The meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Budgetary Office with the Scottish Parliament representatives
The parties spoke about activities, functions and legislative processes of the two Parliaments.
Georgian MPs spoke about the ongoing and future activity of the Committee and the Office as of the independent fiscal institution.
Scottish MPs shared their experience. The parties agreed on future cooperation.
The meeting was supported by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.
David Usupashvili met with Anne Brasseur. The parties spoke about events in Georgia and in the region, Russian occupation of Georgian territory and situation in Ukraine.
The Speaker thanked Mrs. Brasseur for adoption of the supportive resolution for Ukraine and noted that Georgia will always support the resolution. The parties also considered the Constitutional, electoral, judicial and municipal reforms and agreed to enhance relations between Georgia and CoE.
The meeting was attended by T. Japaridze, L. Berdzenishvili, I. Chikovani and T. Bokuchava. After the meeting, the parties made the joint statements.
“This visit is one more expression of enhancement of Georgia-CoE relations. We agreed to work in this direction. Sometimes, when we have the problem with quorum in the Parliament, it is due to the fact that 10-12 MPs are occupied in PACE, striving not only for Georgia but for Europe. This is the platform, where Georgian politicians participate in construction of Europe, solution of European issues”, - the Speaker stated.
PACE is an important European institution, actively facilitating Georgia to hold the democratic reforms and creation of institutional environ. “Let me remind you that in line with CoE recommendations, we have implemented the most important reforms in judicial sphere, municipal sphere, in political system, legislation on political parties, electoral system and many other spheres. Let me also remind you that the Venice Commission, well-known in Georgia, acts under the aegis of this organization and many other instruments, with which CoE supports Georgia”. “For me, as for the PACE President, it is important to visit the countries first of all to have the personal contacts; also to better understand the country, people, politicians and civil society, to meet media. So, I thank you for the interest, expressed in my visit”, - Mrs. Brasseur stated.
The Parliamentary Delegation of Georgia plays an important role at PACE sessions. “You shall be proud of your delegation, which is very active, particularly at Committee sittings, playing an important role. The Georgian delegation, in terms of attendance, is the 4th country amongst 47 countries. I think, it is important for MPs, to have contacts with their counterparts but it is also important to better understand Georgia. It helps us in development of democracy, rule of law and human rights protection. All democratic forces shall stand beside the civil society and religious leaders to fight against hatred and intolerance as it undermines democratic system and is a real threat – it is the message from CoE” – A. Brasseur stated.
Geo-political situation and Ukraine vents touched particularly the region and Georgia. “We shall find the joint solution. Violence can never be the solution, it is hard but we shall proceed. On our turn, by means of the Parliamentary delegation, we shall find the way out. After termination of suffrage to Russian delegation, they decided not to work with us. They still are the members. We want to talk with them and I hope we will find the way to continue this dialogue but one of the main principles CoE is based on, I will reiterate it here, in Georgia, is territorial integrity. No one has right to violate this principle and it concerns Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well”. She also spoke about Constitutional, electoral Code and judicial reforms. “Some steps have been made but it is important that there is no impunity, is it a civil society or a politician – all breaches shall be punished. Jurisdiction shall be transparent and the system – reliable”. Solution of the problems in the country is possible with bilateral dialogue and mutual respect. “I hope you will find the solution for your problems to continue protection of your citizens”.
The visit started on May 6 and will be accomplished on May 9. A. Brasseur will meet the legislative and executive, as well as judicial authorities.
The Committee considered the change agreement N1 to the Loan Agreement of October 25, 2013 between Georgia and EBRD (Jvari-Khoraga E-Transmission Line). The agreement envisages allocation of 25.2 ml EURO for 1 years for consumption of Caucasus Mountain transmission line to Jvari sub-station and Khoraga Sub-station e-transmission lines construction. After the tender, the loan resource savings constituted 5 ml EURO. Thus, on March 16, 2015 the change agreement was signed envisaging consumption of the saved funds for Zestafoni 500 and Marneuli 220 sub-stations.
The Committee considered with the III reading the draft on Legal Status of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons and the draft on Consular Fees with the II reading. The Committee supported the drafts.
The works are held on the territory of the Parliament and the Youth Palace. The Head of the Governmental Commission on Organization of EBRD Annual Meeting and Business forum, the Finance Minister, N. Khaduri and the Commission members introduced the information about the implemented work.
