On 13–14 June, the Bolnisi Municipality of Georgia hosted an international forum bringing together rural development actors from Georgia and other countries of the Eastern Neighbourhood region.
The event was attended by around 150 participants representing national and local governments, civil society, business and microfinance organisations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
They shared their experience and perspectives on challenges and opportunities for local rural economy development, with a primary focus on the role of local administrations in supporting agricultural businesses.
The event was co-organised by the Bolnisi Municipality and the Mayors for Economic Growth Secretariat.
Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) is an initiative of the European Union, established in 2017 to support mayors and municipalities of the Eastern partner countries to become active facilitators for economic growth and job creation at local level.
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.
29 March, 2019 - The closing ceremony was held at the NATO-Georgia Joint-Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC). First Deputy Chief of the Defence Forces Colonel Nikoloz Janjgava, the U.S. Army Lieutenant General John C. Thomson III and Deputy Commander/Chief of Staff of the NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) Brigadier General Ladislav Jung attended the ceremony.
During the ceremony, First Deputy Chief of the Defence Forces congratulated the exercise participants on the successful accomplishment of the exercise and outlined that the exercise was an excellent example of the productive cooperation.
“We all worked hard to make this remarkable event happen. We are able to conclude that the Exercise fulfilled its objectives which are, among others, to enhance our capabilities and improve our interoperability with the Allied staffs.”- stated Colonel Nikoloz Janjgava.
In his address, Lieutenant General Thomson congratulated the exercise participants on their successful accomplishment, and thanked the Georgian soldiers for their teamwork and collective efforts. Additionally, Lieutenant General Thomson stated that: “The successful conclusion of an exercise that has made us stronger. History teaches us that strength deters aggression.”
The official closing ceremony of the exercise concluded with an award ceremony. First Deputy Chief of the Defence Forces Colonel Janjgava and Lieutenant General Thomson presented certificates to the participants.
“NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019” (Computer Assisted/Command Post Exercise - CAX/CPX), held from 18-29 March, 2019 at the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) at National Centre “Krtsanisi” and involved around 350 personnel. “NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019” was the first NATO multinational brigade-level command post exercise conducted and led by the Georgian Defence Forces.
This exercise was designed to train a Georgian-led multinational brigade headquarters staff to plan, coordinate and execute scenario-based military responses to humanitarian crises. It was also testing the interoperability of Georgian, Allied and Partner Forces, as well as Georgian command and control capabilities. Additionally, it tested the ability to adopt a comprehensive approach to a non-article 5 crisis response, involving civil-military cooperation with international organizations and non-governmental organizations. Humanitarian bodies like the inter-governmental organizations: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) - were represented during the exercise, providing direct feedback and mentorship to exercise participants.
This was the second NATO-Georgia Exercise to take place through the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) framework - a set of 15 defence capacity building Initiatives agreed between Georgia and NATO at the Wales Summit in 2014, and reinforced at the Warsaw Summit in 2016. The first NATO-Georgia Exercise was conducted in 2016 involving 15 NATO allied and partner nations.
“NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019” was scheduled by NATO Allied Command Transformation, conducted by the Georgian General Staff with mentoring from NATO Allied Land Command. It was directed by the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center, and mentored by the NATO Joint Force Training Centre.
This exercise was comprised of 21 Allied Nations (Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States) and 3 Partner Nations (Azerbaijan, Georgia as the Host Nation and Sweden).
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze met with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland within the framework of his working visit in Strasbourg.
Georgia’s new action plan was discussed during the meeting. Thorbjørn Jagland said that it was an honor for him to host Georgian Prime Minister and underlined on the high quality of Georgia-CoE relations.
He said that CoE was publishing a consolidated report about Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia twice a year. “We discussed ways to how to improve accessibility to these regions and continue working on missions targeted at restoration of trust,” Thorbjørn Jagland said.
Secretary General of the Council of Europe said that Georgia was a good example of fruitful cooperation and experience sharing.
Avtandil Otinashvili, Strasbourg
Mamuka Bakhtadze: Georgia’s independence and the restoration of Georgia’s statehood is tied to the name of Zviad GamsakhurdiaMonday, 01 April 2019 15:50
Georgia's independence and the restoration of Georgia's statehood is tied to the name of Zviad Gamsakhurdia; I join my friends and bow my head to his eternal memory, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated at the exhibition held today to commemorate the 80th birth anniversary of Georgia's first President Zviad Gamsakhurdia.
To honor the first President's anniversary, the National Library displays Zviad Gamsakhurdia's photos and translations, and books about him.
"Georgia's first President Zviad Gamsakhurdia would have turned 80 today. To commemorate this date, various events are planned in Georgia's regions. His merit in Georgia's millennia-old history is extraordinary. Georgian Post has been instructed to issue anniversary stamps. That this tragedy has yet to be investigated is a shame, of course, and the investigation must be finalized," Mamuka Bakhtadze stated.
The exhibition also displays Zviad Gamsakhurdia's five-volume work from the series The Leaders of the Georgian State. The stamp issued by Georgian Post to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Zviad Gamsakhurdia was also presented.
In his visit to the exhibition, the Prime Minister was accompanied by the Speaker of Georgian Parliament and the Tbilisi Mayor.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will hold its spring session in Strasbourg from 8 to 12 April 2019, with addresses expected by the Prime Ministers of Georgia and Armenia.
The Assembly will hold joint debates on stopping hate speech and acts of hatred in sport - as well as the role of political leaders in combating hate speech - and on strengthening co-operation with the UN and implementation of the sustainable development goals.
There has been a request for an urgent debate on "The budgetary crisis at the Council of Europe".
