EU and Georgia signed financing agreement to support reform process
Tbilisi (12th February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and Georgian Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alexandre Petriashvili signed the Financing Agreement totalling €20 million in Tbilisi today to support the reform process in Georgia. The main focus of this financial help is on comprehensive institution building. The funding will support key Georgian institutions to undertake the necessary reforms in three main areas: trade, oversight and public accountability, and co-ordination of EU-Georgia agreements."The programme launched today focuses on important elements of political association and economic integration, which are: shared values such as democracy and respect for human rights; development of stronger and modern institutions; and opening of new trade opportunities," Commissioner Füle said after the signing.
The programme will in particular:
- support institutions that play a key role in aligning Georgian goods with EU standards and norms and, by doing so, enhance Georgia' s ability to trade with the EU and other partners. These institutions are: the National Food Agency, the National Accreditation Centre and the Georgian Agency for Standards, Technical Regulations and Metrology;
- strengthen the public accountability and the rule of law by supporting the Parliament, the Public Defender’s Office and the State Audit Office;
- promote coordination of the Prime Minister's office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Ministry of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and other governmental bodies.
This new programme builds on the support already provided under the 2011 programme in support of EU-Georgia Agreements, totalling €9.7 million. Its key feature, comprehensive institution building, has been conceived in the framework of the Eastern Partnership launched in May 2009 to focus on strengthening the institutions and administrative capacity to deal with future obligations streaming from the Association Agreement.