EU4Business: EBRD holds competitive consulting conference in Tbilisi

Published in Economics
Friday, 21 October 2016 14:56

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with EU funding under the EU4Business Initiative is organising an international conference of consulting professionals in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on 3-4 November 2016. ‘Competitive Consulting 2016’ will bring together consultants from a wide range of markets, as well as a number of international consulting firms interested in engaging with local partners.
This event will help consultants to build their competences, exposure and network so that they can provide high quality services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).
The conference will feature plenary sessions from leaders in the consulting industry and the business world. They will explore global trends in the sector and the new challenges in the industry and the region. The event will include detailed breakout sessions examining new techniques, models and approaches for agile consulting, combining experience with innovation. (EU Neighbours East Info).

Armenia-Georgia cross-border cooperation – focus of conference in Tbilisi

Published in Economics
Friday, 22 July 2016 19:03

The central and regional authorities of Armenia and Georgia, non-governmental organisations, expert, media and business circles of both countries gathered for a conference in the Georgian capital Tbilisi today to discuss the promotion of cross-border territorial cooperation and economic potential of the Kvemo Kartli region in Georgia and Tavush region in Armenia. The event is organised by the EU-funded Cross-Border Economic Development (CED) project implemented in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Territorial Cooperation Programme (EaPTC).

The Project “Cross-Border Economic Development” is aimed at improving the living conditions of the bordering communities in the Kvemo Kartli and Tavush regions and strengthening their cross-border potential, primarily in the field of agriculture. Also, the project is about to publish “Guidelines for starting business in Armenia and Georgia” in order to provide assistance for potential business partners in the neighbouring regions in such areasas registration, taxation and licenses, among others.

The EaPTC Programme aims to promote and strengthen cross-border cooperation between regional and local state authorities, communities and civil society organisations in the development of joint solutions to common social and economic development challenges in the participating border regions. (EU Neighbourhood Info).

Small Farmers Meet High-Ranking EU Officials

Published in Economics
Saturday, 16 July 2016 21:37

BATUMI. 16 July 2016 – EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn visited Georgia on 14 July to speak at “Georgia's European Way” conference in Batumi.

After the conference, Commissioner Hahn visited a number of agriculture projects in Ajara Autonomous Republic funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The EU official was accompanied by EU Ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman, United Nations Resident Coordinator Niels Scott and Minister of Agriculture of Georgia Otar Danelia.

Commissioner Hahn visited the agricultural cooperative “Lurja 2015” which produces berries in Ochkhamuri village in Kobuleti. The founder and several members of the cooperative are visually impaired. Commissioner Hahn handed over two laptop computers with speech recognition software specially designed for visually impaired persons.

Commissioner Johannes Hahn also visited the Kobuleti branch of the Ajara Agroservice Canter to learn about services for farmers that help promote agriculture and rural development in Ajara.

Meetings of high-ranking EU officials with small farmers continued on 16 July, when Deputy Director General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Katarina Mathernova, accompanied by Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, Otar Danelia, and Deputy Head of UNDP in Georgia, Natia Natsvlishvili, visited a wine cellar “Satsuri” and honey producer “Naturgift” in Batumi.

Both cooperatives were established with assistance of the programme ENPARD funded by the European Union and implemented in Ajara AR by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Katarina Mathernova handed over to the cooperative "Naturgift" a modern honey production equipment worth GEL 60 thousand.

The visits to EU-funded agricultural cooperatives and the meetings with small farmers offered EU officials first-hand information about the challenges and achievements of local economies in Georgia and the role cooperation in boosting rural development.

The programme ENPARD is recognised as one of the most successful agriculture initiatives funded by the EU. Since 2013, the programme has supported Georgia’s agriculture and rural development with over EUR 102 million. In Ajara Autonomous Republic ENPARD is being implemented through cooperation with UNDP.

The first phase of the programme came to end in June 2016. The second phase will be launched shortly to continue through 2018.

Visa liberalization process continues at an accelerated pace-Mikheil Janelidze

Published in Politics
Friday, 15 July 2016 16:54

“The statements made by Commissioner Johannes Hahn were very encouraging; he has once again underlined the readiness of the EU to complete the visa liberalisation process speedily and successfully. Therefore, we hope that the process will be completed positively and visa-free travel will be granted to Georgia,” Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze said to the journalists at the Batumi International Conference.  
The Minister underlined that the visa liberalization process was the main issue of discussions held between Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. Mikheil Janelidze once again underlined that Georgia has fulfilled all the benchmarks for visa liberalization.
The Georgian Foreign Minister is taking part in the Batumi 13th International Conference “Georgia’s European Way”.  

