EU Spokesperson: “The latest developments in relations between the Russian Federation and Georgia risk having a negative impact on the citizens of both countries”
On 3 July, the EU Spokesperson issued a statement in response to the latest developments in relations between the Russian Federation and Georgia.
“The latest developments in relations between the Russian Federation and Georgia risk having a negative impact on the citizens of both countries,” said the Spokesperson. “We consider the Russian decision to ban flights to Georgia as of 8 July unjustified and disproportionate.”
The spokesperson added that the restrictions imposed on the two crossing points at the Abkhaz Administrative Boundary Line as of 27 June severely affect freedom of movement and cause further difficulties for the population affected by the conflict. “They need to be lifted to avoid further humanitarian hardship,” she added. “The round of the Geneva International Discussions that started today should be used effectively to lower tensions and to alleviate the situation of the affected population.”
In conclusion, the EU spokesperson underlined that the EU's commitment to peaceful conflict resolution in Georgia “remains as strong as ever”.
“The European Union reiterates its firm support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders,” the statement concluded.
On 21 June, the EU Delegation to Georgia and the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi made a statement following recent developments in the country.
“We are following very closely events at the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi this evening,” the statement said. “We recognise the hurt that many people feel today.”
“We urge all sides to remain calm, show restraint and act within the framework of the Constitution at all times,” concluded the statement.
The European Union has announced the winner of the EU Sustainable Energy Award for the Eastern partnership at the Awards Ceremony in Brussels on 18 June. The winner of the first edition of the Award is the energy efficient Shilda winery from Georgia.
Founded in 2014, the Shilda winery is located in Kakheti – the principal region of viniculture in Georgia. By participating in the Caucasus Energy Efficient Program (Energocredit Georgia), supported by the European Union and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the company started using an energy efficient eco-friendly wine production process making it the first environmentally friendly wine producer in the region. Nowadays the winery consumes 60% less energy and saves more than €60,000 annually on its energy bills.
The first edition of EU Sustainable Energy Award for EaP received more than 50 entries from 6 countries covering an impressive range of creative high-impact solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy use for the benefit of communities and business. The jury selected 6 finalists among which: Biomass Heating Solutions for Rural Development (Armenia), Development of Renewable Energy Sources in Novogrudok District (Belarus), Biomass and energy efficiency at Prichindel kindergarten in Busila (the Republic of Moldova), Georgian Vine and Wine Company LTD - Shilda Winery (Georgia), Reducing Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions in Dolyna (Ukraine), Higher Engineering Training for Environmentally Sustainable Industrial Development (Ukraine).
The selected 6 finalists participated in a public vote that was held online over the course of two weeks from 28 April – 9 May 2019. All the votes have been counted and verified. The valid votes were combined with the votes of the jury to determine the final winner.
The EU Sustainable Energy Award for Eastern Partnership Countries is part of EU Sustainable Energy Week 2019 (EUSEW) and was, for the first time, extended to the 6 Eastern Partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine). The award recognises inspiring EU-supported energy efficient and renewable energy projects that directly help citizens and communities save energy or switch to sustainable sources.
For more information: http://bit.ly/2KYV25C
The EU4Energy Initiative covers all EU support to improve energy supply, security and connectivity, as well as to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewables in the Eastern Partner countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. It does this by financing projects and programmes that help to reform energy markets and to reduce national energy dependence and consumption. Over the longer term, this makes energy supply more reliable, transparent and affordable, thus reducing energy poverty and energy bills for both citizens and the private sector.
More information on: www.EU4Energy.eu
EU’s largest agriculture and rural development programme in Georgia discusses youth migration and addressing climate change
On 10 June, stakeholders and implementing partners of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) in Georgia gathered to discuss the establishment of a network of demonstration plots and a working group on climate smart agriculture.
The meeting aimed to share updates with the EU-supported agricultural and rural development projects on youth migration in rural areas of the country and the challenges that agriculture faces due to climate change.
The ENPARD partners discussed the prevention of youth migration to cities in Georgia and agreed to dedicate more efforts to fight against youth migration. They also agreed on the need to intensify the work on climate-smart agriculture at different levels as a means to reduce the impact of climate change in Georgia.
The EU supports rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of €179.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty.
In May, the EU announced a pledge of €4.5 million for Georgia which will be used to support private sector development, boost the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and enhance productivity and financial inclusion.
This work will be carried out through the EU’s Financial Inclusion and Accountability project, which started in 2019 and will be implemented by the World Bank until 2022. The project is designed to support ambitious second-generation reforms implemented by the authorities of the country.
The project will be implemented in close cooperation with the National Bank of Georgia, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Finance, Insurance State Supervision Service of Georgia, State Service for Accounting, Reporting and Auditing Supervision, and other private and public stakeholders.
The project is part of the World Bank Group’s support to Georgia under the Country Partnership Framework for 2019–2022 and the EU’s Single Support Framework 2017–2020 for Georgia.
On 11 June, Chief Veterinary Officers and experts from the Republic of Moldova and Georgia will join their counterparts from some of the EU’s other Neighbourhood countries at a seminar in Bucharest, Romania, to discuss animal welfare during transportation by sea.
