ENP Country Progress Report 2012 – Georgia
European Commission - MEMO/13/246 20/03/2013
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Brussels, 20 March 2013
ENP Country Progress Report 2012 – Georgia
The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy published on 20 March 2013 the annual “neighbourhood package”, consisting of a joint communication (“Towards a Stronger Partnership”) making an assessment of the ENP implementation in 2012, a report on the “Partnership for Democracy and Shared prosperity” with Southern Mediterranean, an Eastern Partnership progress report, 12 country reports (on developments in 2012 and with a set of recommendations for the future), including one on Georgia, and a statistical annex.
There was intense EU-Georgia political dialogue in 2012. Negotiations on an EU-Georgia Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, made significant progress during the year. Georgia also advanced in implementing the Visa facilitation and readmission agreements. Progress was registered in fighting corruption and in deepening freedoms of assembly and association. October 2012 elections marked a genuinely democratic transfer of power. Concerns persisted about judicial reform and the media sector.
Georgia acted on most of the key recommendations in the last year's ENP progress report. It ensured broadly free and fair parliamentary elections. It also strengthened the freedom of expression and opinion; continued to reform the justice system and advanced sectoral reforms and regulatory approximation to the EU acquis. It actively participated in the Geneva discussions and took measures to improve the living conditions of internally displaced persons (IDPs), with the support of the EU; it also renewed its commitment to a genuine engagement with the breakaway regions. Progress also needs to be made on the remaining key recommendations. On the basis of this year’s report and with a view to sustained implementation of the ENP Action Plan in 20131, Georgia is invited to:
Reforms initiated, carried out successfully, or delayed during 2012 in the different areas of cooperation between the EU and Georgia are described in the annual country report. Some of the issues reported deserve special attention. In the political area, the October parliamentary elections marked the first democratic transfer of power in the country’s history. Concerns persisted about the pace of judicial reform. The country continued to make progress in fighting corruption. Concerning economic and social reform, labour rights have been identified as one of the principal challenges, but an encouraging start has been made in approximating with international standards. As regards trade, the EU launched negotiations on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). A Dialogue on Visa Liberalisation also started (leading to the delivery of a Visa Liberalization Action Plan in February 2013). An increasing number of Georgian students and researchers benefited from different European programmes in the education area.
EU–Georgia – BACKGROUND
The European Neighbourhood Policy governs the relations between the EU and Georgia. Since 2009 the EU implements the Eastern Partnership, the Eastern dimension of the ENP framework, aiming at substantially upgrading engagement with the six Eastern neighbours via:
This approach allows for gradual political association and deeper economic integration.
FACTS AND FIGURES
1999: Entry into force of the EU-Georgia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
2005: Approval of the EU-Georgia Action Plan.
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 EUR 500 million from its budget. The EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism (MIC) was mobilised in the aftermath of the conflict 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 EUR 835.7 million. In addition the EC provided a grant of EUR 46 million of Macro Financial assistance.
2007-2010: the ENPI2 envelope for Georgia stands at EUR 120.4 million.
2009: Neighbourhood Investment Facility - one project was approved (Tbilisi Railway Bypass Environmental Clean-up), committing EUR 8.5 million in grants and expected to leverage EUR 253.5 million.
2010: Launch of the Association Agreement negotiations with the EU.
2011-2013: The new National Indicative Programme (NIP) 2011-13 for Georgia was adopted in May 2010 and has a budget of EUR 180.3 million. The programme is geared towards supporting the achievement of key policy objectives as outlined in the EU-Georgia Action Plan (AP) and pursues four priorities: (1) support for democratic development, rule of law and governance; (2) support for economic development and ENP AP implementation; (3) poverty reduction and social reforms and (4) support for peaceful settlement of Georgia's internal conflicts.
2011: Entry into force of visa facilitation and readmission agreements.
2011: One-year extension of the mandate of the EUMM
2012: Launch of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).
More info at:
The Action Plan should be replaced by the Association Agenda in the course of 2013.
the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument