Free trade agreement with the EFTA opens up new opportunities of co-operation in trade and economy between Georgia and Switzerland

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 15:38
Within the framework of his visit to Geneva, Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze met the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter. The Ministers spoke about the successful co-operation in the bilateral format, as well as within the international organizations. The Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs congratulated his Georgian counterpart on the EU Council’s decision of 17 February 2017 to grant Georgia visa-free travel with Europe. For his part, Mikheil Janelidze reaffirmed Georgia’s European aspirations and the Government’s intention to get closer to the EU in terms of institutional development and standards. While on the theme of bilateral relations, the Ministers noted with satisfaction the remarkable bilateral relations between Georgia and Switzerland providing the solid groundwork for developing co-operation in various areas. Special note was taken of importance of concluding the Agreement between Georgia and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Discussions also focused on the possibility of the Swiss President’s visit to Georgia in 2017. The sides discussed the security environment in the region. Mikheil Janelidze thanked the Swiss side for Switzerland’s mediation efforts in Georgia’s relations with Russia. The Ministers spoke about the security, humanitarian and human rights situation in Georgia’s occupied territories. The Georgian Foreign Minister paid special attention to the Georgian government’s peace policy and to the necessity of peacefully resolving the conflict, through the active support of the international community.

The State of Israel has included Georgia in the list of safe countries

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 14:32
The State of Israel has included Georgia in the list of safe countries which means that, according to Israel, no one in Georgia is under threat of persecution on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, political views. The inclusion of Georgia in the list of safe countries means that Georgian citizens’ applications for asylum (unless they are based on real reasons) will not be granted. The State of Israel is the fifth country after the Kingdom of Belgium, France, Bulgaria and Austria, to have placed Georgia on the list of safe countries.

EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos Completes His Visit

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 10:36
Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili: Greetings, Mr. EU Commissioner! Greetings, esteemed ambassadors! Representatives of the Government and Parliament, citizens of Georgia, it is with great pleasure and joy that I congratulate you on this day! We are excited that today the Council of the European Union adopted the final regulatory amendment introducing visa-free travel for Georgia's citizens. This is the final step in the decision-making process. I congratulate every Georgian citizen on this very important decision. Notably, all three EU institutions have given their ultimate consent to visa liberalization for Georgia. The revised regulation will be signed on March 1 and published in the official journal of the EU a few days later. Twenty days after the publication, Georgian citizens will be able to enjoy short-term visa-free travel in the EU/Schengen Area. It is symbolic that our friend, EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos is here in Georgia on this important day, to share this success with us. I would like to thank Mr. Avramopoulos for his personal efforts in the process of Georgia-EU visa liberalization. We also appreciate unanimous support from the EU member states and the European Parliament. Introduction of visa waiver is an important step on the path to Georgia's European integration, drawing Georgia ever closer to Europe. This outcome bears witness to two things: 1) The EU's due recognition of the Georgian Government's efforts seeking to build democratic institutions, also confirming that Georgia-EU partnership is reliable and solid. In addition, this achievement is an additional stimulus for the Georgian Government to continue its legislative and institutional reforms. 2) Even more importantly, this result proves that the European Union does come through with its promises. Today, the European spirit is stronger in Georgia than anywhere else. The European idea triumphs in Georgia as nowhere else. The importance of a unified Europe and its common foreign, security and economic policies is embraced in Georgia stronger than anywhere else. My fellow compatriots, I congratulate you on this day! I also congratulate Europe because Georgia, as an integral part of European civilization, has drawn even closer today to its European family. Visa-free access to the European Union will bring tangible, concrete benefits to the citizens of Georgia. Visa-free travel to the EU member states will promote closer tourism, educational, cultural, and business relations between our societies, also contributing to the introduction and advancement of European values and ideas in Georgia. It is important, that all the benefits of visa-free travel will be available to our citizens in the occupied territories. The Georgian Government is fully aware of the responsibility accompanying the launch of visa-free travel. We are implementing a set of preventive measures to ensure against possible risks, including a far-reaching large-scale awareness campaign about the rules of visa-free travel. We expect every Georgian citizen to demonstrate exceptional responsibility in fulfilling their duties and scrupulously observing the terms of travel. The reforms implemented under visa liberalization are integral parts of the Georgian Government's agenda. Therefore, our efforts in this direction continue, making up a continuous and sustainable process in which we always enjoy strong support from the EU. Once again, I would like to express my immense gratitude to every member of my team for their enormous efforts. I am grateful to our friend, EU Commissioner Avramopoulos, for this crucially important visit. I also thank EU Ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman for his great support throughout this process. I am thankful to the ambassadors of our friends, the EU member states, for their work in Georgia, for their assistance to the Government of Georgia in achieving this huge success. Thank you very much. I congratulate you on this day!