This multi-country workshop aims to identify good practices and facilitate exchanges of experience between experts in the field of animal welfare during transportation by sea of live animals from the EU to third countries.
The workshop is being organised by the European Commission’s Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument (TAIEX), in cooperation with the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority in Romania.
According to TAIEX, the communication of standards on animal welfare during transportation are relevant to international trade and cooperation with partners across the world, who play a significant role in promoting and implementing them. Such standards are included in the provisions of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
In 2004, the EU adopted a regulation through which harmonised rules were set for animal welfare during transport in and between the Member States. Moreover, in 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that, for the transportation of animals involving a long journey starting from EU territory and continuing outside of it, the organiser of the transport from the EU is responsible for the welfare of animals for the entire journey, up to the final point in the third country.
590 loans to small and medium-sized enterprises in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to support over 20,000 jobsWednesday, 29 May 2019 10:55
As part of the European Investment Bank’s Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Initiative East Guarantee Facility, which benefits from financial support from the EU4Business initiative, 590 loans have been issued in Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The loans amount to €92 million.
According to the first newsletter on the impact of the Guarantee Facility until December 2018, almost two-thirds (64%) of the loans issued had been in local currency, and the average financing for each small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) was €215,000. According to EU4Business, a total of 21,700 jobs have been supported as a result of the loans.
The portfolio showed a strong focus on manufacturing, agriculture and trade, with 39% of loans going to manufacturing, 32% to SMEs in wholesale and trade, and 17% to agriculture, forestry and fishing.
Over half (56%) of loans were to medium-sized enterprises, a third (34%) to small businesses, and 10% to micro-enterprises; 62% of the finance covered working capital needs and 33% was for tangible assets.
The DCFTA Initiative East aims to strengthen economic development in the countries which have signed an association agreement with the EU – namely Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – by providing targeted financial and technical support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in these three countries.
The famous Georgian writer, blogger and advertising copywriter Beqa Adamashvili has become a winner of the EU Prize for Literature. The prize recognises outstanding new and emerging literary talents across Europe.
Adamashvili graduated from Caucasus University’s Faculty of Journalism and Social Science and made his literary debut in 2009 with short stories published on electronic platforms. In 2014, Adamashvili released his debut novel “Bestseller”, which eventually went on to become a local bestseller.
Critics claim that Adamashvili is one of the most creative-minded writers of contemporary Georgian literature. Alongside his writing, he works as creative director for an advertising company.
The European Union Prize for Literature aims to put a spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe's contemporary literature in the field of fiction, to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and to encourage greater interest in non-national literary works. The prize is funded by the European Commission under its Creative Europe programme.
So far, the EU Prize for Literature has rewarded 108 authors from 41 countries during its decade of existence. Last year, the EU Prize for Literature celebrated its 10th Anniversary with the ‘European stories’ short story contest, open to all previous laureates. Entering its new cycle, the Prize is introducing its first ever laureates from Georgia and Ukraine.
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Looking into how waste management can be improved in Georgia was the focus of a public forum organised with EU support in the country’s capital of Tbilisi on 5 May.
Entitled “Talking Environment”, the event brought together over 400 participants representing all parts of society to engage in discussions on waste management-related issues in Georgia.
The public forum also became a platform to review challenges induced by improper waste management in Georgia, as well as achievements and reforms carried out so far in the country.
The event was organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, the Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia, the Tbilisi City Hall and the organisation “Georgia’s Environmental Outlook – GEO”.
The event was initiated in view of recent findings of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which found that environmental pollution tops the list of the most important local issues for residents of Tbilisi. In particular, Georgian citizens are most concerned about air pollution (57%), food safety (44%) and the presence of hazardous materials and toxins in products (40%).
The EU is launching three new projects in the sectors of environmental protection and climate change in Georgia. The projects come in addition to the numerous actions already supported by the EU in Georgia and focus on issues such as the rehabilitation of water supply and sanitation systems, construction of modern landfills, the fight against industrial pollution, protection of forests, and health.
The launch of these three environmental projects is testament to the EU's leading role in the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change.
These new initiatives will help Georgia fulfil its international commitments in the sectors of the environment and climate change and will help to better protect the environment and the health of citizens.
On 22 April, Georgia joined the new EU-funded regional initiative “EU4Climate”. This new project is bringing together Georgia and other countries of the Eastern Partnership to tackle climate change. It will help Georgia lower its greenhouse gas emissions and fulfil its commitments under the Paris Agreement. It will also help mitigate climate change and limit its negative impacts on the environment and people’s lives.
On 24 April, another new regional EU-funded action, “EU4Environment”, was then presented in the country’s capital of Tbilisi. The project will help Georgia and other countries in the Eastern Neighbourhood preserve natural capital and increase environmental well-being by supporting environment-related action, unlocking opportunities for greener growth and setting mechanisms to better manage environmental risks and impacts.
The country will further benefit from another EU project entitled “Support to implementation of the environmental provisions of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement”. This new project will help Georgia implement environmental commitments included in the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and will help better protect Georgian nature, decrease pollution and improve air quality.
The European Union is working together with Georgian authorities to improve the environment and tackle the issue of climate change – both at national and local levels.