European Union assistance to Georgia mainly takes the form of Annual Action Programmes under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). Other funding sources are the thematic assistance programmes which focus on specific sectors such as human rights or civil society.
An increasingly close relationship with Georgia is being fostered by the EU under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), based on the objectives defined in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and the EU-Georgia ENP Action Plan.
Georgia is also part of the Eastern Partnership since its launch in 2009. Under this initiative, closer political association and economic integration with the EU is being promoted by encouraging governments to reform and by strengthening civil society's role in the development process.
Cooperation programmes 2007-2013
EU assistance to Georgia focuses mainly on political and socio-economic reforms and institutional building. The EU supports these efforts through policy dialogue and sector-wide reform programmes in a number of areas:
- Criminal Justice
- Regional Development
- Peaceful Settlement of Conflicts and support to Internally Displaced Persons
- Public Finance Management
Bilateral cooperation - examples of ongoing programmes in priority areas:
- Agriculture: The EU supports cooperation among small farmers and capacity building of agricultural institutions under the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). The aim is to bring Georgia closer to EU agricultural standards leading to an increase in both food production and trade between the EU and Georgia.
- Criminal Justice: Promoting the rule of law and human rights by reforming the Criminal Justice system has been a priority in EU-Georgian cooperation since 2008. The current focus is on improving living standards in penitentiary institutions, decreasing the number of long prison sentences for young people who have committed minor crimes, offering them alternatives such as community service or education.
- Regional development: The support aims to reduce inequalities between different parts of the country with a focus on stimulating growth and improving regional infrastructure. This should result in a better access to electricity, gas, clean drinking water and usable roads for a bigger share of the population.
- Conflict Settlement and Internally Displaced Persons: Comprehensive assistance to people affected by the conflict has been provided by the EU since 2008. Designed mainly for internally displaced persons (IDPs), the current priority is to integrate IPDs into their host communities through offers of accommodation and jobs. Projects in Abkhazia focus on economic reconstruction and confidence-building measures.
- Public Finance Management: Improvements to Public Finance Management is another long-term priority of EU-Georgia cooperation. The ongoing sector programme promotes transparency and effectiveness of government spending by, for instance, improving strategic budgeting and establishing a modern debt management framework.
- Institutional building: Several programmes support the negotiations and implementation of the EU-Georgia agreements, using the Comprehensive Institution Building (CIB).
Numerous EU-funded regional cooperation programmes address trans-boundary challenges in several countries. The priority sectors in regional cooperation are: environment, energy, and transport and border management.
Neighbourhood Investment Facility:
In 2008, the EU launched the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) to promote investment in the neighbourhood countries. The instrument finances, with a mix of grants and loans, key infrastructure projects in various sectors. In Georgia, the NIF has funded a vast number of projects, focusing primarily on water, energy, environment, and private sector development.
To find out more, please consult the NIF page.
Civil society involvement is a key part of EU-Georgia cooperation. Civil society initiatives are mainly supported through thematic instruments, including those for Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Developments (NSA-LA) and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). These tackle issues like social justice, sustainable development in municipalities or empowerment of vulnerable groups such as children and youth, women and ethnic minorities.
Building capacity of civil society is another focal area supported via the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility. Launched in 2011, the Facility promotes the role of civil society in reform and democratic changes and boosts its active involvement in policy dialogue with the government.
- Total budget for 2007-2010: EUR 117.4 million
- Total budget for 2011-2013: EUR 180.7 million
In addition to this, extra funding of EUR 22 million was made available for Georgia via the Eastern Partnership Integration and Cooperation (EaPIC) programme.
For more details about EU-Georgia relations and cooperation programmes, please visit the website of the Delegation.