GLOBALink | Made-in-China new energy buses race towards overseas markets
China's leading bus maker Golden Dragon will ship 94 new energy buses from Xiamen in east China's Fujian Province to Norway and Denmark. Many Chinese automakers like Golden Dragon are accelerating their pace in exploring more overseas markets. #GLOBALink
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Charles Michel meets Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili
President of the European Council Charles Michel met today with Georgian President Salome Zarubishvili in Brussels.
“Reaffirmed EU’s commitment to Georgia’s European path to President Zourabichvili and welcomed her role in advancing Georgia’s people aspirations,” Charles Michel wrote on Twitter.
He added that the decision of the European Council to grant a European perspective to Georgia is “a historic opportunity not to be missed”.
“Progress on reforms remains crucial,” said Charles Michel.
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Berlin’s large-scale tourism exhibition, ITB Berlin 2023 is officially closed
Berlin’s large-scale tourism exhibition, ITB Berlin 2023 is officially closed. Georgia, as the official host country of the exhibition, provided detailed information about the potential of the country’s tourism sector, traditions, hospitality and other attractions to the representatives of over 180 states and up to 200,000 visitors. Georgia’s slogan at the exhibition was “Infinite Hospitality. About 5000 media representatives from different countries of the world covered the exhibition.
“We had an exceptionally interesting and comprehensive pavilion at the Berlin exhibition. We introduced our guests to Georgia with its unique cultural heritage, natural monuments, distinctive folklore, delicious cuisine and 8000-year continuous history of winemaking, due to which the world rightly calls our country the cradle of wine. At the same time, we can be proud of modern achievements – sustainably developing resorts. We are actively working to make Georgia a well-developed four-season tourist country, which is why investments are made in various directions. Among them, the development of new, attractive tourist places, balneological resorts, cable cars and other infrastructure, competitive services is taking place,” – Deputy Minister stated.
Mariam Kvrivishvili noted that Georgia’s participation as a host country at ITB Berlin 2023 will significantly increase the number of international travellers to Georgia and will successfully take the country to new target markets, including Germany and other EU countries. Kvrivishvili also emphasized the growth dynamics of the civil aviation sector of Georgia. “We are actively working to bring more new airlines to the local aviation market, and existing carriers to increase destinations and flight frequencies. This is especially relevant for European destinations so that more European tourists can travel to Georgia,” – Deputy Minister commented.
At ITB Berlin 2023, Georgian pavilion was set over an area of 1000 square meters, where 80 Georgian companies were represented. Along with the National Tourism Administration of Georgia, the Tbilisi City Hall, Adjara Tourism and Resorts Department, tourist associations, destination management organizations and the Union of Georgian Airport also participated in the exhibition.
Georgian draft law on de-oligarchisation: Supporting the goal of limiting excessive influence of oligarchs, Venice Commission calls for systemic reforms
Strasbourg, 14.03.2023 – In its interim opinion on the draft law of Georgia on de-oligarchisation published today, the Council of Europe’s body of constitutional experts, the Venice Commission, called on the Georgian authorities to adopt systemic reforms rather than targeting specific individuals, in order to achieve “de-oligarchisation”.
“Oligarchisation” is the result of a combination of non-transparent exercise of political power without a political mandate, influence on parliaments, governments, political parties, judiciary and law enforcement bodies; ownership or influence on the media; decisive, if not monopolistic, influence on a number of areas, such as energy, mining, oil and gas, metallurgy, real estate. Eliminating such excessive influence of vested interests in economic, political and public life is a novel and very complex issue.
The Venice Commission noted that while Ukraine was the first country to adopt specific de-oligarchisation legislation, the commitment to eliminate the excessive influence of vested interests in economic, political and public life was also the object of a specific European Commission recommendation to Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. Georgia has since prepared a draft law which is very closely modelled on Ukrainian Law. Each country, however, presents specificities.
The Venice Commission supported the goal of eliminating or at least limiting the influence of oligarchs in political, economic and public life. It highlighted, however, that the choice of the means to achieve such a legitimate goal is of decisive importance if the system is to be effective while respecting democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. Any such measures should be commensurate to the goal pursued of achieving a level playing field for all actors in society.
The Commission stressed that de-oligarchisation should be ensured through a systemic approach, which has a preventative effect and targets numerous fields, such as legislation relating to media, anti-monopoly, political parties, elections, taxation, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering, etc.
The Georgian draft law instead focuses on a so-called “personal” (punitive) approach, seeking to identify so-called “oligarchs” through specific criteria, such as wealth and media ownership, to publicly label them as “oligarchs” and to subject them to series of blanket limitations that include exclusion from the financing of political parties or activities, exclusion from privatisations of public property, etc. This approach, in the opinion of the Venice Commission, carries high risks of human rights violations and arbitrary application, potentially harming political pluralism. At the very least, the Commission recommended transferring the power to designate a person as an “oligarch” to another body than the Government, removing the broad discretion of the Government in interpreting and applying these criteria and providing strong guarantees for human rights, due process and effective remedies.
The Venice Commission has prepared the current opinion as an interim one, with a view of pursuing its analysis of possible solutions to this matter and taking into account further legislative developments when they are available.