The 4 temporary premises have been built in the Parliamentary yard to locate media-center, briefing room and conference halls. All necessary spaces are provided equipped with the communication systems and office inventory.The relevant works have been held in the Youth Palace.
Within the event, the delegations from more than 60 countries and international delegations and up t0 1500 businessmen are to visit Georgia. The EBRD forum will be aired by the world leading media agencies.
The Parliament initiated the exhibition. The Speaker addressed the attendees and spoke about the Ukraine crisis and post-Soviet occupation consequences.
“Today we are here to see these shots of post-Soviet occupation in Ukraine. This is hard – as we wanted to end all the misfortunes from the Soviet period, following the Imperialistic soviet system. Unfortunately, it failed in case of Georgia and it cost lots of victims for Georgian people in the struggle for freedom. Today the same force threats Ukrainian people and deprives territories and lives from them. Today we saw the photos, reflecting the same pain we all well know and that’s why we need to be particularly solidary to Ukraine”.
The photos, besides the pain of war, reflect reprimand to politicians, who failed to prevent this disaster.
The Speaker recalled the official visit to Kiev and expressed support to Ukraine. “Today we are here to deliver our message to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters – we are with you! We, the Parliament and the Government, shall continue working in many directions to solve this problem in Ukraine and in Georgia, to prevent them from repetition. This is the shortest and the convincing answer to the question what Georgia wants in EU or NATO. We want these photos to become history and never repeat”.
The Director of the Museum, D. Lortkipanidze and the Minister of Culture, M. Giorgadze also addressed the attendees.
The Chair of EU Integration Committee of Ukrainian Parliament, Conflict Regulation Commissioner in Donetsk and Lugansk, Irina Gerashenko spoke about events on the photos. She thanked Georgian side for support and aid to Ukraine. According to her, the exhibition aims at attraction of attention of the society to Ukraine events and condemnation of Russian aggression against neighbor countries.
Exhibitions have been already held in European countries and USA. It will be soon held in Czech Republic. The exhibition was attended by Georgian, Ukrainian and Moldovan MPs, international and local NGOs and diplomatic corps. The exhibition exposes the photos by photographs, journalists, militaries and volunteers reflecting the acutest moments.
The exhibition is organized by Ukraine Rada EU Integration Committee Chair, the Parliament of Georgia, Embassy of Ukraine, Ukrainian National Union of Journalists.
The exhibition was held in Brussels, Strasbourg, London and New York. The exhibition will be closed on May 20.
Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), will make an official visit to Georgia on 7-8 May 2015.
In Tbilisi, she is due to meet the President of Georgia, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ms Brasseur will also have meetings with representatives of different political groups.
In addition, talks are scheduled with the Georgian delegation to PACE, the Chairperson of the Supreme Court, the Public Defender, and with representatives of civil society and the diplomatic and international community.
Ms Brasseur will also visit an internally displaced persons’ settlement in Tserovani and the administrative boundary line at Khurvaleti.
She will also give a lecture to students at the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.
David Usupashvili, Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, and PACE President Anne Brasseur, will make a press statement at the Parliament on Thursday 7 May at 11 am.
The Committee heard the report on 3-months implementation of State Budget 2015, introduced by the Deputy-Finance Minister, G. Kakauridze.
According to him, GDP average growth was 3.2%, mixed budget income forecast implemented with 104.7%, grant forecast implemented with 130.5%. He spoke about January-March parameters of consumer prices increase and foreign trade reduction and noted that in comparison with the similar period of last year, the consumer prices increased with 2.6%, and foreign circulation reduced with 10%. Despite of this reduction, export increased with 21.1% with EU states and trade relations reduced with 55% with CIS states.
He spoke about indices of budget implementation and noted that all parameters: incomes, taxes, grants etc. were excessively implemented. He also spoke about Defense and Interior Ministries plans implementation and noted that implementation in both agencies was defined with 95%. After the report, he answered the questions by I. Sesiashvili.
MPs asked about GEL state, economic situation and future forecasts for the budget. The Committee considered with the II reading the drafts on Diplomatic Service; Weapon and deriving drafts. The Committee voted and supported the drafts.
