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European Commission - Press release
European Union promotes Justice Reform and support to Internally Displaced People in Georgia
Brussels, 13 July 2011 - Brussels, 13 July 2011 – Today, the Commission adopted the Annual Action Programme 2011 for Georgia, which will provide €50.73 million in assistance. EU support for the criminal justice system, conflict resolution and Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Georgia will build on previously successful work in these areas over the past few years.
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle underlined: "Georgia has already made significant progress in reforming its criminal justice system and in assisting its internally displaced populations. Important results have already been achieved, but more still needs to be done. The Programme adopted today will provide further assistance to help achieve these objectives."
The EU Support Programme for Criminal Justice started in 2008. Sectoral reforms have intensified under the leadership of the Criminal Justice Inter-Agency Coordinating Council and will be further supported by this Annual Action Plan for 2011. The programme aims to improve juvenile justice in line with the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and to enhance detention conditions in penitentiary institutions. Other measures include support to improve compliance of the Georgian probation service and to strengthened capacity of the legal aid service.
In the past, EU support to the Justice sector helped to successfully establish a comprehensive juvenile justice system, including introduction of early release through parole and education for all juveniles in prison. Moreover a penal strategy has been adopted and criminal legislation reviewed, introducing among others a stronger probation system. The institution of a Public Defender Office has been introduced and its capacities gradually enhanced (e.g. 4 new offices have been established), including the establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism for torture – thus meeting the obligations under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against torture.
On the programme:
The Annual Action Programme (AAP) 2011 for Georgia consists of the following four actions:
Action 1: Support to the criminal justice sector
In recent years, Georgia has made significant progress in reforming its Criminal Justice System, also thanks to the support of a first EU-funded Sector Policy Support Programme (SPSP) in criminal justice in 2008. Further impetus is now expected in the areas addressed by this 2011 programme.
Action 2: Support to conflict affected/displaced population and host communities
After the August 2008 conflict, EU-funded programmes in Abkhazia and neighbouring areas in Western Georgia have continued to provide assistance to local populations. Currently, the EU remains the largest donor in this region of Georgia, where the humanitarian and development needs of populations on both sides remain high.
Action 3: Framework programme in support of EU-Georgia agreements
This action will among others contribute to the preparation of Institutional Reform Plans for the institutions selected for support under the Comprehensive Institutional Building Framework Document. It will furthermore support the implementation of selected components of institutional reform plans.
Action 4: Support to conflict settlement
At present, there are still some 250,000 Internally Displaced People in Georgia. The Government has started a policy to re-integrate them into mainstream Georgian society and the first IDP Strategy and Action Plan was developed. Recent EU programmes focussed mainly on addressing IDP housing issues by rehabilitating apartments or building new accommodation, but this Action Plan will also address socio-economic and livelihood needs.
The €50.73 million allocation is provided through the EU's European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), which is the main source of EU assistance for Georgia and the other 16 partner states along the Eastern border of the EU and the Mediterranean. The aim of this assistance is to promote enhanced cooperation and progressive economic integration between the European Union and its partner countries. Furthermore, the assistance shall also encourage partner countries' efforts to promote good governance and equitable social and economic development. In addition to ENPI assistance funds, Georgia also receives further support from the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, the Instrument for Stability and other thematic programmes.
For more information:
On EU assistance to Georgia:
On EU-Georgia external relations:
On the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP):
On the Eastern Partnership: