Justice, Freedom and Security

Assistance to a broad field of legal and administrative reform has been one of the key areas of the European Union (EU) assistance to Georgia since the early 90ties. Since the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, the EU assistance strongly focussed on the reforms of the justice system in Georgia. At the new stage of the Georgia-EU cooperation, EU – Georgia Action Plan under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) puts special emphasis on the cooperation in the fields of Rule of Law and Justice.

The EU has within this broader area of assistance provided support in a variety of areas related to Justice, Freedom and Security also. These projects have covered array of specific fields within the sector and were implemented by using different funding instruments.

In the area of fighting against illegal drugs the EU has provided funding for the regional South Caucasus Anti-drug Programme (SCAD I to V). There have been different projects funded under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and Thematic Programmes on the fight against trafficking in human beings as well as on the fights against illegal drugs.

The EU has supported Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to implement selected projects in the field of migration under different instruments.

The Georgian Government has achieved measurable progress in certain areas of cooperation under Justice, Freedom and Security, notably fight against trafficking in human beings, however the other fields of cooperation in this sector remain to need additional contribution for achieving sustainable positive results. In the scope of ongoing negotiations the EU has supported the Georgian Government in the introduction of the data protection legislation which is still pending approval.

Under the EU-UNDP Joint Migration and Management Initiative four projects will be focusing on Georgia.

The EU is providing funding for the South Caucasus Integrated Border Management (SCIBM) Programme, with the funding amounting to €6 million.

The Eastern Partnership as one of its platforms also envisages a platform on Integrated Border Management (IBM) and implementation of the related projects.

Under the Priority area 1 of the ENP AP special attention is paid to the reform of the justice system and specifically to the implementation of the criminal justice reforms in Georgia (including judiciary, prosecution, penitentiary, police and law enforcement agencies.)

The EU has made considerable contribution to the criminal justice system reform in Georgia through various projects aiming at capacity building of key justice sector institutions, providing expertise on legal and structural reforms and more importantly, through being engaged in a structured policy dialogue with the Georgian Government on Criminal Justice reforms. Since 2008 the EU provides more than €20 million to the Criminal Justice System and the Ombudsman in Georgia, out of which €15 million are channelled through a Sector Budget Support Programme on Criminal Justice, complemented with additional technical assistance.

There have been different projects funded under the EIDHR and other thematic programmes to support the monitoring role of the civil society in the process of criminal justice reforms.

It should also be underlined that Criminal Justice is diverse in terms of key stakeholders that include but are not limited to the following state institutions:

  • Judiciary
  • Ministry of Justice (including Georgian Prosecution Service)
  • Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs (including criminal, patrol and border police as well as national bureau of Interpol)
  • Public Defender's Office (especially in its capacity as National Preventive Mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture since July 2009)
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