GEORGIAN BULLETIN. Monthly Issue September - October 2011. Embassy of Georgia to the Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Mission of Georgia to the European Union www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge. The President of Georgia met with the President of the United States
September - October 2011
Embassy of Georgia to the Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of LuxembourgMission of Georgia to the European Union
The President of Georgia met with his colleague the President of the United States
The President of Georgia - Mikheil Saakashvili met with the President of the United States - Barack Obama today. The meeting took place in an informal setting, during the lunch in the name of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, which is traditionally attended by the leaders of the General Assembly member states. During the cordial discussion, the two presidents touched on the issue of relations between their countries.
The Second Summit of the Eastern Partnership was held in Warsaw on 29 and 30 September 2011.
The Summit was attended by the heads of state and government of the EU member states and of other countries associated with the Eastern Partnership. The Georgian delegation was led by the President of Georgia, Mr. Mikheil Saakashvili. During an informal dinner on September 29, the Summit\'s participants discussed various aspects of political and economic co-operation between the EU and partner countries; the experience which has been gained after 2 years of the Eastern Partnership; and future perspectives for the Partnership. The Georgian President addressed the meeting.
21/09/2011 The President of Georgia met with the President of the United States
29-30/09/2011 The Second Summit of the Eastern Partnership
20/10/2011 The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, David Bakradze held the meetings at the European Parliament in Brussels
24-25/10/2011 the seventh plenary session of the negotiations on Georgia - EU Association Agreement
15-17/10/2011 Delegation of the Working Group on Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the EU Council visited Georgia
18/10/2011 Candidate of Georgia is elected as a member of the Committee against Torture (CAT)
13/10/2011 The 2nd meeting of the EU-Georgia Cooperation Sub-committee on Energy, Transport and Environment
22/09/2011 The 11th meeting of the Georgia-EU Co-operation Committee
Two plenary sessions were held on September 30, during which the Summit\'s participants discussed various directions of the Eastern Partnership. Mr. Saakashvili reviewed several issues concerning the EU\'s political and economic integration and co-operation with partner states.
During the Summit the Georgian President held meetings with the President of the European Council, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mrs. Catherine Ashton. Mr. Saakashvili also held bilateral meetings with senior officials from Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Malta and Sweden.
A Joint Declaration was adopted at the Summit, in which its participants acknowledged the European aspirations and choices of some partners as well as their commitment to build strong and sustainable democracies.
The participants agreed that the Eastern Partnership must be significantly strengthened, and committed themselves to accelerating its implementation with the objective of building a common area of democracy, prosperity, stability and increased interactions and exchanges.
The Summit positively rated current democratic and economic reforms in Georgia.
The Joint Declaration underlined the fact that negotiations over a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with Georgia could start by the end of this year. The Summit\'s participants also welcomed the effective implementation of the visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Georgia; emphasized the importance of diversifying energy supply routes and, in this context, the significance of the Southern Corridor; and welcomed the signature of the Common Aviation Area Agreement between the EU and Georgia as well as the conclusion of the Agreement on the protection of geographical indications of agricultural products and foodstuffs with Georgia.
As at the Prague Summit in 2009, the heads of state and government present at the Warsaw Summit reaffirmed their belief that conflicts impede co-operation efforts. They therefore emphasized the need for such conflicts to be settled peacefully at the earliest opportunity and based upon the principles and norms of international law.
The Summit\'s participants welcomed the EU\'s strengthened role in conflict resolution and stressed the importance of the presence on the ground of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia.
An "Eastern Partnership Conference" was held on September 29, during which the Chairman of the Georgian Parliament, Mr. David Bakradze, gave a speech on the development, achievements, difficulties and future prospects of the Eastern Partnership.
The town of Sopot also hosted a Business Forum of the Eastern Partnership on September 30, which was attended by EU experts and representatives of EU member states and by representatives of the business community of the Eastern Partnership states. The aim of the Forum was to develop an economic and business dimension for the Eastern Partnership and to discuss the possibilities for establishing and developing business contacts, investments and mutual projects among the EU and the countries of the Eastern Partnership.