Our vision is Europe and Georgia in Europe is our citizens’ mission – Giorgi Kvirikashvili

Published in Politics
Thursday, 14 July 2016 14:23

Batumi has become a platform for the high-level events - 13th international conference "Georgia's European Way - Stability, Development and Diversity" has opened today. 
Prime Minister of Georgia addressed the participants of the Conference. Pursuant to him, it is significant that 13th annual conference takes place in European city of Batumi - the crossroads of Greek, Roman, and Ottoman civilizations from ancient times
"Georgia is Europe" - this was the opening message of the Prime Minister's speech, who considers that Georgia's history is linked forever to Europe's.
"Of course, it is not enough simply to say it to make it happen. We understand this, which is why Georgians are dedicated to doing all that is required-and more-to become a full member of the European Union. I am certain you will agree that our progress is impressive. I am pleased to confirm that Georgia is making steady progress in implementing the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. The Agreement represents our roadmap for reforms in the economy, the environment, energy, industry, transport, consumer protection, and many other areas. We have already overhauled our legal and electoral systems aggressively. We have fulfilled all visa liberalization requirements, according to the European Commission and the European Parliament. Moreover, we met and applied many of the Agreement's provisions even before the agreement officially entered into force on July 1st,"- Prime Minister indicated. 
According to him, Georgia is deadly serious about Georgia becoming full member of the EU. He welcomed the European Council's decision two weeks ago to convene a special meeting in Slovakia in mid-September to review the future of European integration. 
"We urge EU members to understand that Georgia's commitment to Europe represents not a new problem for the EU to solve but a visible demonstration of everything right with the Union. Georgia does not mean more injury to the EU. Rather, it is a useful tourniquet to injury occurring elsewhere. It is hard for us to imagine a better advertisement for defending our unique European values than Georgia's passionate desire to share them wholly. 
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not the time for the EU to turn inward, to become consumed by injuries to our body while ignoring its vibrant healthy parts. We very much hope, therefore, that the process of admitting Georgia will be concluded at the earliest possible opportunity," - Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated. 
Head of the Government also elaborated on the NATO Warsaw Summit results. He outlined that Georgia's place is among NATO's most active members. He emphasized Georgia's contribution to the cause of strengthening international peace and noted that Georgia will spare no effort on its path to its Euro-Atlantic integration. 
Prime Minister highlighted Georgian reform agenda and importance of holding fair and free environment for the October elections. 
"This October Georgia is moving towards legislative elections, which the polls suggest will be highly contested. We have conducted successful free Presidential and local elections, and we will complete the circle with the legislative elections,"-Prime Minister stated.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili also elaborated on regional developments as well as Georgia's leading positions in region and situation in the occupied territories.
"These developments are particularly alarming in Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia - given the absence of any international monitoring on the ground. The EUMM is denied access to the occupied territories and thus cannot fulfill its mandate. We must, therefore, redouble our efforts to restore a comprehensive OSCE presence in Georgia," - Prime Minister stated.
Pursuant to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Georgia will continue our efforts to restore confidence, promote reconciliation and consolidate Georgian, Abkhazian and Ossetian, as well as other ethnic societies in one country.
He also presented his vision on future of Europe.
"This is kind of Europe we want to see: Europe that is open, tolerant and relevant to citizens; Europe that is self-confident and embraces technological change to promote economic growth; Europe without walls or barriers; Europe that can increasingly take care of its own security and be a provider of peace and stability in the world. In other words, we want to see united and free Europe," - Prime Minister stated.
State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration David Bakradze and Honorary President of GLOBSEC Policy Institute Rastislav Káčer. The opening ceremony was attended by European Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Speaker of Parliament of Georgia David Bakradze, as well as members of legislative and executive branches of government, representatives of private, civic and academic sectors of EU and its member states as well as Eastern Partnership countries.
The apparatus of the State Ministry on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration organizes the event. GLOBSEC Policy Institute is the partner of this year's conference.

Johannes Hahn hopes visa liberalization process will be completed in October

Published in Politics
Thursday, 14 July 2016 11:28

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn hopes that this process of visa liberalization will be completed in October. This statement was made by him today, at Hotel Hilton in Batumi, at 13th International Conference Georgia's European Way – Stability; Development; Diversity which was opened a few minutes ago.
"Georgia has complied with all the requirements that were necessary to get the visa free regime. This happened at the expense of the successful reforms the government of Georgia has implemented. I look forward to the day when the citizens of Georgia will be able to travel without visas in European Union. - said Johannes Hahn.

