EU project helps develop e-Government in Georgia

Published in Politics
Friday, 04 November 2016 16:28
A strategy to further develop Georgia’s IT-based governance has been developed by international and Georgian experts as part of an EU-funded Twinning workshop held on 1 November in Tbilisi. The event was part of the ‘Support to Strengthening of e-Governance in Georgia II’ project to improve access to e-services for businesses and citizens, strengthen transparent governance and define the role of ICT technologies in administration reform.
EU experts and representatives from government administration, ministries, and public entities working in the field of e-Governance discussed Georgia’s e-Government Development Strategy for the next two years in the workshop organised by the Data Exchange Agency (DEA). The final version of this document is to be approved by the Government of Georgia.
The Chairmen of the DEA Irakli Gvenetadze talked about the importance of the Strategy, saying: ”This document is a guideline which is based on international and local experiences and best standards in practice. The Strategy unites all state institutions and identifies the necessary activities, the implementation of which can turn Georgia into sustainable e-Governance model state.”
The EU Twinning project ’Support to Strengthening of e-Governance in Georgia II’ is a two year project aimed at assisting implementation of Georgia's E-Government Strategy with a total budget of EUR 1 300 000.

ITC delegation has paid a visit to Georgia

Published in Politics
Thursday, 03 November 2016 13:00

The delegation of the International Trade Centre led by the ITC Programme Coordinator for the Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
arrived in Georgia. The visit was organized through the efforts of the Georgian Foreign Ministry. 
The International Trade Centre actively cooperates with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The visit of the ITC serves several goals, in particular: fully engaging Georgia in the export promotion project involving the six countries of Easter Partnership, due to start in the spring of 2017; implementation of projects aimed at developing the small- and medium sized businesses  in Georgia and ensuring their maximum participation in international trade; promoting the use of opportunities offered by the DCFTA; identifying products with a prospect of being exported to the EU market during the next two or three years. On 2 November, the ITC delegation held a closing meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister David Jalagania. The members of the delegation spoke about the specific directions and prospects of co-operation that have been identified during the meeting. The ITC delegation pledged to work out a plan for the promotion of export of country-specific products, upon which the project will be agreed with the government of Georgia and its implementation will be started.

Georgia: EU to assist reforms in public administration

Published in Politics
Thursday, 03 November 2016 11:30
Georgia has launched an EU-funded modernization program for Public Administration in Tbilisi on 28 October. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the Ambassador of the European Union Janos Herman announced the beginning of the new programme, which will target policy making and accountability in the public sector.
The Georgian ministries of Agriculture, Justice, Education and Science, Labour-Health and Social Affairs, Economy and Sustainable Development will directly benefit from technical support to improve accessibility of public services to citizens and strengthen local governance structures. The Civil Service Bureau will be improved with new standards for human resources management and the monitoring of civil servant asset declarations. The programme also aims to help civil society organisations to better supervise government activities. 
"Good governance of public institutions is a cornerstone for democracy and economic development. It is also crucial for ensuring a population's trust in its state institutions.  Georgia's national reform strategy is based upon the European Principles of Public Administration.  The European Union is proud to both be a model and to support the Government's efforts in such an important area," said Ambassador Herman.
The EUR 30 million EU-funded support programme will be implemented from 2016 to 2019 and will be aligned to the priorities set by the EU – Georgia Association Agreement, DCFTA, and the Georgian National Public Administration Roadmap.

STATISTIC DATA ON THE NUMBER OF VISITORS ENTERING GEORGIA

Published in Politics
Thursday, 03 November 2016 10:21

The Information Analytical Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs presents the statistical data on the visitors having crossed the state border of Georgia during the last month, in particular: In October 2016, the country was visited by 527 157 visitors, which is more by 4,5% than the index of the same period in 2015.
The number of visitors in January-October, 2016 amounted to 5 406 188, that is more by 8,1 % than the index of the same period in 2015. Number of tourist visits has reached 2 372 351 which is more by 19,7% than the index of the same period in 2015. According to the new method of a conditional division the visitors having crossed the state border of Georgia in January-October, 2016 is the following:
a) Tourist – 215 620 visits (40,9%, of general number; increase by 20.9% in comparison with the index of the same period in 2015);
b) Transit – 121 511 visits (20.9% of general number, decrease by 23,% in comparison with the index of the last year 6,6%);
c) Other – 190 026 visits (36.1% of general number, increase by -3% in comparison with the index of the last year).
The most of the visits in September, 2016 were paid again from Armenia (-2,1%), Azerbaijan (10.1%), Turkey (-16,6%), Russia (+13%), Ukraine (+15.8%) and Iran (+344.3%); positive position is also retained by the EU countries: respecting the increase of the number of arrivals to Georgia in January-October the following countries take leading position: Latvia, Lithuania, Germany and Italy (relevantly 27%, 12%, 8% and 7%), Central Asian countries - Kazakhstan (35%), among the countries of Easter Europe – Belarus (30%), Middle East – Israel – 59%), and Asian countries - UAE (13%). Also, the number of tourists form the United States of America has also increased by 10 %.

