EU disburses another €1.5 billion in macro-financial assistance to UkraineWednesday, 22 March 2023 16:08
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced today that the European Union has disbursed another €1.5 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine.
“Our support helps keep Ukraine running, while defending itself,” wrote von der Leyen on Twitter. “And puts Ukraine firmly on its EU path by supporting reforms – good governance and financial stability, for example.”
On 17 January, the European Union disbursed the first €3 billion of the €18 billion of promised macro-financial assistance agreed in December 2022.
This emergency assistance aims to provide short-term financial relief, financing Ukraine’s immediate needs, rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and initial support towards sustainable post-war reconstruction, with a view to supporting Ukraine on its path towards European integration. The loans will have a 10-year grace period.
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Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili hosts dinner in honor of EU delegation members
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili hosted a formal dinner in honor of the EU delegation members currently visiting Georgia.
The official dinner honoring the diplomats was held at Mtatsminda. The Head of Government and the European diplomats discussed Georgia’s European integration in an informal setting.
The high-level regional ambassadorial of the EU is held periodically and represents an important forum for discussing the EU’s policy toward concrete countries.
Georgia: EU welcomes withdrawal of draft legislation on “foreign influence”
The EU Delegation to Georgia has welcomed today’s announcement by the Georgian ruling party ‘Georgian Dream” that it would withdraw the draft legislation on the “Transparency of foreign influence”.
“We encourage all political leaders in Georgia to resume pro-EU reforms, in an inclusive and constructive way and in line with the 12 priorities for Georgia to achieve candidate status,” the Delegation said on Twitter.
On 7 March, the bill passed its first reading in the Georgian parliament, despite widespread protests.
The EU said the law was incompatible with EU values and standards and goes against Georgia’s stated objective of joining the European Union, adding that this is “a very bad development for Georgia and its people”.
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EU and UNDP select six local projects improving governance, policies, and services in Georgia’s regionsThursday, 16 February 2023 17:08
The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), have chosen six municipalities across Georgia to implement local projects focused on urban renewal, maintenance and development of public spaces, protection of historical and cultural heritage, preschool education, and quality public services.
The jury selected the six best local projects out of 52 ideas submitted by 22 municipalities. Each winner will receive funding between €4,500 and € 6,000. The total value of the grant programme is €30,800.
In Tskaltubo Municipality (Imereti region), a modern recreational venue at Niko Lortkipanidze Museum in Chune village, with free WIFI access, will be organised.
In Zestaponi Municipality (Imereti region), four kindergartens will be equipped with a play-and-learn inventory to assist children in learning and physical activities.
In Lagodekhi Municipality (Kakheti region), a multifunctional space will be created and equipped at the library of the newly renovated Lagodekhi Museum, serving as a venue for educational activities, film screening and youth meetings.
In Telavi Municipality (Kakheti region), 96 staff in 32 kindergartens will be trained and certified in first aid services. Two kindergartens will receive additional support to equip doctors’ offices at their premises.
In Oni Municipality (Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti region), an open air cinema at one of Oni’s newly renovated plazas will provide young people with a comfortable space for film screenings, educational work and discussion club activities.
In Tsageri Municipality (Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti region), the e-document project will support the digital transformation of the municipal preschool education system. Electronic tools will be introduced for registering children with kindergartens and training teachers.
The initiative is supported by the EU-funded programme EU for Integrated Territorial Development (EU4ITD), promoting balanced territorial development and improved living standards in Georgia’s regions.
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EU supports new services for municipal data collectionTuesday, 14 February 2023 11:22
With the support of the EU and Denmark, and in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the National Statistics Office of Georgia (GEOSTAT) has developed a specialised webpage regions.geostat.ge integrated into its public website, offering information on 64 Georgian municipalities.
The platform tracks economic, demographic and social dynamics across 82 indicators, with 52 indicators provided by Georgia’s public agencies, and the rest by GEOSTAT through statistical surveys.
The project was developed with the aim of improving municipal data collection, systematising already available statistical information, defining and collecting new statistical indicators, and making sub-national statistics easily accessible to the public.
“The EU cares deeply about further developing the regions of Georgia to make sure that the whole population has access to opportunities and services. The foundation of this is clear and reliable data,” said Colombe de Mercey from the EU Delegation to Georgia. “The new GEOSTAT platform will help policy-makers and local authorities to make well-informed decisions for the people living in their regions.”
UNDP’s assistance to Georgia’s National Statistics Office, GEOSTAT, is supported by the EU-funded programme EU for Integrated Territorial Development (EU4ITD) promoting balanced territorial development and improved living standards in Georgia’s regions,
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‘Better and Safer Roads for Georgia’: Georgia launches nationwide road safety campaign with EU supportFriday, 10 February 2023 14:11
With the support of the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Georgian authorities have launched a joint campaign – ‘Better and safer roads for Georgia’ – to raise awareness on road safety issues.
