EU committed to provide Georgia with €330-410 million in 2014-2017

The financial assistance will go towards supporting and implement democratic reforms. Photo by Stefan Fule's Twitter account, 18 Jul 2014 - 19:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

After Georgia’s Parliament ratified the Georgia’s Association Agreement with EU today, Georgia’s State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alexi Petriashvili and European Commissioner Stefan Fule signed two important documents to connect Georgia and the European Union (EU).

The documents are the Single Support Framework (SSF) 2014-2017 and The Financing Agreement for the European Neighbourhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).

The SSFUnderstanding Memorandum will determine the priority areas and the amount of financial aid offered by the EU in 2014-2017 years. The financial assistance will go towards supporting the Georgian Government implement democratic reforms – for which the EU has committed to provide €330-410million (780-970 million GEL) from now until 2017.

Following the signing, Fule went onto his Twitter account and said:

With this document Georgia and the EU have agreed to cooperate in several priority sectors during the reform process.

These are:

1) Civil Service Reform:

  • Government support in the direction of capacity building of public services and establishing a result-oriented administration system;
  • Increasing accountability of the execute branch and fight against corruption;
  • Strengthening the capacity of legislative, judiciary and media branches to establish control mechanisms on executive government;
  • Strengthening local self-government through decentralisation; and
  • Implementing improved mechanisms for a public finance management system.

2) Agriculture and Rural Development:

  • Promoting the growth of agriculture sector competitiveness; and
  • Promoting the growth of employment prospect in agricultural regions.

3) Justice Sector Strengthening:

  • Supporting the reform in criminal justice sector;
  • Promotion of human rights;
  • Civil and Administrative Justice System reform; and
  • Increased access to justice for vulnerable groups.

4) Georgia-EU agreements - Association Agreement (AA), Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), and Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) implementation:

As for the second document – The Financing Agreement for the ENPARD - the EU will assist Georgia with an additional €12 million on top of the €40million program of Rural Development Sector Policy Support, which aimed to promote the growth of food production in Georgia and reduce poverty in rural areas.

The program will help implement the National Agriculture Sector Development Strategy, and create cooperatives for small farmers and strengthening agricultural organisations.

Out of the extra €12 million, slightly more than half will be transferred directly to the state budget in 2016. After this Georgia will execute the annual plans outlined in the document and the EU will assess the country’s progress of implementing the agreed terms.

The remaining € 5.5 million is estimated to go towards expert assistance and grant projects, which will be selected through competition and according to EU procedures. These aimed to finance following activities:

  • Agriculture related activities;
  • Non-agricultural economic activity (eco-tourism, food processing industry, forestry and more);
  • Agricultural landscape natural resources sustainable management; and
  • Increasing the capacity of the Agricultural Cooperative Development Agency.