On 13 September, Deputy Minister Konrad Pawlik inaugurated the third edition of local government reform training dedicated to Georgian officials. It is provided by the Polish MFA as part of the Eastern Partnership Academy of Public Administration.
“In this way, Poland continues development initiatives that have been undertaken in the past few years to help the Georgian government prepare and implement local government reform,” said the deputy chief of Polish diplomacy. According to the minister, decentralization is one of the key reforms facing Georgia.
“Georgian administration must confront the serious challenge of expanding local governments’ competencies and increasing their financial autonomy vis-à-vis the central government. I hope that your participation in this training will be a next step in creating a professional personnel that’s necessary to set up a local government that meets EU standards,” underlined Deputy Minister Pawlik.
For years, local government reform has been a priority of subsequent Georgian governments. Decentralization measures taken by the Georgian administration so far have strengthened the democratic mandate of local authorities, e.g. by direct elections of mayors in major cities.
The Eastern Partnership Academy of Public Administration has been run since 2011 in cooperation with the National School of Public Administration. The project is aimed at strengthening public authorities in the Eastern Partnership countries by organising specialised training modules for civil servants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Over the past four years, 250 public administration representatives from the Eastern Partnership countries have taken part in the programme.
The training on 13-18 September will be attended by 13 local government officials from Georgia. In October, representatives of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will take part in a programme on implementing the EU Association Agreements, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas. Training modules on fighting corruption will be held for Ukrainian officials in November. Meanwhile, in December officials from all Eastern Partnership countries will be able to participate in a two-week traineeship on civil service.