The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, David Bakradze held the meetings at the European Parliament in Brussels
The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, David Bakradze held the meetings at the European Parliament in Brussels with the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mr. László Tőkés, the Vice Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Fiorello Provera, the Head of the Greens Political Group of the European Parliament, Mrs. Rebecca Harms, the Head of the People’s Party, Mr. Joseph Daul and the Deputy-Head of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Mr. Hannes Swoboda.
The parties spoke about the main directions of Georgia-EU relations, namely visa facilitation, DCFTA issues and the issue of Association membership of Georgia to EU.
At the meeting with the Vice Chair of the Committee on Security and Defense of European Parliament, Krzysztof Lisek, the parties spoke about the report on Georgia.
The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, David Bakradze made the speech at the sitting of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of European Parliament where he comprehensively spoke about ongoing and implemented reforms in Georgia.
He touched upon the issues of regional security, spoke about relations of Georgia with neighboring countries. Mr. Bakradze thanked the European side for support of non-recognition of occupied territories and assistance.
With the initiative of Krzysztof Lisek, the film “5 Days of War” was demonstrated in the European Parliament.
On behalf of Mr. David Bakradze, the dinner was held with the Members of European Parliament within the scope of the visit.
The meeting held between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Mr. Grigol Vashadze and the European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, Mr. Philippe Lefort
On 25 October 2011, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Mr. Grigol Vashadze hosted a meeting with the European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, Mr. Philippe Lefort.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the principal issues of the Geneva International Discussions related to security and stability in the occupied regions of Georgia and safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees to the places of their habitual residence. Special attention was attached to the prospects of deepening EU-Georgia relations.
On October 24-25, 2011 the seventh plenary session of the negotiations on Georgia - EU Association Agreement was held in Tbilisi.On October 24, parties conducted negotiations within the third Working Group (financial, economic and sectoral cooperation issues).On October 25, parties discussed the following chapters: political dialogue and reform, cooperation in the framework of Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP);cooperation in the framework of Justice, Freedom and Security (JFS)) and the preamble.
Parties took stock of the progress of the negotiations process and discussed the steps for the future.
According to the assessment by the Georgia and EU side,the negotiations were held in a constructive atmosphere. The Georgian delegation was headed by the Chief Negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Tornike Gordadze. The delegation also included representatives of relevant government agencies. The European delegation was led by the chief negotiator from the European side, Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Mr.Gunnar Wiegand.The Association Agreement between Georgia and EU envisages a significant deepening of the bilateral cooperation, bringing Georgia-EU relations to the new, qualitatively higher level. This Agreement gives Georgia the opportunity for political association and gradual economic integration with the EU. The Association Agreement will replace the "Partnership and Cooperation Agreement" between Georgia and EU.
Delegation of the Working Group on Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the EU Council visited Georgia
The four - day official visit to Georgia of the Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia Working Group (COEST) of the Council of the European Union was concluded on 18 October, 2011. The visit was organized on the initiative of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Embassy of the Republic of Poland to Georgia and by the EU delegation in Georgia.
COEST is a committee consisting of representatives of EU Member States, which is tasked with developing recommendations and proposals for the EU decision-making bodies regarding EU cooperation with the countries of the region, including Georgia. Thus, the Working Group’ visit is important in terms of further development of the cooperation between Georgia and EU.
COEST’s first visit to Georgia,held in the spring of 2008.The aim of the visit of the Working Group on 15-18 October 2011, was to study the situation in Georgia, to get acquainted with the country\'s reforms and progress in various fields, to discuss the topical issues related to ongoing Georgia-EU cooperation and future prospects of this cooperation. During the visit, special attention was paid to the discussion of Georgia\'s stability and security and the importance of the EU\'s role in this regard.
During the visit, meetings held with the representatives of the relevant government agencies. The European delegation also visited EUMM’s Field Office in Mtskheta, the Vaziani military base, the occupation line and compact settlements of Internally Displaced Persons. The Working Group visited the House of Justice in Batumi accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Justice Mr. Giorgi Vashadze. During the visit the COEST delegation made field trips and attended various cultural events.
