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 Commission, Mr. 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.
In a report published today, the Council of Europe's anti-corruption body, Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), acknowledged considerable progress in reducing corruption in Georgia and improving the country’s standing in international indices, and called on the Georgian authorities to continue implementing the reforms aimed at preventing corruption among parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors.
Among the positive developments noted by GRECO is the introduction of a monitoring mechanism for submitting asset declarations by public officials including parliamentarians, judges and high-level prosecutors. It is crucial now that the new rules be extended to cover all prosecutors, that they are effectively applied in practice and kept under constant review.
GRECO noted measures taken to prevent corruption among the members of parliament and increase accountability of their work, and recommends further enhancing transparency of the legislative process through the publication of all draft legislation, and developing an enforceable code of ethics/conduct. It also called for mandatory disclosure of parliamentarians’ conflicts of interest, in order to monitor and determine when and how personal interests of MPs might influence the decision-making process.
GRECO stressed the need to carry on with the important reform of the judiciary. It is of prime importance that the bill on the third stage of reform which is pending before the Parliament should now be adopted and implemented. GRECO recommends reforming the recruitment, promotion and transfer of judges, introducing an objective and transparent system for the allocation of cases (e.g. via random assisgnment), defining more precisely disciplinary offences, and limiting immunity of judges to activities related to their participation in judicial decision-making (”functional immunity”).
Human Rights Watch, American-founded international non-governmental organization has published the 2017 World Report, which also refers to Georgia.According to the report, free access to communication operators network by the security services has caused risks in terms of privacy.
It also says there is less chance law enforcers to be held responsible for their crimes. According to the document other concerning fields are media freedom and LGBT people rights.
The European Parliament will vote visa liberalization issue for Georgian citizens at plenary session at February 2. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is said in the European Parliament’s February agenda.
As you know, LIBE Committee supported visa free regime for Georgian citizens. 45 deputies participated in the voting. Only 2 deputies came against visa liberalization for Georgia. The Plenary session will hold in February.
Coreper confirmed an achieved agreement with European Parliament at 13 of December, 2016. As it is reported, Georgian citizens will allowed in Schengen Zone without visas in the nearest future.
At the beginning of the Spring Session of Parliament, the President will be listened. According to the Constitution of Georgia, speech of President is considered once in a year.
According to the Rules of Procedure, it usually takes place on the first day of the spring session. The spring session will open at February 7.
Nine completely innovative ideas and fully-funded ventures have been added to the most viable sector of Georgian economy - the high-tech and innovations-based industry. The authors of the winning projects of the second stage of "Startup Georgia" were awarded today.
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili attended the ceremony. The Prime Minister considers "Startup Georgia" to be a completely new step in the direction of creating a novel Georgia and a fresh Georgian economy.
"This leads to the transformation of the economy and shifting people's mindset towards the entrepreneurship. This will ensure that individuals become employers rather than mere employees. This is the main implication of this groundbreaking project," - the Prime Minister commented and indicated that establishment of the "Startup Georgia" Fund is the main achievement of the Government.
The Prime Minister also congratulated 9 winning entrepreneurs, who were bold enough to venture completely new ideas for the purpose of acquiring the funding. The Prime Minister urged young people never to think of others who have already implemented similar ideas or of that realization of their innovations is not worth it.
"It is always worth it! Even if only one step out of 10 or 100 ones that you take turns our to be correct, it is still worth it - since said step might completely alter our economy. That is why I consider this project to be completely outstanding and I would like to particularly congratulate you," - the Prime Minister noted in his address to the winners.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili also thanked all stakeholders who contributed to the implementation of the initiative, including the Ministry of Economy and Georgia's Innovation and Technology Agency as well as Partnership Fund and young generation, who vigorously engaged in the process of realization of this important idea.
"This is a completely new step in the direction of creating novel Georgia and fresh Georgian economy," - the Prime Minister stated.
According to the head of the Government, funding of a qualitatively novel ventures is a new opportunity for younger generation to obtain funding without having to apply for the collateral loans.
"The contest took place in a completely transparent environment. Foreign experts from California and Europe with a specific field-related backgrounds also participated in the selection process. This is a qualitative change of our economy that is rooted in encouragement of the most rapidly developing sectors. The most important outcome of the said endeavour is shifting younger generation's mindset towards becoming employers rather than mere employees fro the very beginning," - the Prime Minister noted in his conversation with the reporters.
The total amount of awards issued to the nine winning projects is around 900 000 GEL. Winning projects mainly concentrate on tourism, agriculture, chemical industry, production of construction materials and other areas.