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Territorial integrity and European and Euro-Atlantic integration Remain Foreign Policy Priorities of the Georgian Parliament

Legislative steps and actions needed to restore Georgia’s territorial integrity, support de-occupation, contribute to the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration, deepen strategic partnership with the United States and strengthen regional cooperation were named among top priorities to shape a legislative aspect of Georgia’s foreign policy in the next two years.

The Foreign Relations Committee of the Georgian Parliament also reaffirmed its commitment to enhance Government oversight and promote cooperation within the bilateral and multilateral formats.

The Committee priorities are listed in the Strategy and Action Plan for the next years, prepared with the assistance of the European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

On 26 November 2018, Sophie Katsarava, Chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, presented the strategic document to the Parliament and Government, as well as representatives of civil society, think tanks, embassies and international organizations. David Zalkaliani, Foreign Minister of Georgia, and Tamar Chugoshvili, First Vice-Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, joined an event.

“Georgian Parliament plays a critical role in shaping the foreign policy of our country. The Foreign Relations Committee is exploring the established legislative mechanisms to facilitate the implementation of Georgia’s foreign priorities. We also plan to strengthen oversight over the Government and improve our internal capacities to form strategic partnerships and communicate with the public more effectively,” Sophie Katsarava said.

Asuncion Sanchez-Ruiz, Head of Political, Press and Information Section at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, noted the increased role of the Parliament as Georgia moves forward to parliamentary democracy.

“The European Union is a longstanding and great supporter of the Parliament of Georgia in strengthening its oversight function, and we will continue doing so”, Asuncion Sanchez Ruiz noted.

“It is encouraging to see that parliamentary committees follow the best principles of legislative openness, make their strategic documents available to the public and openly discuss their strategic priorities with the society,” said Gigi Bregadze, UNDP Democratic Governance Team Leader in Georgia.

Eight out of 15 parliamentary committees started publishing their multi-year strategies and action plans since 2014 when the practice was first initiated with the assistance of EU and UNDP under their larger initiative for strengthening parliamentary democracy in Georgia. The 2017 Open Parliament Action Plan has mandated all parliamentary committees to develop and publish their action plans on the annual basis.