Johannes Hahn will visit Georgia

Published in Politics
Monday, 11 July 2016 18:36

European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn will visit Georgia in 14-15 July.
According to the agenda published on the official web-page of European Commission, in the frames of the visit he will meet President Margvelashvili and the representatives of the government. He will also take part in the 13th international conference “The European Way of Georgia,” in Batumi.
The conference will hold in 14-15 of July. 

South Caucasus conference remains an important forum for discussing media freedom challenges in the region, says OSCE Representative

Published in Society
Thursday, 07 July 2016 15:53

TBILISI, 7 July 2016 – Multi-faceted challenges to free media and the freedom of expression were the focus of a two-day discussion at the 13th OSCE South Caucasus Media Conference, organized by the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media that concluded today in Tbilisi, Georgia.

As in the past, the annual event brought together more than 80 media experts, civil society and government representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, along with experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom, to discuss issues affecting media freedom in the South Caucasus region.

In particular the participants exchanged views concerning the issues of safety and security of media workers online and offline; the influence of the Internet on the changing media landscape; and, content regulation in conflict-affected regions, including the legal implications and professional standards of journalists.

“Journalism continues to face numerous challenges today, including those related to safety and impunity, as well as the issues emanating from the regional conflicts,” said OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović. “At the same time, the new forms of media and reporting practices provide new opportunities for freedom of the media and free flow of information, and can be beneficial for building confidence among people.”

The participants also discussed the increased exploitation of the media for the spread of propaganda and underlined the need to develop effective tools to counter this phenomenon while preserving media pluralism and raising the professional and ethical standards of journalists.

At the end of the conference the participants adopted a set of recommendations addressed to the governments and the media community of the region, which will soon be available at www.osce.org/fom.

During her visit, Mijatović also met with the Chair of the Georgian Parliament David Usupashvili and Georgia’s Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze.

In her meetings the Representative again emphasized that Georgia has achieved substantial and widely recognized progress on free media and freedom of expression. She encouraged the authorities to preserve and enhance these exemplary achievements while noting the special importance of maintaining media pluralism and variety of voices in society ahead of parliamentary elections in October.

Mijatovic also positively noted the election of the remaining two members of the Public Service Broadcaster’s Supervisory Board in April 2016 which makes the broadcaster fully operational, a long-standing issue she has been raising with the authorities. However, the Representative stressed the need to continue supporting public broadcasting in the country, in order for citizens to fully benefit from a trusted source of objective and impartial information.

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.

Improving the profession of lawyer in Georgia

Published in Justice
Saturday, 18 June 2016 10:43

Conference on the Independent, Qualified and Ethical Exercise of the Profession of Lawyer

Ten European Bar Associations will meet in Tbilisi, Georgia on 20-21 June 2016 to discuss the role of Bar Associations, their best practices, professional duties, lawyers training and lawyers’ rights. Inspired by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation on the Freedom of exercise of the profession of lawyer, the meeting will create the opportunity to open the lines of legal understanding, cross-border dialogue and establish lasting professional relationships between Bar Associations from Council of Europe member States.

The Conference will have thematic working groups composed of the representatives from the different European Bar Associations, Georgian NGOs, professional entities and international organisations. Three international experts will facilitate an open exchange of ideas and will additionally provide an overview of updates in European standards and practices. As a result, lawyers’ profession will be analyzed in a practical paradigm, encouraging Bar Associations to reflect on the best approaches for their existing practices. A strengthened lawyers’ profession will in turn ensure the efficiency and the fair administration of justice for the citizens of Georgia.

This Conference is funded by the Council of Europe/EU Joint Project “Support to the Georgian Bar Association and the EU/UN Joint Project “Enhancing Access to Justice and Development of a Child-Friendly Justice System in Georgia”. 

International Conference for Independent, Qualified and Ethical Profession of Lawyer

Published in Justice
Friday, 17 June 2016 21:59

Over thirty representatives of the Georgian and international bar associations get together at a conference in Tbilisi on 20-21 June 2016 to discuss an independent, qualified and ethical exercise of the lawyer’s profession.

The Conference is organised by the Georgian Bar Association, with assistance from the Council of Europe (CoE), European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and in cooperation with the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.

President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili will open the event.

Zaza Khatiashvili, Georgian Bar Association Chair; Cristian Urse, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia; Shombi Sharp, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia; Stephen Stork, Deputy Head of Operations Section of the European Union Delegation to Georgia; and Irakli Burduli, Dean of Faculty of Law of Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, will address the Conference at an opening session.

The Conference participants will discuss common challenges faced by lawyers and examine best practices in different countries. At the end of the Conference on 21 June, they will present a joint working document that will be published as a reference and guidance for professional associations of lawyers. Improving the quality of the profession of lawyer will in turn ensure the efficiency and fair administration of justice for the citizens of countries concerned.

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