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Commissioner Johannes Hahn launches Regional Policy Dialogue with Georgia.

Commissioner Johannes Hahn launches Regional Policy Dialogue with Georgia.


At a meeting today with the Georgian Minster for Regional Development and Infrastructure Ramaz Nikolaishvili, Commissioner Johannes Hahn signed a joint declaration which brings into being a Regional Policy Dialogue between Georgia and the European Commission's Directorate General for Regional Development.

The purpose of such a dialogue is to share experience and expertise in the field of regional policy where, as part of its aspirations under the EU's Eastern Partnership initiative, Georgia wishes to take advantage of Western European experience.

Speaking before the signature Minister Nikolaishvili said: 'this is an excellent time for Georgia to take advantage of the access which the Commission is offering to a wealth of experience in the field'. 'And there are some areas where Georgia can show some excellent examples!' he added.

Commissioner Hahn made it clear he agreed this is to be a two way exchange. 'Georgia has already made striking progress in bringing this dialogue into being in a very short time' he said. 'Georgia has also realised that a regional development system which aims to reduce disparities will promote stability'. Commissioner Hahn also said that Europe is delighted to share its experience, which ranges from very small to very large regions.

According to a work programme which was discussed by the two sides after the signature, DG REGIO will help the Georgian government organise a comprehensive technical information seminar on EU regional Policy in Tbilisi in spring, bringing in experts from EU regions in areas of specific interest to Georgia. This meeting will also explore the scope for study visits in Europe for Georgian officials.

The work programme will also make recommendations for studies of issues important for regional development in Georgia, such as programming and partnership.