The campaign focuses on several concrete issues to raise awareness of the importance of road safety. It will show real stories of people affected by road accidents. Outdoor banners with road safety messages will be spread throughout five cities of Georgia – Tbilisi, Khashuri, Kutaisi, Zestafoni, and Batumi. This will be complemented by outreach through television, online media and social media. The goal is to reach as many drivers as possible and help them become aware of safety risks on the roads.
According to the EU Delegation to Georgia, car accidents are one of the main causes of fatalities and injuries in the country. Failure to maintain one lane, speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol are all significant causes of traffic accidents in Georgia. Over the past two years, 15,222 people have been injured in car accidents and 879 people have been killed, including 22 children.
“Systematically preventing deaths and serious injuries linked to road crashes is a priority of the EIB, the EU’s bank,” said Maciej Czura, the Head of the EIB Regional Representation for the South Caucasus. “Improving road infrastructure safety in Georgia has been one of our key priorities since 2007 when the bank began operating in the country. In order to achieve that, the EIB is supporting the Georgian East-West highway project with €1 billion financing guaranteed by the European Union, supplemented with up to €40 million of EU grants to Georgia.”
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EU: Georgian authorities must act if Saakashvili’s health condition is criticalTuesday, 07 February 2023 10:16
The Georgian authorities have a responsibility to act if former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s health is in a critical condition, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn told the European Parliament on 2 February.
Speaking on behalf of the EU High Representative Josep Borrell, Johannes Hahn noted that, “it is in everyone’s interest that the Georgian authorities consider drawing on medical expertise from an independent, uncontested, international organisation.”
According to the Commissioner, the EU has frequently raised the issue both with the Georgian authorities directly, as well as in its public statements following numerous reports on Saakashvili’s deteriorating medical condition.
“Most recently, on 28 December, our European Union Delegation together with the European Union Member States represented in Georgia, carried out a formal démarche vis-à-vis the Minister of Justice. This was followed up with a dedicated meeting with the Ministry of Justice by our European Union Ambassador in Georgia. In these instances, and in all previous occasions, we have repeated that it is the Georgian authorities’ responsibility to take all necessary measures to protect Mr Saakashvili’s health,” Hahn told the European Parliament.
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Georgia: New Head of EU Monitoring Mission appointed
On 31 January, the Council of the European Union appointed Dimitrios Karabalis, a Greek diplomat, as the new Head of Mission for the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia).
Dimitrios Karabalis is currently Director for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, South Caucasus, and Central Asia at the Greek Foreign Ministry. His mandate as Head of EUMM Georgia will run from 1 February until 14 December 2023.
Karabalis succeeds Ambassador Marek Szczygiel, a Polish diplomat, as Head of Mission.
EUMM Georgia is an unarmed civilian monitoring mission consisting of over 200 monitors from the EU member states, deployed in Gori, Mtskheta and Zugdidi in October 2008, following the conflict between Georgia and Russia.
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EU agrees extra €500 million of military support for UkraineThursday, 26 January 2023 11:46
The Foreign Council of the European Union reached political agreement for a 7th tranche of military support to Ukraine worth €500 million.
The Council also agreed on an additional assistance measure worth €45 million for the Ukrainian forces being trained by the EU’s military training mission, EUMAM Ukraine. This brings the total military support under the European Peace Facility to €3.6 billion. According to EU High Representative Josep Borrell, the EU’s military, financial, economic and humanitarian support for Ukraine has now reached nearly €50 billion.
Before the Council discussed Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed EU foreign ministers via video conference and briefed them on recent developments on the ground and on Ukraine’s current priorities.
Regarding the creation of an accountability mechanism, EU foreign ministers stressed the importance of preserving the crucial role of the International Criminal Court in international criminal justice and expressed broad support for the establishment of the International Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague as a first step.
Regarding the effectiveness of sanctions, Josep Borrell noted that Russian oil (Urals) sells for US $40 a barrel while Brent sells for US$80. “This means that the Russian oil is being sold at a discount of 50%, and it is being bought by mainly India and China,” said Borrell. “So, it is losing US$40 per barrel. It is a big hit on Russia’s financial stability.”
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EU-supported initiative provides first aid training for 32 kindergarten staff in Telavi
The European Union in Georgia, Denmark, UNDP in Georgia and the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) have helped kindergartens in Telavi municipality of Georgia to organise a first aid training course for their staff.
The initiative covered 32 pre-schools. Two kindergartens received additional support to equip doctors’ offices in their premises.
The importance of these courses is due to the fact that Georgian legislation obliges kindergartens to certify their first aid personnel in order to be allowed to protect children’s health and prevent accidents.
This initiative was selected as part of a grant competition funded by the EU and Denmark to improve management, policies and services in municipalities in Georgia.
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