EU and Government of Georgia sign EUR 28 million Security Sector Support programme for Georgia
In the framework of the 16thGeorgia's European way Conference in Batumi, representatives of the European Union and the Government of Georgia signed the first ever EU support programme on security sector reform for Georgia.
Entitled "SAFE: EU4 Security, Accountability and Fight Against Crime in Georgia" the five year and 28MEUR (approx. 86 MGEL) programme will start in 2019 and support the Government in the fight against crime and corruption; hybrid and emerging threats; border management; civil protection and crisis management; and oversight of the security sector.
"The EU stands by Georgia and its citizens on security. This programme will ensure safer borders and help the Government more effectively protect its citizen's from crime and cybercrime, hybrid threats, and natural disasters. At the same time it will also strengthen oversight of the security system by actors such as the Parliament, Ombudsman, independent oversight institutions, and civil society to ensure that citizens' rights are ensured. " noted Lawrence Meredith, Director for the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood in the European Commission.
“Georgia is grateful for the EU Financial and Technical assistance to Georgia which plays a crucial role in the European Transformation of the Country, particularly in the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement. Georgian side pays particular importance to the EU SAFE Programme, which is the first programme of this kind funded by the EU to support implementation of key priorities of the Georgian Government including combating crime and cybercrime, hybrid threats, and fight against the natural disasters. At the same time, EU support to Economic Governance and Fiscal Accountability envisaged by the EU 4 Economic Governance and Fiscal Accountability programme is of utmost importance” noted Vakhtang Makharoblishvili, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The programme will be implemented through some 12 separate projects by EU Member state administrations, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) as well as private consultancy firms. A grant calls for proposals for civil society will also be held. A public launch event for the programme is planned.
In addition, the European Union and the Government of Georgia also signed theEUR 18.6 million (approx. GEL 57 million) "EU 4 Economic Governance and Fiscal Accountability" programme to further strengthen fiscal governance in Georgia. Activities under this programme will focus on enhancing budgetary frameworks, strengthening external audit and independent fiscal monitoring as well as encouraging civic participation in oversight of public finances. It will be implemented through direct grant support to the government as well as technical assistance projects implemented by EU Member State administrations and the World Bank.