Meeting of the 3rd thematic group of the Georgia-EU Association Subcommittee on Economic Cooperation
On 13 October, the 3rd thematic group (Energy, Environment, Climate, Transport and Civil Protection) of the Georgia-EU Association Subcommittee on Economic and Sectoral Cooperation convened its 7th Session - chaired from the Georgian side by Davit Bujiashvili, Director of the EU Assistance Coordination and Sectoral Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from the EU side – by Dorota Dlouchy-Suliga, Deputy Head of Division, EaP Bilateral relations, EEAS.
The sides discussed the progress in implementing the obligations in the fields of transport, energy, environment, climate and civil protection undertaken by Georgia under the Association Agreement.
Representatives of the relevant EU institutions praised the reforms carried out by the Government of Georgia in the aforesaid areas, both in terms of legislative and institutional rapprochement.
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.
European Solidarity Corps: over €138 million to support volunteering activities by young people in 2022
The European Commission launched the call for proposals under the European Solidarity Corps for 2022, providing for the first time opportunities to contribute to humanitarian aid operations across the globe. This new strand of international projects is called the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.
The call makes available almost €139 million to fund volunteering, youth-led solidarity projects, teams in high priority areas focussing on promoting healthy lifestyles and the preservation of cultural heritage, and the new European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.
The European Solidarity Corps is open to young people between 18 and 30 for solidarity activities addressing societal challenges and between 18 and 35 for international humanitarian aid activities. Young people wishing to engage in European Solidarity Corps activities need to register in the European Solidarity Corps portal where they can browse and find organisations implementing projects. Groups of young people registered in the European Solidarity Corps Portal may also apply for funding for solidarity projects led by themselves.
Any public or private body may apply for funding to carry out activities under the European Solidarity Corps. Such organisations need to obtain a quality label, which certifies that they are able to carry out high quality solidarity activities in compliance with the principles, objectives and requirements of the programme. They can apply with the help of European Solidarity Corps National Agencies based in all EU Member States and third countries associated to the programme or of the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) for centralised actions.
The call is open until 23 February for projects taking place the same year, and until 4 October for the ones in the following year.
The European Solidarity Corps is an EU programme for young people wishing to engage in solidarity activities in a variety of areas ranging from helping disadvantaged people to contributing to health and environmental action, across the EU and beyond. The total budget of the European Solidarity Corps programme for 2021-2027 is €1 billion.
The material is prepared within the project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"
THE HEAD OF TURKMENISTAN DEFINED THE PRIORITIES FOR EFFECTIVE INTERACTION AT THE INTERNATIONAL FORUM IN SEOUL
Today, on November 18, during his video address to the participants of the International Forum for Northern Economic Cooperation, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov underlined the need of further expansion of mutually beneficial dialogue in promising areas of interest.
The Head of Turkmenistan also drew participants’ attention to the most relevant issues of regional agenda and prospects of the development of mutually beneficial partnership in Eurasia. Turkmen-Korean relationship performance in bilateral and multilateral formats was underlined.
Development of effective trade-economic, energy ties, transport-transit corridors became another theme for the discussions.
In his speech the President of Turkmenistan, having noted the significance of the development of cooperation in the sphere of health protection, “green growth”, food security, emphasized the need for activation of a joint work with authoritative international and regional structures.
He also noted great prospects for multilateral activities in the sphere of humanitarian interaction. “The year of 2021 declared by the UN General Assembly on Turkmenistan’s initiative as the Year of Peace and Trust, is coming to an end. This initiative was based on the desire to attract attention of the world community to the need of strengthening of the peace culture and respectful dialogue, eliminating the trust deficit in interstate relations”, said the President of Turkmenistan.
Expanding human contacts through historical, cultural and educational ties, which were also identified as a priority of the Republic of Korea’s New Northern Economic Policy, is put forward as a solution to a common problem.
Team Europe: EU, France and the Czech Republic launch Project on Social Protection in Georgia
The European Union, France and the Czech Republic join forces to strengthen social protection system in Georgia. Signature event allowed the signing parties to start the project and show their common engagement in improving access to social protection and the extension of social rights and coverage of the Georgian population.
