MIA reform: Security service will be separate from Interior Ministry

PM Garibashvili shaking a hand with a police officer in Kutaisi, August 23, 2013; Photo by MIA
Agenda.ge, 10 Dec 2014 - 18:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

Major changes are ahead for Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIA).

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced the MIA would undergo the reform process, with one aspect of the reforms enabling the Security Service to be separated from the Ministry.

Garibashvili instructed Secretary of the State Security and Crisis Management Council Davit Sujashvili to create a working group to deal with this process today.

The working group was said to be consisted of Cabinet and Parliament Members, non-governmental organisation representatives, as well as foreign and local experts. The group will be tasked with evaluating risks that could occur during the separation process.

"Security block’s separation from the MIA and reformation of the Ministry was the Georgian Dream's promise,” PM Garibashvili said.

"For the last two years we have deliberately not discussed this issue, as it was a transitional period. Today is the time that we have begun to discuss this, to create a working group, which will be absolutely transparent [and] open,” he said.

"Maybe the security block will be separated from the Interior Ministry where special services will be included and police will be separate. This is only an idea at this stage but in what form it will be implemented will be discussed by the working group."

Eventually, proposals submitted by the working group will be discussed by the Government first and then a draft law will be presented to Parliament for final approval.

The new initiative was positively assessed by the country's Public Defender. Ucha Nanuashvili believed this would make the MIA more balanced.  

"The MIA was a big agency and it was a problem for many years," Nanuashvili said.

"Dividing it into several small parts would make it more efficient." 

Last week Georgia’s Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili spoke about the need of carrying out major changes within the MIA. He said the Ministry must not be "militarised” and police should be a completely separate and independent entity.