Giorgi Kvirikashvili will visit Azerbaijan

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 12:15

The Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili will visit the Republic of Azerbaijan. According to the Governmental Administration, within the frames of the official visit, the Prime Minister will meet the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. The official dinner is planned after the meeting.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili will discuss some important issues with his Azerbaijan counterpart, Artur Rasizades. 

Meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 30 August 2016 10:18

In the coming days the Prime Minister of Georgia will pay an official visit to Azerbaijan, - respective statement was made during the meeting of Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov.
The participants of the meeting discussed strategic partnership between the countries. Conversation also touched upon prospects of deepening relations in the areas of politics, culture, trade and economy as well as energy sector.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Elmar Mammadyarov discussed largescale energy projects of regional importance that are jointly implemented by Georgia and Azerbaijan and emphasized their importance in terms of economic development and energy security.
It was outlined that Georgia and Azerbaijan are the key locations in terms of transport communications between the East and the West. Particular attention was paid to the large cooperation potential in transportation industry.
Positive dynamics in the tourism industry in terms of increasing inflow of tourists from Azerbaijan was highlighted.
Conversation also touched upon regional security issues.
The meeting at the Administration of the Government was attended by the Vice Prime Minister of Georgia Kakha Kaladze and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze.

TAIEX to help EN Countries deal with tax evasion

Published in Politics
Thursday, 28 July 2016 11:25
Tax fraud as a criminal offence will be discussed by experts from Austria, Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova and Russia in the Belarusian capital Minsk this week. The two-day workshop is organised by the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument of the European Commission (TAIEX) in cooperation with the Department of Financial Investigations of the State Control Committee of Belarus.
The event aims to help improve Belarusian legislation concerning the activities of financial investigations bodies against tax fraud and evasion in the country. International experts will advise on how to improve the implementation of the legislation on the activities of FIBs against organised crime connected with the tax fraud. The participants will also discuss new schemes and innovative approaches such as horizontal monitoring.
TAIEX is a demand-driven tool that supports partner countries with the approximation of national laws, regulations and quality standards to those of EU Member States in the framework of Cooperation or Association agreements signed with the EU. In the Eastern Neighbourhood, TAIEX works with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

EU and CoE enhance capacity of judges and legal professionals in Azerbaijan

Published in Society
Thursday, 28 July 2016 11:10
Freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association were the focus of two training sessions for lawyers and judges held in the Azerbaijani capital Baku last week. The event gathered 32 members of the country’s Collegium of Advocates and 21 judges from first instance courts in Baku and outside to enhance their knowledge on Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the relevant case law of the European Court of Human Rights.
The event was organised by two projects that fall under the Programmatic Co-operation Framework for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe (EU/CoE PCF).
The joint EU/CoE PCF aims to provide extensive and substantial expertise on strengthening the capacity of institutions in the six Eastern Partnership countries to implement domestic reforms and bring them closer to Council of Europe and European Union standards in the fields of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and improve the lives of citizens. The EU’s contribution to the PCF is EUR 30 million.

Public service media in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan – the current situation

Published in Society
Monday, 25 July 2016 13:57

European Audiovisual Observatory publishes a new free report on PSM in the Transcaucasian countries

Strasbourg, 25.07.2016 – It’s twenty five years since Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan – the Transcaucasian countries – came out from under Soviet rule and were able to develop their own independent public media. But twenty five years on, how are they dealing with the challenges of maintaining a credible system of public service media? The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, has just relased a unique new report free to download here entitled Public service media in Transcaucasian countries.

This new IRIS Extra report is authored by Ekaterina Abashina, a researcher at Lomonosov Moscow State University. She opens by analysing the evolution of the public service broadcasting concept in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Public service companies were first established in this region in the early 2000s, replacing the Soviet model state-run broadcasters.

Moving on to look at the governance of public service broadcasting, Abashina makes a useful comparison of the three systems. Common elements emerge from her analysis such as a declaration of commitment to public service broadcasting values through their stipulation in the relevant legal framework; the application of state funding, detailed regulation of appointment procedures of governing bodies and general content requirements (though these are formulated more as guidance principles).

The following chapter focuses on programming policies in these three countries. In the cases of Armenia and Azerbaijan their respective Boards are entitled to approve programming schedules and programme structures but they do not communicate these to the public and do not announce or present them in any way. The Georgian PSB Board issues quite a detailed and annually updated programming concept (“Programming Priorities”) – made available on the website of the broadcaster every year; the “Programming Priorities” of the Georgian PSB are indeed purely advisory in nature.

It is clear that the creation of PSB companies in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan was fostered by their joining the Council of Europe (CoE). The author focuses her penultimate chapter on the role of international organisations such as the CoE and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (OSCE RFOM). Their membership of the CoE has imposed upon these countries the adoption of or amendments to existing national broadcasting laws to incorporate the CoE principles on PSB. In addition, regular evaluative CoE reports are written about the media in all of their member states; although these rather play an interpretative and explanatory role for the regulation and operation of public broadcasting. For its part, the OSCE RFOM has designed specific recommendations for the development of PSB in this region and on the creation of an inter-regional platform for the exchange of ideas and experience on PSB practice within the region.

Abashina concludes that PSB in these countries has suffered from “common weak spots” such as “the lack of safeguards for the independence of PSB companies from political interests due to loopholes in appointment mechanisms for the governing bodies […]; unstable funding sources; lack of specific legal programming requirements; and absence of effective mechanisms of interaction with its audiences and audience research.” She does however underline the role of international organisations like the CoE and the OSCE who, while they cannot directly influence PSB systems, “are active and consistent promoters of PSB values and best practice in the Transcaucasian region.”

A unique analysis of the current legal structures and governance of PSM in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Pope Francis will visit Georgia and Azerbaijan

Published in Society
Friday, 01 July 2016 16:35

Pope Francis will visit Georgia and Azerbaijan. According to the western media, this statement was made by the Pope today at St. Peter’s Square.  
He will visit to the countries from September 30 to October 2.
"In three months I will travel to Georgia and Azerbaijan. I decided to visit the countries of the Caucasus region in order to emphasize their ancient Christian roots and raise hope and peace ", - said the Pope.

EU looks at criminal justice responses to prison overcrowding in EaP region

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 14 June 2016 14:53
Ways of preventing prison overcrowding in Eastern Partnership countries will be the focus of the regional workshop for officials from the Justice Ministries of Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine, and the Corrections Ministry of Georgia, in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv between 22 and 23 June. The participants will look at criminal justice responses to prison overcrowding in the region, as well as discuss draft strategies on implementation of country specific recommendations in this area.
The event is organised in the framework of a program on promoting penitentiary reforms, implemented within the joint EU/CoE Programmatic Cooperation Framework (PCF) for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.
The joint EU/CoE PCF aims to provide extensive and substantial expertise on strengthening the capacity of institutions in the six Eastern Partnership countries to implement domestic reforms and bring them closer to Council of Europe and European Union standards in the fields of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and improve the lives of citizens. The EU’s contribution to the PCF is EUR 30 million

Kakha Kaladze to visit Azerbaijan

Published in Economics
Monday, 22 February 2016 16:18

The Vice-Prime Minister Kakha Kaladze will visit Azerbaijan in February, 29. According to him, he will have meetings with Socar representatives and the leadership of the consortium.
"I have been actively working to be possible additional spacing in Shah Deniz pipeline. We feel very optimistic and I think that the agreement will be achieved,”-Kaladze said. 

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