Tbilisi, 10 November 2021 – Today, a signature event took place at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Georgia to mark the beginning of the EU-project, implemented by Expertise France (Agence Française de Développement Group − AFD Group) and the Czech Development Agency (CzDA), with the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia (MoIDPHLSP).
Their Excellencies, Mr. Petr Mikyska, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia and Mr. Diego Colas, Ambassador of France to Georgia, and Mr. Catalin Gherman, Deputy Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation attended the signature event. Ms. Tamila Barkalaia, Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia presented her ministry’s perspective, followed by with a short presentation of the project.
“Social protection goes back to the core values of the European Union. In a democracy, it is all of our responsibility to take care of the most vulnerable members of society to make sure that everyone can be part of social life and the democratic process. This is especially relevant in times of COVID-19, where many people need additional support and protection. We are, therefore, proud to launch this new project together with our Team Europe partners and look forward to many positive steps over the coming years”, stated Mr. Gherman, Deputy Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.
Mr. Colas, Ambassador of France to Georgia, stated that “there is a global alliance between the French and Czech Development Agencies and I am very happy that this finds an application here in Georgia. We strongly support the choice of the Georgian people and of successive governments to build a strong, dynamic, European democracy in Georgia and it makes sense to do this with another dynamic successful Eastern European democracy such as the Czech Republic. The implementation of this joint project, to strengthen the delivery of social services and work towards the social code, will be a key aspect of this broader democracy and institution building agenda”,.
“Development of the Social Code is a key reform that will direct Georgia towards establishment of effective social welfare management system, including decentralization of provision of social protection. Czech Development Agency is happy to join the forces with Expertise France and move a long-term successful partnership with the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia to a new level.”, said Mr. Mikyska, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia.
“By elaborating the Social Code, we aim at creating broader perspective of social welfare. Our goal is to guarantee that Georgian citizens are protected from social risks from childhood to old age. Therefore, relevant healthcare and social protection systems and mechanisms need to be developed. This will be a big step forward towards European and international Standards“, stated Ms. Barkalaia, Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs.
About the project
The project Strengthening Social Protection in Georgia aims at supporting the Government of Georgia and state organizations in improving social services, evidence-based policy making and extending social protection rights. The project will last 24 months with implementing partners Expertise France and Czech Development Agency.
The project will focus on three components. The first component will improve access and delivery of social services and remittances from Social Service Agency (SSA) and at local level. The second component of the project will support better analysis of information and the creation of communication materials around social rights and promotion of social work. The third component will support the Ministry in the elaboration of the social code in extending social rights in Georgia through a collaborative and inclusive process, following evidence-based policy and legislation proposals.
The project is now officially launched and is in its inception phase. The first action of the project will be to identify key policies and strategies for improving delivery and access to social protection services in Georgia.
Two years, 1,200 beneficiaries, and counting: Kvareli EuroClub marks second anniversary
The Kvareli EuroClub in Georgia marks its two-year anniversary today, with a special event attended by EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell, as well as the Ambassadors of the Netherlands, Austria, France, Turkey and Norway, and the Attaché of the Spanish Embassy in Georgia.
The Kvareli EuroClub was founded by Young European Ambassador Nika Gurini in November 2019, with the support of the EU NEIGHBOURS east regional communication programme. In the two years since then, more than 1,200 young people have benefited from the different projects and activities organised by the EuroClub.
The main mission of the EuroClub is to promote education and development among the general population and young people in particular, to raise civic awareness and to provide access to non-formal education and to spread European values.
As part of the activities organised by the EuroClub, local people have been able to take advantage of free English language courses, vocational training courses, and open libraries, among others.
In the long term, the EuroClub aims to expand and further develop its activities, reaching more people across the region and other parts of Georgia.
To take part and find out more about ongoing and upcoming activities, check out the document below or visit the Kvareli EuroClub Facebook page.