Georgia proved that it's young but pro-western democratic country-Researcher of Atlantic Council

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 12:33

According to the Researcher of Atlantic Council, Georgia has once more proved that it is young but pro-western style democratic country.
He commented on the parliamentary elections in Georgia and said that the fact of some politicians have left political parties is unfortunate.
“Unfortunately they leave politics. They are professionals and I hope that one day they will return to politics. As for the parliament, this is a component of democracy,”-he said. 

US Congressman Tom Marino comments on parliamentary elections in Georgia

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 11:30

US Congressman Tom Marino comments on parliamentary elections in Georgia and congratulates Georgian People on democratic elections. This information was published by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
According to the Congressman, the fact that free election was held third time in Georgia after 2012 means Georgian people’s progress in democratic way.
“I can say that forming government and the opinion of people is important in this country. This is a great progress,”-he said. 

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on Parliamentary Elections in Georgia

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 01 November 2016 10:55

The United States congratulates the people of Georgia for the successful completion of yesterday’s parliamentary elections, which affirm Georgia as a leader of democratic reform in the region.  We note that the OSCE election observation mission assessed both the October 8 elections and the October 30 run-offs as competitive and administered in a manner that respected the rights of candidates and voters.  Political leaders from across the spectrum played an important role in urging all their supporters to show restraint during the electoral period so that Georgian voters could freely make their own decisions.  We are concerned, however, about isolated incidents of violence and intimidation and urge accountability as well as a thorough and balanced investigation in accordance with the rule of law.  We now encourage political leaders from all parties to work together in pursuit of goals important to all Georgians, including democratic consolidation, security, and economic prosperity. We look forward to working with the new government and parliament to support Georgia’s democratic and economic development, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Georgia: EUMM reaches out to future journalists

Published in Society
Tuesday, 01 November 2016 10:26
The European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) launched a new outreach project to university-level students last week. Georgian and Azerbaijani students from the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), who are aspiring to become journalists, received a short overview of the Mission’s background and its work, as well as the EU-brokered Six-Point Ceasefire Agreement in Georgia and challenges related to its implementation.
The lecture was followed by a Q&A session, during which the students heard about the history of EU civilian crisis management in Georgia, past and current conflicts, the wider regional and geopolitical context, and the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
The European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is an unarmed civilian monitoring mission of the European Union, deployed in September 2008 following the EU-mediated Six-Point Agreement, which ended the August 2008 war. The EUMM aims to ensure that there is no return to hostilities, to facilitate the resumption of a safe and normal life for the local communities living on both sides of the boundary line with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to build confidence among the conflict parties and to inform EU policy in Georgia and the wider region.

European Parliament urges visa waiver for Georgia

Published in Politics
Friday, 28 October 2016 14:05
The European Parliament has called on the Council to start negotiations on exempting Georgian citizens from EU visa requirements “without any further delay”. In a letter sent on 26 October to the Slovak Presidency, Civil Liberties MEPs invited the Council to open talks “as soon as possible at the beginning of November”.
MEPs reasoned that there is no real cause for delay for the talks on Georgia´s visa waiver, given that both the Parliament and the Council have approved mandates, and following the confirmation by the Commission that the country has fulfilled all criteria.  
MEPs complained that the Council decided that trilogues would not start before an agreement on the revision of the suspension mechanism is reached with the European Parliament”. They underlined that the interinstitutional discussions on the review of the suspension mechanism which allows a temporary reintroduction of visa requirements in certain situations – are ongoing, with negotiators actively seeking solutions on the remaining open issues. 
"Our guiding principle is that every country that meets all the benchmarks can benefit from visa liberalisation, and that is the case of Georgia”, said Mariya Gabriel, insisting that the EU must deliver on its promises. 
“There should be no further delay to move” on this file, she added, and reminded that visa liberalisation represents, in the context of the EU-Georgia partnership and the Eastern Partnership, a very concrete achievement for citizens.

It's important for NATO to deepening cooperation with Georgia-Jens Stoltenberg

Published in Politics
Thursday, 27 October 2016 16:55

It is too important for NATO to deepening cooperation with Georgia and it is also important for security of Georgia. This statement was made by the Secretary General of Alliance Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, at press-conference.
Journalist asked him if Georgia take part in new strategy of NATO’s Black Sea. Stoltenberg answered that the plan will be published in February.
“Georgia is strategic partner of NATO. We are cooperating in different issues. We have opened new center in Georgia several weeks ago. So this means that it is too important for NATO to deepening cooperation with Georgia and it is also important for security of Georgia,”-he said. 

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