Published in Politics
Friday, 09 December 2016 14:39

European Investment Bank (EIB) will allocate 450 million Euros to Georgia for the development of road infrastructure, agriculture as a sector and production in agriculture at large. It was noted at the meeting of Mr. Jan Vapaavuori, Vice President of EIB with H.E. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia today.
According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, funding from EIB is of particular significance inter alia for the spatial planning and large infrastructure projects being the key directions of the Four Point Plan of the Government of Georgia (GOG).
Vice President of EIB focused on the great importance of the funding and noted that it will advance the living standards in the country and boost the competitiveness of Georgia.
Discussions were also related to investment projects, currently implemented in the country with EIB support. In the opinion of the Prime Minister of Georgia, presence of the Regional Office of EIB is highly commendable in the country, as it promotes investments and mutual cooperation.
Financing Agreements on the allocation of resources by EIB to Georgia were signed after the meeting. Signatories were Mr. Jan Vapaavuori, Vice President of EIB and H.E. Dimitry Kumsishvili, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Georgia.
EIB will thus allocate 250 million Euros for the construction of new roads and rehabilitation of the existing priority routs; 100 million Euros will be disbursed for the rehabilitation and upgrade of municipal infrastructure and another 100 million Euros - for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in agriculture and food production under the referred concessional long-term lending.

The President of Georgia: "The Main Obstacle Concerning the Visa Liberalization Process Has Been Overcome"

Published in Politics
Friday, 09 December 2016 11:55

The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has evaluated the ongoing Visa liberalization process of Georgia and stated that even though the suspension mechanism was not entirely related to Georgia, it was the main obstacle delaying the process of obtaining Visa free travel right.
“Currently, as a result of Georgia’s efforts and active involvement of our partner countries, this obstacle has been overcome. After overcoming this obstacle, practically, no other difficulties exist delaying this process. We assume that the decision will be made in the nearest future”, - stated the President.

Prime Minister of Georgia Meets Minister of culture of Azerbaijan

Published in Politics
Friday, 09 December 2016 10:22

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a meeting with Azerbaijani Minister of Culture AbulfasGarayev. It was pointed out at the meeting that, along with Georgia-Azerbaijan strategic partnership, the countries share strong cultural ties, which are growing stronger.
Special attention was paid to the topics to be discussed as part of the far-reaching Culture and Creativity for Innovation and Development Forum, which is underway in Tbilisi under the aegis of the Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and the European Union. These topics include the role of education and new technology in the development of cultural and creative industries, initiatives related to local and regional policy development, and others. At the meeting, the trend of growing numbers of tourists was also commended.


Europe is delivering - Manfred Weber

Published in Politics
Thursday, 08 December 2016 15:30

“Agreement on visa suspension mechanism big success for @EPPGroup. Visa-free travel for Georgia & Ukraine now possible. Europe is delivering,”-this statement was made by the German politician and Member of the European Parliament for Bavariawith the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, part of the European People's Party.
According to Manfred Weber, visa free regime will be possible for Ukrainians and Georgians after the visa suspension mechanism success. 

It is once more confirmed that European Institutes support Georgia-Mikheil Janelidze

Published in Politics
Thursday, 08 December 2016 15:20

It is once more confirmed that European Institutes support Georgia. Despite the difficult period they made an agreement,-This statement was made by the Foreign Minister of Georgia.
Mikheil Janelidze thanked to all who has been working on this issue with Georgia and Ukraine.
“We are too close with our goals. We are waiting for good results for our citizens and the people living in the occupied territories of Georgia,”-Mikheil Janelidze said.  

The EU just agreed to grant visa-free travel to 50 million people

Published in Politics
Thursday, 08 December 2016 14:04

The EU has agreed to grant visa-free travel to 50 million Ukrainians and Georgians. Officials said the deal had been struck on Thursday to end an internal EU dispute that had been holding up the promised measures. Late-night talks involving EU member states and the European Parliament had reached a compromise on the terms of a mechanism which can be used to suspend the visa-free schemes in emergencies.
The European Commission and the bloc's 28 members will be able to reimpose visa requirements more quickly and more easily under a compromise deal under fears over immigration and terrorism. The deal on visa suspension must still be formally approved by the member states and the European Parliament.
The deal struck between the European Parliament and the member states "will facilitate the immediate consideration of the two visa liberalisation proposals for Georgia and Ukraine," MEP Agustin Diaz de Mera said. Under the deal, visa requirements may be reintroduced if there is a surge of citizens from a non-EU country such as Ukraine or Georgia staying irregularly in EU territory.
They can also be reintroduced if there is a rise in unfounded asylum applications, or a lack of cooperation on returning migrants, or if nationals are deemed to pose a security threat.
"This agreement is balanced, and is extremely important for both the effectiveness and credibility of the union's visa liberalisation policy," Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said.
"The current suspension mechanism is not adequate and will now be improved," following the deal, said Mr Kalinak, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency.
"The fact that we have reached an agreement should open the door to further progress on visa liberalisation talks with other countries that meet all the necessary requirements," he added.he two former Soviet republics are seeking to move further away from their former master Moscow and closer to the West. However, they have grown frustrated that the EU was failing to deliver. 
After last year's refugee crisis, EU governments had grown nervous of the popular reaction led by anti-immigration parties against a move to make visits easier for 45 million Ukrainians, as well as 5 million Georgians.
Allowing them to travel into Europe's Schengen zone without applying in advance for visas was an important incentive for people there to accept hard reforms from the governments in Kiev and Tbilisi as they sought closer relations with the EU.
Earlier this week, the head of the European Council said the EU was putting its credibility and reputation at risk by letting internal political wrangling stall the promised easing of visa requirements. 
In a letter sent to European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Tuesday and seen by Reuters, Donald Tusk urged the legislature to compromise with national governments to unblock visa liberalisation.
"At stake here are the legitimate hopes and aspirations of the nations who are our neighbours, as well as the reputation of the European Union, which has categorically and repeatedly committed itself to the issue," the former Polish premier wrote.
"Even though all the parties in this debate have their own good arguments and undoubtedly good will, it seems we are getting close to squandering our joint efforts," he added, saying failure to deliver would be "an unforgivable mistake".
source: Independent

