"Ireland announces €1 million support for democratisation in Georgia" - Minister Cowen
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., has announced that the Government has decided to allocate €1 million in support of democracy in Georgia for the period 2005-2006. This funding will assist projects to promote human rights and promote good governance in Georgia.
This pledge was made at a joint EU Commission-World Bank Donors’ Conference on Georgia which was held yesterday in Brussels. This financial assistance to Georgia will come from Development Co-operation Ireland funds.
Minister Cowen said, “The Government’s decision to commit €1 million to Georgia underlines our very genuine and ongoing commitment to reform in that country and builds on the support provided by Development Cooperation Ireland in the region in recent years. I believe that this is a time of hope for the people of Georgia and we will ensure that Ireland’s contribution will make a real difference. The EU will continue to watch closely the progress which Georgia will make with regard to both economic and political reform.”
EU Foreign Ministers decided at the General Affairs and External Relations Council in Luxembourg on 14-15 June to include the three South Caucasus countries, including Georgia, in the EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy. The European Neighbourhood Policy will provide an institutional framework for enhanced co-operation to advance peace, democracy and development in the region.
Minister Cowen represented the EU Presidency at the inauguration of President Saakashvilli in Tbilisi in January. President Saakashvili was elected President following the change of government in Georgia in November 2003 which was known as the ‘Revolution of Roses’. The past six months have seen sustained EU efforts to further a peaceful reform agenda in the region.
Note for Editors:
Funding will be provided from the Development Cooperation Ireland Funding Line for the Balkans and CIS.
Capacity Building for good governance, protection of human rights, promotion of civil society and protection of vulnerable groups underpin DCI’s activities in the region.
The 2002 Report of the Ireland Aid (now Development Cooperation Ireland) Review Committee recommended that approx 2% of the Development Cooperation Ireland budget should be allocated to this region. Top