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“The EU-Georgia Association Agreement is the foundation of EU Georgia relations and a roadmap for our future cooperation. Besides delivering visa free travel and increasing access to the EU single market for Georgian producers, it also outlines key reforms that will have a tangible and positive impact on the day to day lives of Georgians. The EU is fully committed to assisting Georgia in meeting these goals by supporting the Government, Parliament and communicating to citizens. Projects like the one we are closing today have been a key part of this effort. We will remain engaged!” H.E. Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union, emphasized while addressing the audience.
Speaking at the ceremony, H.E. David Zalkaliani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, highlighted “It is symbolic that we are gathering at the new cultural center of Tbilisi that symbolizes common Georgian and European cultural traditions. Georgia has never been as closer to the European Union as today which is reflected through the progress achieved in the process of Georgia`s political and economic integration with the European Union. This is process, which has already delivered and continues to deliver concrete tangible benefits to the Georgian population.”
Mrs Irina Pruidze, the First Deputy Chair of the parliamentary Committee on European Integration, stated: “The Committee on European Integration has an important role to play in the implementation of the Association Agreement. To ensure that the legislative approximation process is effective, the committee should systematically participate in the review of draft laws submitted to the parliament, in the capacity of a leading or a mandatory committee, and produce conclusions about the conformity of legislative amendments with obligations taken under the Association Agreement. “Facility for the Implementation of the Association Agreement in Georgia” project is providing crucial support in this process”.
“Since mid-2015, the AA Facility has been engaged in this multifaceted task and assisted the Georgian authorities in enacting the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, including its DCFTA integral component. In the course of the project 43-month operation, over 220 various type of expert assistance has been rendered for the benefit of more than 20 public institutions” Dr. Jolanta Taczyńska, the AA Facility Team Leader, accentuated.
During the closing ceremony, the project’s main achievements were presented, among others, the expert assistance rendered in the policy development and its programming, enhancing the coordination, monitoring and reporting of the AA implementation, advancing the institutional reform and legal approximation process, strengthening the donor coordination as well as implementation of EU-Georgia communication and information strategy.
The event gathered almost 100 high-level representatives of the project beneficiaries and stakeholders, namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Justice and other line ministries, Administration of Government and the governmental agencies, as well as the Members of the Parliament of Georgia. The EU Member States’ and US’ diplomatic corps as well as the representatives of international organisations, business associations and NGOs also attended the ceremony.
The European Union is supporting the Association Agreement implementation process through several programmes and projects. The EU-funded Facility for the implementation of the Association Agreementis a flagship project among others.