EU AND CzDA funded project upgrades business advisory services of 23 regional civil society organisationsSep 18, 2019
PIN and partners summarise achievements of the project: “Regional Civil Society Organisations as Vectors of Rural Economic Development”
17 September, 2019, Tbilisi – At a closing event People in Need and its partners, presented the results of their two-year work in support of strengthening region-based CSOs to promote the DCFTA implementation process in Georgia.
The event included speeches by the representatives of project implementing organizations, donors, beneficiaries and project stakeholders. The representatives of EU, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, International and local partner organisations, donors and project partner CSOs attended the event.
Petr Mikyska, Ambassador of Czech Republic to Georgia and Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia officially opened the event.
“Georgia is priory country for Czech Development cooperation from last year to 2023. Our priorities are Health Care and Social Welfare, development of Mountain regions. We assist to Georgia government with transposition of EU legal acts in environment or food safety fields according to Association agreement. Czech experts train governmental officials in various fields. Georgia made significant progress in economic development. The GE economy grows up constantly during last years. This satisfactory trend would continue in future thanks to DCFTA. DCFTA is significant issue from many points of view; I may say it is historical challenge for Georgia to enhance economic ties with Europe. Certainly, there are many administrative obstacles, which should be overcame. We, as EU member states and institutions are doing our best for assistance to Georgian government with particular reforms at central level. We should prolong and enforce European solidarity with Georgia and other countries of Eastern Partnership.” said Petr Mikyska, Ambassador of Czech Republic to Georgia
Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia stated: "In this project we teamed up with civil society organisations from Georgia's regions. These organisations helped small enterprises and farmers receive information on how to upgrade their businesses and benefit from the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the EU. I am impressed that more than 9000 small businesses and farmers could be reached!"
“I was happy to welcome so many important guests to People in Need’s closing event to present the achievements of the project “Regional Civil Society Organisations as Vectors of Rural Economic Development”. This project answered the DCFTA questions of thousands of farmers across the country, who sometimes feel removed from national policymaking and the benefits that European cooperation brings to Georgian citizens”, concluded Dion Battersby, People in Need, Country Director.
The speeches were followed by an exhibition of the EU-supported regional Civil Society Organizations. Regional CSOs presented info/photo materials where participants could observe the results achieved by each CSO. Moreover, the guests had the opportunity to interact with representatives of regional CSOs in an outdoor fair, and become familiar with their work.
During the implementation of the project in Georgia, 23 CSOs, including four Local Action Groups were trained on DCFTA related issues. These CSOs then established 23 DCFTA Information Resource Desks, which provided more than 9,000 local SMEs and farmers with consultations on Free Trade with the EU. With the active participation of the Resource Desks, PIN partners in the project elaborated value chain analyses for seven products (raspberries, blackberries, broccoli, tangerines, carrots, bay leaves, and tomatoes). In addition, 65 public meetings were organized, in which field experts provided detailed information on DCFTA to the rural population. Moreover, the project implementing organizations were involved in the development and advocacy of four policy briefs (Preliminary Assessment of the State Program “Plant the Future”, “Vocational Education and DCFTA”, “Review of Monitoring and Evaluation Practices in the Georgian Government” and “Diversification of Rural Economy in Georgia“) and at the final stage of the project, a DCFTA network of information resource desks was created, to ensure the target organizations continue to provide important DCFTA counseling after the completion of the project.
Background: This project is part of ongoing EU assistance aimed at strengthening the capacities of regional civil society organisations, and supporting Georgia's integration into EU markets.