According to the Minister, the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023 is an outstanding result of constructive cooperation between the Council of Europe and Georgia and includes projects to be carried out during the next four years by the Georgian Government jointly with the CoE. The Action Plan serves to assist the Georgian Government in carrying out reforms in the areas of human rights, rule of law and democracy.
Zalkaliani expressed his satisfaction at the fact that the concrete projects that have been implemented under the previous two Action Plans have been appraised as highly successful and they have already yielded tangible results. During the ongoing AP 2016-2019 significant progress has been achieved with regard to capacity building of national institutions concerning the protection of human rights, judiciary, fight against money laundering, penitentiary reform and elections. Ratification of Istanbul convention and in general, promotion of gender equality and combating violence against women is also one of the outstanding results of constructive cooperation with the Council of Europe in the framework of previous Action Plan 2016-2019. According to Zalkaliani, Georgia clearly demonstrated its adherence to European values. He emphasized that Georgia-CoE cooperation helps Georgia firmly establish itself as a law-based country.
The Minister thanked the European Union, Council of Europe and member states for the generous financial contributions endowed to the Action Plan 2016-2019. In the words of Zalkaliani, Georgia will continue broadly-based reforms taking into consideration reports and recommendations of different monitoring bodies of Council of Europe. According to him, the overarching priority theme remains the same: assisting Georgia to further refine legislative framework, institutional setup and deliver practical benefits to the citizens.
The Minister, however, added that the government’s tireless efforts to expand these benefits to the whole territory of Georgia is still deterred by the Russian Federation. In these circumstances, the engagement of the Council of Europe through the Confidence Building Measures between the war-torn communities is utterly important.
On 11 November 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the launching of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023. The Action Plan was presented by Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić who arrived in Tbilisi on 11 November.
With a total budget of €17.5 million, this four-year Action Plan will build on the achievements of the previous one. It will strengthen democratic security in Georgia by developing and effectively implementing policies and legislation in a number of areas where the Council of Europe provides added value: ensuring the harmonised application of European human rights standards; strengthening local democracy, human rights and the rule of law; enhancing social rights protection; supporting criminal justice and penitentiary system reforms, etc.
Priorities of Chairmanship to be assumed by Georgia at the Council of Europe were among the key topics of discussion by and between Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia and Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe today.
It was noted that priorities of Georgia are based on democracy, human rights and rule of law in the capacity of the next Chairman of the Council of Europe.
Meeting held at the Government Administration included discussion of topics related to bilateral cooperation between Georgia and Council of Europe, along with the Action Plan for 2020-2023, which covers projects implemented by Georgia together with the Council of Europe in the referred years.
As Prime Minister’s Press Office stated, the focus was made on the significantly positive role of the Action Plans existed so far in the process of democratic reforms implemented in the country. Parties expressed hope that the future programs will have specific, tangible results as well.
Discussions held at the meeting were related to the current condition observed at the occupied territories and along the occupation line. Process related to the referred issue within the Council of Europe was also reviewed. Prime Minister of Georgia expressed gratitude to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe for the solid support of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.
Georgia will take over the chairmanship of Council of Europe’s (CoE) Committee of Ministers for a six-month term starting November 27. The Secretary General of the CoE Marija Pejčinović Burić has arrived in Georgia in connection with Georgia’s upcoming chairmanship.
Presentation of the coin issued in connection with the 70th anniversary of the CoE and the 20th jubilee of Georgia’s CoE membership as well as the action plan of Georgia in the Council of Europe for 2020-2023 will be held within the framework of the visit.
The plan was prepared with active cooperation of the Georgian side and aims at bringing human rights protection, democracy and supremacy of law in line with the European standards.
This is the first time when Georgia heads Council of Europe Committee of Ministers.
The chairmanship will be passed from France to Georgia in Strasbourg.