Main reason for delay in granting visa-free regime for Georgia and Ukraine is the lack of agreement-Donald Tusk

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 11:15

The governing institutions of the European Union and the Member States bear a serious political responsibility and should not lose the trust of Ukraine and Georgia regarding the speedy granting of visa-free regime to these countries.
This is stated in a letter of European Council President Donald Tusk to President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, available to an Ukrinform correspondent in Brussels.
"We have made demands on our partners, who have paid a heavy price in carrying out painful reforms and even have been subjected to great political risk. They accepted these challenges, with a strong belief that the EU will be able to fulfill its own promises. Therefore, I want to reiterate that we may lose not only the social, political and economic interests, and not only the future of our relations with our neighbors, but, also and especially, trust," Tusk commented on the inadmissibility of delay in EU’s decision-making process regarding granting Ukraine and Georgia visa-free regime.
In his letter, the President of the European Council noted that the main reason for delay in granting visa-free regime for these two countries is the lack of agreement between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

Association Council: European Union and Georgia share the same values

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 06 December 2016 10:05
High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini gave a statement on 2 December following the Association Council between the European Union and Georgia.
During the Council, the EU and Georgia reviewed the implementation of our Association Agreement, discussed economic agenda of the Georgian government, recent parliamentary elections, continued support for the territorial integrity of the country, and visa liberalisation. 
“I can say that we have exchanged views on the enormous progress made in all fields, from politics, the economy and trade to our cooperation in foreign and security policy and the excellent work we carry out together with the foreign minister,” High Representative Mogherini’s said in her statement.
“It is clear we share common values. It is also clear that we share a common agenda, a common interest and a common commitment to making this partnership even stronger in the coming months and years, and to continue Georgia’s political association and economic integration with the EU.”
She confirmed that the EU will continue to support political reforms and an “impressive economic reform agenda”, as well as promote “freedom of media, pluralism, respect for the rule of law and judicial independence”.
High Representative Mogherini also highlighted the impressive results of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas agreement: “We have seen very positive trends in trade between the EU and Georgia. I believe this is a good success story for our people both in Georgia and in EU and I would like to congratulate all of us on this initial success, which can grow even bigger and become even more positive for our people and businesses.”

We will do everything cooperation with British partners to strengthen -Irakli Kobakhidze

Published in Politics
Monday, 05 December 2016 13:35

We will do everything cooperation with British partners to be more strength. This statement was made by the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia. According to Irakli Kobakhidze, the meeting with Friendship Group of Georgia was productive.
“The strategic partnership with UK is too important for us and we want this partnership to strengthen. The Parliament of Georgia do its best for it,”-Irakli Kobakhidze said. 

Georgia: no tangible progress achieved in implementation of recommendations on transparency of political party funding, GRECO says

Published in World
Friday, 02 December 2016 18:14

Today, the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) published a new report on how Georgia has been following up on its recommendations on ensuring transparency of party funding.

The initial set of recommendations was given to Georgia back in 2011. They concerned incriminations (criminalization of corruption offences) and transparency of political funding. In 2013 and in 2015 GRECO already issued reports about the compliance of Georgia with these recommendations, and concluded that all of its recommendations on criminalization of corruption has been satisfactorily implemented, but seven recommendations on political funding had been implemented only partially.

In the report published today, GRECO concludes that no tangible progress has been achieved by Georgia as regards the implementation of the outstanding recommendations on political party funding. The pending seven recommendations remain partly implemented.

Therefore, the third evaluation round focusing on incriminations and the transparency of party funding in Georgia continues. GRECO asked the Georgian authorities to submit the information about addressing the outstanding recommendations on party funding by the 30th of September 2017.

However, GRECO has already started the next evaluation round for Georgia that focuses on preventing corruption among members of parliament, judges and prosecutors. A GRECO report evaluating the current situation in this field and providing a set of recommendations to Georgian authorities is to be published on 12 December 2016.

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