Candidate of Georgia is elected as a member of the Committee against Torture (CAT) for the term 2012-2015
On October 18, 2011, the 13th meeting of the States Parties to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was held in Geneva, Switzerland to elect 5 new members of the Committee against Torture (CAT). Georgia had presented the candidate of Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia, Mr. George Tugushi. With 97 votes, the candidate of Georgia was elected as a member of the Committee against Torture for the term 2012-2015. Other elected members of the CAT are Chile (111 votes), Mauritius (105 votes), United States of America (82 votes) and Senegal (72 votes).
The Committee against Torture is the body of 10 independent experts, which monitors implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by its State Parties.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is hailing the election of the candidate of Georgia as a member of the CAT and highly appreciates the valuable support of the State Parties of the Convention.
The 2nd meeting of the EU-Georgia Cooperation Sub-committee on Energy, Transport and Environment
On October 13, 2011 the 2nd meeting of the EU-Georgia Cooperation Sub-committee on Energy, Transport and Environment was held in Brussels.
The mentioned Sub-committee is one of the formats of the EU-Georgia political dialogue, which was established last year. The Sub-committee, like other EU-Georgia cooperation institutions, is held once a year on expert level, on a rotation basis: in Tbilisi and in Brussels. The first meeting was held on October 21, 2010 in Tbilisi.
The meeting of the Sub-committee was co-chaired by Ms. Tea Akhvlediani, Director of the European Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and Mr. John Kjaer, Head of the EaP Bilateral Relations\' Unit, European External Action Service (EEAS). Participants of the meeting included, from the Georgian side, representatives of the relevant state structures involved in the work of the Sub-committee on Energy, Transport and Environment, and, from the EU side, representatives of the EEAS and the European Commission.
During the meeting, the sides discussed in detail the reform and the main developments in the energy, transport and environment sectors in Georgia, as we as the EU-Georgia cooperation dynamics in the mentioned areas; focus was also made on regional cooperation issues. The sides discussed the future steps in developing cooperation between the EU and Georgia in these directions.
Considering that the discussions on concrete sectors of EU-Georgia cooperation, including the aforementioned areas, are underway in the frames of the current negotiations on Association Agreement, the Sub-committee on Energy, Transport and Environment represents a good forum to tackle these issues in more detail, thus contributing to the negotiation process.
It is noteworthy that the Sub-committee meeting was assessed positively by both sides. The EU side stressed the progress made by Georgia in the discussed areas for the past one year.
The 11th meeting of the Georgia-EU Co-operation Committee
On 22 September 2011, the 11th meeting of the Georgia-EU Co-operation Committee was held in Tbilisi. The Georgian delegation was led by the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Tornike Gordadze, and the EU delegation was led by the European External Action Service\'s Deputy Executive Director for Europe and Central Asia, Mr. Gunnar Wiegand.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Georgian government and of the EU delegation to Georgia, as well as by representatives of EU member states\' embassies in Georgia.
During the meeting, participants discussed current issues concerning Georgia-EU relations - including the European Neighbourhood Policy and the EU\'s "Eastern Partnership".
Discussions also focused on bilateral and multilateral co-operation and on the current negotiations over the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia. Trade issues were also addressed, in particular the question of a deep and comprehensive solution to the question of free trade.
The two delegations also discussed the question of conflict resolution and the current situation in the spheres of the rule of law, democracy, governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and focused on the possibility of enhancing co-operation in the transport and energy sphere. A joint press conference was held after the meeting.
The Georgia-EU Co-operation Committee plays the role of an intermediate in Georgia-EU institutional co-operation. The Committee meets once a year at senior civil servant level (the Georgian delegation, as a rule, is headed by the Deputy Foreign Minister).
The meeting held between the Georgian Foreign Minister and the European Commissioner for Home Affairs
On 5 September 2011, the Georgian Foreign Minister, Mr. Grigol Vashadze, met the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ms. Cecilia Malmström.
Discussions between the two focused on the current status of the implementation of visa facilitation and readmission agreements between Georgia and the European Union. The European Commissioner praised the progress which has been made at this stage.
Mr. Vashadze and Ms. Malmström discussed measures to be implemented for the further liberalization of the visa regime between Georgia and the European Union, and outlined an expedient time for launching a visa dialogue.