Visas: Council adopts regulation on visa liberalisation for Georgians

Published in Politics
Monday, 27 February 2017 16:07
On 27 February 2017, the Council adopted a regulation on visa liberalisation for Georgians travelling to the EU for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period. Maltese Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Carmelo Abela stated that, "This agreement will bring the people of Georgia and the EU closer together and will strengthen tourism and business ties. It follows the completion of the necessary reforms by Georgia, addressing document security, border management, migration and asylum. In addition, the recent adaptation of the suspension mechanism has made this agreement possible." The Council and the European Parliament now need to sign the adopted regulation. The text will then be published in the EU Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days later, at the same time as the new visa waiver suspension mechanism. The regulation formally amends regulation 539/2001, moving Georgia from Annex I (countries whose nationals need a visa to enter the Schengen area) to Annex II (visa free countries). Georgian citizens with a biometric passport travelling to the EU for up to 90 days for business, tourist or family purposes will no longer need a visa. These measures will not apply to Ireland and the United Kingdom, in accordance with the protocols annexed to the EU treaties. The visa regime of these member states remains subject to their national legislation.

NATO is ready to protect its members-William Lahue

Published in Politics
Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:25

“Russia annexed Ukraine through military aggression. Moscow supports the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. Kremlin violated the borders of a sovereign state,”-this statement was made by the head of the NATO mission in Georgia. William Lahue called it the main challenge of NATO.
As he said, Russia has aggressive rhetoric with its neighboring Alliance member states. According to him, NATO is ready to protect its members from any type of aggressive military action

The Agrarian Issues Committee supported the document for ratification

Published in Politics
Monday, 20 February 2017 17:15

The Committee considered the Change N1 to the Grant Agreement between Georgia and USA of December 22, 2015 on Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth.
The Deputy-Finance Minister, Giorgi Kakauridze spoke about the changes. As noted, the project aims at improvement of economic management and administration, establishment of global business standards, increase of competitiveness in target sectors, effective management of natural resources of Georgia and creation of market-oriented job opportunities.
The change envisages increase of the allocation by USAID with 13.1 ml USD. The total allocation constitutes 57,298,636 USD. The grant amount also increases with 14 ml. 970 k. USD.
The project directions remain unchanged: conflict mitigation and reconciliation; education; infrastructure; agriculture; private sector competitiveness and environment. The grant for agricultural activities has increased with 700 000 USD to constitute 3 ml. 260 k. USD. The Committee supported the document.
The Committee considered and endorsed the supervisory plan of the spring session, envisaging hearing information about various agricultural activities and respective decision-making.

FILLON: UKRAINE AND GEORGIA HAVE NO PLACE IN NATO AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:36

Former Prime Minister of France, presidential candidate of the country Francois Fillon has declared that Ukraine and Georgia have no place in NATO and the European Union. He told this in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, reports RIA Novosti
“I will remind you about the irresponsible statements of those who wanted the entry of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO. You just need to admit that Ukraine and Georgia are not designed to enter the EU and NATO,” said French ex-Prime Minister.
Fillon has criticized Western countries for waging an aggressive policy against Russia, he noted that Russia has a lot of responsibility, but not by her. According to him, the military competition with Moscow is a big mistake. He also called the false question of missile defense near the Russian borders.
“Is it always the West has been a reliable partner? Isn’t he deceived Russia on Libya, in Kosovo, for economic partnership with the EU? Why did we need to deploy missile defenses near the Russian border? We made a lot of mistakes,” said Fillon.
Earlier the candidate in presidents of France Francois Fillon has declared that relations with Russia – a strategic issue for Europe’s future. According to Fillon, the issue of restoration of relations with Moscow is very important for Europe, and for this repair it is necessary to solve the Ukrainian question and to respect the Minsk agreement.

More opportunities for Georgia through science and innovation

Published in Politics
Monday, 23 January 2017 14:50
The science community in Georgia has been informed about the range of funding opportunities open under the EU-funded Horizon 2020 programme. At a conference on 17 January, Georgian scientists and researchers were informed about how to receive grants from Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions for making their scientific and innovative ideas a reality and strengthening research centres in Georgia.
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) provide grants for all stages of researchers' careers and encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. The MSCA enable universities, research centres, and companies to host talented foreign researchers and to create strategic partnerships with leading institutions worldwide.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly EUR 80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020). It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

The Venice Commission Delegation to service the working visit to Georgia

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 16:10

The Venice Commission Delegation, with invitation by the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze, is serving the working visit to Georgia on January 20.
The Delegation, chaired by the President of the Venice CommissionMr. Gianni Buquicchio, will hold the meetings with the Chairman of the Parliament, the representatives of the executive and legislative authorities and the President of Georgia. On the first day of the visit, the Commission will visit the Parliament to meet with the Chairman.
The Venice Commission will also meet with the representatives of the Factions “Patriots of Georgia” and the Minority Factions.

Georgia: new agricultural cooperatives to be presented in Dusheti

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:40
The EU-funded European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) and Oxfam invite media representatives to a presentation of three agricultural cooperatives in the Dusheti Municipality on 25 January.
The agricultural cooperatives ‘Pomodorna’ , ‘Saaragvo’ and ‘Maghrani Naturaluri’ have been  established in the framework of the EU-funded project ‘Supporting Agricultural Co-operation in Georgia’These cooperatives will contribute to the development of agriculture and trade in Dusheti through theproduction of several varieties of tomatoes, elite potato varieties and grain in an ecologically clean environment and using specially designed and fully equipped storage.
The EU-funded ENPARD programme is being implemented in Georgia since 2013. The main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia by offering support to rural development and agriculture. Programme assistance is provided to the government and NGOs working directly with communities on the ground.

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