Brussels, 12 May 2010
ENP Country Progress Report 2009 – Georgia
The Commission published on 12 May 2010 the so-called neighbourhood package, consisting of an overall assessment of five years of implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), 12 country reports on developments in 2009, including one on Georgia, and a sector report.
In 2009 Georgia made progress in the implementation of the ENP Action Plan priorities, especially in the areas of rule of law, reform of the justice system, fight against corruption, trade facilitation and improvement of business climate.
In 2010 continuous and effective implementation of related legislation will be the key in ensuring the long-term success of the reforms, thus meeting ENP Action Plan commitments. Also, Georgia will need to continue its democratic reform efforts and consolidation of democratic institutions, especially political pluralism and media freedom. Other major future challenges include poverty reduction, employment and social policies, agricultural development including sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues and civil service reform.
Negotiating directives for a future Association Agreement were adopted by the EU on 10 May 2010.
Political dialogue and governance, including CFSP
A State Constitutional Commission was established to prepare a new constitution which would ensure clear separation of powers, a system of check and balances, an independent court system and better protection for human rights. A first draft is expected by the autumn 2010.
In October 2009 the new Criminal Procedure Code (pending since 2007) has been adopted and will come into force in October 2010. It provides for a major change in the system of administration of justice in criminal matters.
Georgia made significant efforts to reduce corruption and to comply with Council of Europe recommendations, through the set of legislative changes and reforms. The country improved its ranking in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index to 66th place worldwide.
The regular human rights dialogue with the EU was launched.
Georgia aligned itself with vast majority of EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) declarations open for alignment.
EU supports Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and the peaceful resolution of the conflicts in Georgia including through: the EU monitoring mission, co-chairing Geneva talks ; financing post-conflict assistance (see below) and reminding Russia of its commitments under EU-mediated ceasefire, which are not yet fulfilled.
Economic integration and trade
An economic decline of 3.9% GDP is forecasted for 2009, as a result of the global financial and economic crisis. It further exacerbated the economic downturn caused by the conflict with Russia in summer 2008.
As a result of the crisis, EU exports to Georgia declined by 27.9% and imports decreased by 34.8% compared to 2008. The EU is by far Georgia’s the most important trade partner.
The country benefits from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP+) for the years 2009-2011.
Georgia showed in the second half 2009 determination to fulfil key EU’s recommendations linked to its preparedness for starting deep and comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) negotiations. By deploying additional efforts, it would become ready to start these talks.
Promoting mobility, fighting irregular migration
The negotiations on visa facilitation and readmission agreements were technically concluded in November and signature is expected in 2010.
Also in November, the EU and Georgia adopted a Mobility Partnership, aiming at facilitation of legal migration and fighting illegal migration.
The Action Plan for the implementation of integrated border management was adopted in December 2009 – its finalization was helped by the EU Special Representative Border Support Team. Several EU Member States and Turkey provided training in border surveillance, vessel security and operative investigation.
Sector cooperation - examples
Transport: Significant progress in negotiations on a Common Aviation Area Agreement was made since its launch in October. Georgia signed a working arrangement with the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Environment: The Regional Environmental Centre for Caucasus (REC) was consolidated both financially and in terms of internal organisation. It promotes capacity building and cooperation between various stakeholders.
Energy: Georgia remained committed to play a role as a transit country for shipping Caspian resources to the EU. In October 2009 Georgia and Romania agreed to cooperate, i.a., on the development of LNG facilities in view of the transport of Caspian gas to the EU.
Research: Georgia increased its participation in the 7th Framework Programme, with 23 research groups being successful in their applications (as of November 2009) receiving € 1.6 million of EU funding.
Education: In 2007-2009, thanks to Erasmus Mundus grants, 192 Georgian students and academics could pursue studies in EU universities for up to three years.
EU–Georgia – BACKGROUND
The European Neighbourhood Policy governs the relations between the EU and Georgia. In 2009 the EU launched the Eastern Partnership, the Eastern dimension of the ENP framework, aiming at substantially upgrading engagement with the six Eastern neighbours via:
- Bilateral track, whose objectives include the establishing of Association Agreements with Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas, once conditions have been met, as well as progress on visa and mobility issues
- Multilateral track (i.e. intergovernmental platforms and Flagship Initiatives).
This approach allows for gradual political association and deeper economic integration.
FACTS AND FIGURES
1999: EU-Georgia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement entered into force.
2005: EU-Georgia Action Plan was approved
2008: August 2008 war with Russia. It was stopped thanks to the EU mediation. The EU set up civilian monitoring mission (340 observers) and provided a post-conflict assistance package of up to € 500 million from its budget. The EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism (MIC) was mobilised in the aftermath of and facilitated the arrival and use of the civil protection assistance provided by the EU Member States
2008-2009: An 18-months Stand-By Arrangement was approved by the International Monetary Fund, in August 2009 extended until June 2011 and increased to € 835.7 million. In addition the EC provided a grant of € 46 million of Macro Financial assistance.
2007-2010 the ENPI1 envelope for Georgia stands at € 120.4 million
2011-2013: An indicative ENPI envelope of € 180.3 million announced by the Commission (a doubling of yearly EU assistance.)
2009 – Neighbourhood Investment Facility - one project was approved (Tbilisi Railway Bypass Environmental Clean-up), committing € 8.5 million in grants and expected to leverage € 253.5 million.
More info at:
the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument