Since 2006 Poland has allocated over euro 10 million to development projects in Georgia. Half of this amount was spent on supporting regional development. “We see that the money has been put to constructive use, paving the way for Georgia’s reforms and development,” said MFA Undersecretary of State Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz.
On 15 October, Deputy Minister Pełczyńska-Nałęcz opened a conference on Polish experiences in the implementation of local government reform and devolution. The conference in Tbilisi was also attended by Marcin Kubiak, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Davit Narmania, Georgia’s Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure. Minister Narmania thanked the Polish delegation for Poland’s support of reforms and for sharing its transformation experience with Georgia. Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz stressed “Poland wants to share its experiences,” adding that local government reforms are considered one of the greatest successes of Poland’s transformation. The deputy minister said that local government is an important element of sustainable development in that it allows citizens to be more active and take responsibility for their communities.
The Georgian government is now in the process of drafting a set of laws that will reform its local government. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been helping Georgia in reforming itslocal government system through expert advice provided under development cooperation. This October the Eastern Partnership Academy of Public Administration together with the National School of Public Administration organised training for 24 senior Georgian government officials. The training focused on implementation of local government reform. This year Polish experts are to prepare detailed analyses for the government of Georgia on local government policy. The fact that a Polish expert is now advising the Georgian Minister for Regional Development, Infrastructure and Reform is also noteworthy.
On Tuesday, Deputy Minister Pełczyńska-Nałęcz also met with misters of foreign affairs, economy, regional development and infrastructure. In her meeting with Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze,Deputy Minister Pełczyńska-Nałęcz talked about the process of EU integration, including prospects for initialling the EU-Georgia Association Agreement at the November Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. Their meeting also focused on the Euro-Atlantic cooperation, security in the South Caucasus region and the presidential elections scheduled in Georgia for 27 October. While in Tbilisi, Deputy Minister Pełczyńska-Nałęcz also met with opposition members and experts from Georgia’s think tanks: the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies and the Georgian Institute of Strategic Studies, among others.