that the opposition plays a constructive role, including by joining the Parliament, to further consolidate democracy and the rule of law in Georgia, and to help shape the country’s reform path.
Political stability, with all sides avoiding provocative actions and rhetoric, an inclusive parliamentary process, as well as a judicial system that enjoys the trust of the Georgian citizens are prerequisites for Georgia to further deepen its partnership with the EU in line with the Association Agreement.
The European Union stands ready to continue supporting Georgia in this endeavour.
European Union and WHO join forces to support vaccination against COVID-19 in Georgia
The European Union and the WHO Regional Office for Europe will work together in a major effort to support the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination in Georgia. The project funded by the European Union and implemented by WHO will cover all phases - constituting “end-to-end” support - of COVID-19 vaccine deployment and vaccination and will also serve as a major investment to strengthen the routine immunization system.
The project will be implemented by WHO over a three-year period as part of a €40 million European Union-funded initiative to support six countries in the WHO European Region in preparing for, deploying and monitoring rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia said:
“As part of our joint efforts to stop COVID-19, a proper and efficient vaccination campaign is key. The EU continues to stand by Georgia during the pandemic and is proud today to launch a new initiative with our close partner WHO. This initiative will support the complex vaccination rollout so that vaccines, when they arrive, are efficiently utilized and reach those that need them most.”
Silviu Domente, WHO Representative and Head of the WHO Country Office in Georgia, said:
“Vaccines offer hope and protection to those fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic and to those at highest risk living in fear of its devastating impact. Thanks to this generous support, WHO can strengthen its collaboration with the Government of Georgia to ensure that vaccines can reach those who need them most, as soon and as efficiently as possible.”
The funds will be used initially to support the first phase of preparedness and deployment, with an emphasis on imminent needs in strategic programmatic areas such as planning, equipment/supplies, training of health workers and information campaigns.
The project builds on the European Union’s and WHO’s ongoing support to countries’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the joint €35 million EU Solidarity for Health Initiative, aimed to support the partner countries in their fight against the virus and address better the needs of the most vulnerable people.
The news prepared in the framework of the EU project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"
New EU programme to support readiness for vaccination efforts in Eastern Partnership countries with WHO
Today, the European Union in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a new regional programme worth over €40 million to provide critical assistance to ensure local readiness and preparedness for safe and effective vaccination of the population in each of the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
By strengthening preparedness and readiness of the countries for vaccinations, this programme will prepare the countries for the effective receipt and administering of vaccines, including those from COVAX and through vaccine sharing mechanisms with EU Member States. The programme includes risk communication and community engagement, support to vaccine supply chain management, vaccination data and safety monitoring, training of health managers and medical staff involved in the vaccination campaign, scheduling of the vaccinations, as well as key logistical support for the delivery and handling of the vaccines and supplies.
Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi, responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, stated, “With this new programme that we launch today in partnership with the WHO, the EU shows that it delivers on its commitment to support our Eastern Partners to fight the health crisis. Acting together now will also allow us to work rapidly on the region's sustainable socio-economic recovery. Today's programme comes in addition to the €1 billion of EU assistance mobilised so far to address the health pandemic and support the longer term socio-economic recovery of the region.”
The programme is part of the Team Europe initiative, and builds on the joint ongoing European Union and WHO Solidarity for Health Initiative in the Eastern Partnership.
This Health Initiative of over €35 million, has already provided substantial medical supplies across the region, including over 11 million items of personal protective equipment, 12,000 lab kits, over 1,500 ventilators, oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters, and over 20,000 PCR testing kits.
The EU is one of the strongest supporters of COVAX, which remains the best vehicle to ensure fair and equitable access to these vaccines and deliver on international vaccine solidarity.
Team Europe has contributed more than €850 million for COVAX, including €500 million from the EU budget. This will be a key contribution for COVAX to secure 1.3 billion doses of vaccines for 92 low and middle-income countries by the end of 2021.
To ensure early access to vaccines and building on the experience of the EU's Vaccine Strategy, the European Commission is operating an EU sharing mechanism to facilitate Member States' sharing of doses secured by the EU, including with our Eastern partners.
The news prepared in the framework of the EU project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"
Frontex renews working arrangement with Georgia
Today, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, renewed its working arrangement with the Ministry of the Internal Affairs of Georgia.
Under the revised arrangement, Frontex and Georgia reaffirmed their commitment to work together in dealing with irregular migration and fighting cross-border crime, implementation of technical assistance projects as well as in exchanging information and best practices in the area of border management and return.
“It was in 2008 – more than a decade ago - that the first Working Arrangement between Frontex and the Georgian authorities was signed. I am confident that the new framework for cooperation will allow us to achieve further progress towards securing borders and addressing common challenges, which call for a coordinated response,” said Frontex’s Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.
The working arrangement was renewed to reflect the strengthened mandate of Frontex and will lead to a better response to today’s operational needs in the area of border management in full respect of fundamental rights.
Hundreds of Georgian experts have taken part in Frontex-led trainings and capacity building activities such as the Eastern Partnership IBM Capacity Building Project as well as participated in Frontex operational activities as observers.
“I am glad that the working arrangement signed today will serve as a firm legal basis for our future successful cooperation, the positive result of which goes beyond the existing relations of the two agencies and represents an important phase in Georgia-EU cooperation”, said Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs Vakhtang Gomelauri.
The document was signed during a virtual ceremony by Frontex’s Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri and Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs Vakhtang Gomelauri. The virtual ceremony was also attended by the Director General of DG HOME Monique Pariat, Acting Director-General of DG NEAR Maciej Popowski and Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia H.E. Carl Hartzell.
Press Release of the EU Delegation to Georgia
Georgia in talks with the EU for financial assistance from 2021 to 2027
Georgia has launched talks with the European Union for financial assistance for the next seven years. The talks organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia will continue from 9 to 11 February.
The first meeting was held on 9 February between the First Deputy Foreign Minister Vakhtang Makharoblishvili and the EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell.
The consultations will focus on the priorities of the EU financial assistance (during the period from 2021 to 2027), which will help Georgia implement EU-funded projects and programmes in the future.
Thematic sessions will focus on the following areas: development of trade and economy (DCFTA), business promotion, agriculture, industry, services, SME support, consumer protection and women’s involvement in business, communications (transport, energy and digitalization), green economy and road safety, improvement of education quality and access to international education, digital infrastructure and digital economy, rule of law and sustainable institutions , environment and climate, public engagement and democracy.
The EU allocates considerable financial assistance in support of the reforms ongoing in Georgia.
Talks on financial assistance between Georgia and the EU will end tomorrow.
In 2014-2020 financial assistance of the EU for Georgia amounted to €750 million.
The Administration of the MFA Georgia