The Bureau discussed the agenda for May 13-15 plenary sessions. The agenda includes: the draft resolution on construction of the new bridge on the river Debeda between Sadakhlo-Bagratasheni check-points between Georgia and Armenia, the draft on Facilitation to Elimination of Legalization of Illegal Income, drafts by minority, the report by LEPL Legal Aid Service etc.
The Bureau discussed new initiatives and organizational issues. The Procedural Issues and Rules Committee submitted the conclusion on incompatibility of new appointments with MP status for T. Khidasheli and G. Agulashvili, subject to termination authority ahead of time due to appointment as the Ministry of Defense and Minister of Environmental Protection.
The Speaker introduced the information about the schedule of the recent days and stated that the Parliament shall be ready to hold extraordinary sessions. It depends on the decision of the President when to nominate the Government for confidence. The 7-day term of the President expires on May 7.
Minority MP, S. Ratiani reminded the assault on N. Tsiklauri a year ago and stated that as it is not investigated, it gives the ground that it was plotted by the Government. Lately, the driver of N. Tsiklauri underwent the assault and he demanded response to this fact.
“When MP is assaulted and insulted, it is the matter of the Parliament. I am concerned as the MIA has made an optimistic decision. MP shall be protected despite of the political affiliation, and assault is not excusable for any reason. I call on law-enforcement to investigate this fact. Unless all the details are investigated, you cannot point the finger to the Government”, - the Speaker replied.
He hoped for fast investigation of the case.
The Committee considered termination of authority of T. Khidasheli ahead of time due to her appointment as the Minister of Defense under the Ordinance of May 1, 2015 N169 of the Prime Minister.
The Chair, G. Kakhiani elucidated that the Committee develops the conclusion. “In line with the Rules of Procedure, upon approval of termination of authority of MP ahead of time due to incompatibility with another position, in case of vote of confidence to the Government, if MP is nominated as the Minister, the Procedural Issues and Rules Committee shall without delay, study the issue and develop the relevant conclusion”.
The Parliament shall immediately consider the issue of termination of authority of MP. No agenda issues shall be consider unless solution of this issue. The Committee unanimously supported the conclusion.
The Committee considered termination of authority for G. Agulashvili due to his appointment as the Minister of Environmental Protection under the Ordinance N167 of the Prime Minister. The Committee supported the conclusion.
The Chair of the Gender Equality Council, Manana Kobakhidze participated in the conference organized by UNFPA and the WB, held in the Holliday Inn Hotel. The participants summed up the main findings of the researches held in South Caucasus and in Georgia, revealing the reasons for gender selection, outcomes and proves.
The research has been held in Georgia supported by the WB and UNFPA. The WB held the project Ubrella Trust Fund for Gender Equality, and UNFPA – the joint program funded by the Swedish Government “For Gender Equality Facilitation in Georgia” with partnership of GEC.
M. Kobakhidze opened the conference. “The hereof research will allow, first of all, to study the proves, what are the reasons for gender selection and abortion according to the gender, what is the trigger for gender disbalance and to correctly outline the policy for the Government to eliminate the gravest and rudest form of discrimination in Georgia. It is not the problem of Georgia solely. UN agencies also speak out loud in their reports. The special resolution has been made by PACE, calling on the states and political leaderships to outline policy to solve this problem. Today this is the big problem for Georgia in demographic terms, so we shall rely on the system surveys and researches and on the basis of the qualified outcomes, to make the decisions leading to problem solution. The reasons may be wrong views, wrong attitude, stereotypes and stigmas, combat against of which is not easy. We also can speak about socio-economic situation, various problems in the society, leading us to the grave decisions. I think, we shall discuss and care for unborn baby-girls first of all to maximally reduce such facts and eliminated. The ultimate goal is total elimination of the problem. Georgia well realizes the problem, imposed on us by the number of international agreements, national legislation and the action plans. The Parliament and the Government have made the documents, assigning us to combat against gender inequality, and this event can be considered as one of the steps made for protection of gender equality in Georgia and elimination of this form of discrimination”.
The Deputy-Labor Minister, Z. Sopromadze, UN resident representative in Georgia, the Ambassador of Sweden to Georgia and Armenia and the Head of the WB Trans-Caucasia Office Human Development Group also addressed the attendees.
The UN representative thanked the GEC for active work and productive cooperation. The participants of the event were the Chair of Health Care Committee, D. Khundadze, representatives of the executive authority, NGOs, scientific and professional cyrcles.