The European Commission and the Emergency Management Service of Georgia will sign an administrative arrangement in Tbilisi enhancing ties in civil protection and disaster risk management.
The administrative arrangement outlines key areas of cooperation on disaster prevention, preparedness and response on issues such as forest fires, floods, and search and rescue missions.
To attend the signing of the agreement Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides is visiting Tbilisi where he will also meet with the Prime Minister Mr Mamuka Bakhtadze, the Speaker of the National Parliament Mr Irakli Kobakhizde and other officials.
"The signature of this arrangement is an important step to foster even closer cooperation between the EU and Georgia. To protect people, property and environment from disasters more effectively, we all need to be better prepared. I am very pleased to seal, during my visit to Tbilisi, our renewed and strengthened cooperation in civil protection," said Commissioner Stylianides.
In line with the administrative arrangement, the EU will further support the development of civil protection capacities in Georgia, gradually bringing the country closer to the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism.
The Mechanism enables coordinated assistance from its participating states whenever the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country. Participating states include all EU Member States, as well as Iceland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey. Cooperation arrangements signed with additional countries, such as Georgia, formalise cooperation and thereby strengthen joint response to natural and man-made disasters.
Georgia has recently adopted a new law on civil protection, which is an important legal accomplishment, allowing a comprehensive reform of the national civil protection system. The new Georgian Emergency Management Service was established as part of this reform, in response to the 2017 Borjomi forest fires.
Since 2010, the EU has provided close to €4.5 million on disaster preparedness in Georgia. The EU is preparing further assistance targeting civil protection, emergency management and the implementation of Georgia's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear strategy.