Other topics to be discussed include promoting parliaments free of sexism and sexual harassment, the implications for human rights of social media, and a report on balancing the rights of parents, donors and children during the anonymous donation of sperm and oocytes.
The Assembly will also look at so-called “laundromats” and new challenges in combating organised crime and money-laundering, and will take a stand on the creation of a new EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights will present her annual activity report for 2018 and take questions, while there will be the usual exchange of views with the current head of the Council of Europe’s ministerial body, Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister Timo Soini, and question time with Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.
The Assembly will decide its final agenda on the opening day of the session.
Georgian grocery store will be opened in Belarus and tractors will be assembled at a joint venture that will operate in Georgia. It was announced at a meeting of Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia with Mikhail Rusy, Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus today.
Joint production of elevators for residential blocks is also under consideration, along with a cooperation in the sector of transportation. Namely ferry transfer has a development prospect, along with a transit of cargo originating in Belarus through Ukraine and Georgia. Need of specific steps to be made for the development of logistics was underlined at the meeting. Head of Government of Georgia instructed the cabinet to discuss and agree ways on improving the logistics with the Belarussian colleagues within a Work Group format to significantly increase the bilateral trade.
Belarussian side is also interested in incorporating a joint venture to assemble tractors in Georgia. It was agreed at the meeting today that relevant partners will be solicited with support of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.
Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus also expressed readiness to have Belarussian manufacturers bid in tenders announced for the substitution of municipal busses in Tbilisi and Batumi, along with a keen interest in providing elevators with any specific configuration to an interested buyer at the Georgian market.
It was also agreed at the meeting that Belarussian side will work on the allocation of a special place in Minsk for a Georgian grocery store with a concept of AgroHub.
A landmark NATO-Georgia exercise began today at a military base near Tbilisi, involving military personnel from 24 Allies, Partner and several NATO command headquarters and affiliated centers. First Deputy Defence Minister of Georgia Lela Chikovani, First Deputy Chief of Defence Forces of Georgia, Colonel Nikoloz Janjghava and Deputy Chief of the NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC), Brigade General Ladislav Jung opened the exercise at “Armyhall”, MoD.
The exercise (Computer Assisted/Command Post Exercise - CAX/CPX), is being held from 18-29 March at the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) at National Centre “Krtsanisi” and involves 343 personnel.
This is the second NATO-Georgia exercise to be held in Georgia through the framework of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, but for the first time in which Georgian General Staff is leading a multinational crisis response exercise. It is also the first exercise which involves NATO planning processes from start to finish.
This exercise is designed to train a Georgian-led multinational brigade headquarters staff to plan, coordinate and execute scenario-based military responses to humanitarian crises. It is also testing the interoperability of Georgian, Allied and Partner Forces, as well as Georgian command and control capabilities, also the ability to adopt a comprehensive approach to a non-article 5 crisis response, involving civil-military cooperation with international organizations and non-governmental organizations.
This is the second NATO-Georgia exercise to take place through the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) framework - a set of 15 defence capacity building Initiatives agreed between Georgia and NATO at the Wales summit in 2014 and Warsaw Summit 2016. The first NATO-Georgia exercise was conducted in 2016 involving NATO allied and partner nations.
The brigade-level exercise is scheduled by NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT), conducted by the Georgian General Staff with the mentoring of NATO LANDCOM, and directed by the NATO-Georgia Joint-Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC) mentored by NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC).
This exercise will be comprised of 21 Allied Nations and 3 Partner Nations, including Georgia as the Host Nation (Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, United Kingdom, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, United States, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Sweden).
Humanitarian bodies like the inter-governmental organizations - International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO, observer) will also be present during the exercise providing direct feedback and mentorship to exercise participants.
Last week, members of Georgia’s Keda Local Action Group and winemakers from the region participated in a study visit to Poland.
The study tour was organised by Poland’s Malopolska Region’s self-government and aimed to exchange experiences and plan future cooperation between winemakers from Poland and Georgia.
The participants visited wine cellars, met with local winemakers, learned about their activities and shared their respective experiences in winemaking and vineyard maintenance.
In addition, meetings were held with the president of the Winemakers’ Association of the Malopolska Region and members of Polish Local Action Groups. A partnership between the winemakers’ associations of Malopolska and Adjara was initiated in the meeting with the chairman of the association and joint activities were planned in both Poland and Georgia.
The visit was organised with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture of Adjara, Georgia and the EU’s European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of €179.5 million, the main goal of the programme is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia.
Within the frames of the visit of the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, George Kobulia, to the Republic of Korea, an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of Georgia on Economic Cooperation was signed.
The Agreement was signed by the Vice Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, Lee Tae-ho and the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Genadi Arveladze. The Agreement will become effective in 30 days.
With the Agreement, the Republic of Korea and Georgia agreed to explore the possibility of joint projects in areas of mutual interest, including investment, trade, tourism and industry, and to continue to strengthen economic cooperation, including people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
Georgia and the Republic of Korea will establish a joint committee to effectively implement the Agreement and to explore ways to increase economic cooperation between the two countries. The Commission will discuss the existing bilateral trade and economic relations and possibilities and opportunities for enhanced cooperation in different sectors.
The Agreement between Georgia and the Republic of Korea is targeted at expanding the economic cooperation between the two countries, including the facilitation of the Korean companies to expand their presence in Georgia.
“This Agreement will be another contributing factor to the growth of the foreign trade turnover and the development of the trade and economic cooperation. It will encourage entrepreneurs in to enter the market and implement new investment projects,” – George Kobulia, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development stated after the signing of the Agreement.
Georgia and the Republic of Korea also agreed to start negotiations on conclusion of the Korea-Georgia Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement at a mutually convenient time.