EU-Georgia sign €30 million agreement for regional development

Financing Agreement will support to launch a new program for ‘Regional Development – Phase II’. Photo by PM's Press Office, 19 Nov 2014 - 12:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Union (EU) will allocate €30 million (73 million GEL) to Georgia to assist the country’s regional development.

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met in Brussels yesterday and signed the Financing Agreement to launch a new program in support of ‘Regional Development – Phase II’.

"This €30 million program we sign today will build upon results achieved through the first phase of the regional development program implemented between 2011 and 2013,” Hahn said after signing the agreement.

"This long-term cooperation demonstrates the increasing maturity of the policy-making process in Georgia, which allows the EU to provide more in depth support based on foundations set earlier.”

Hahn highlighted that this second phase would focus on helping the Government better plan and manage public funds used at the regional level in a wide-ranging set of sectors including infrastructure, support to SMEs, tourism, rural development and vocational education.

Garibashvili was confident this financial agreement was another expression of the EU’s contribution to the support of Georgia’s integration to the EU.

"It is important for us to cooperate with the European Union in such priority sectors like energy, agriculture, transport and education,” Garibashvili said.

Hahn believed in the mid-term, the program would promote better link between regional strategies and investment – public or private - in Georgia’s regions.

Later Hahn assessed the meeting with Garibashvili on his Twitter.

Georgia’s Prime Minister reaffirmed Georgia’s devotion to European and Euro-Atlantic integration and invited Hahn to Georgia.