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The News in Brief

Thursday, September 16
European Convention Signed In Strasbourg

The Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Vano Merabishvili paid an official visit to Strasbourg and signed the European Convention.

During the visit, Merabishvili held meetings with Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe along with ambassadors of different countries.

The Minister of Internal Affairs introduced the hosts with reforms carried out at the ministry and talked about their futures plans. During the visit, Merabishvili signed the European Convention on the International Effects of Deprivation of the Right to Drive a Motor Vehicle.

The current Convention, adopted under CoE auspices, is very significant in the fight against transportation delinquency. The Convention proposes elaboration of the unified approach in the fight against transportation delinquency and reinforcement of cooperation between the appropriate agencies.

It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia intends to begin negotiations with the European countries and conclude bilateral agreements on the mutual recognition of the driving licenses. Concluding such treaties and therefore, the possibility of permanent recognition abroad of driving licenses issued in Georgia once again outlines that the reform undertaken in this sphere has been successful and indicates to the growing reliability of the Georgian driving licenses in the European Union. (Prime-News)

Meeting On Georgia-EU Collaboration Held In Brussels

A 10th meeting on the Georgia-EU cooperation committee was held in Brussels on September 14. The meeting was held at the level of deputy ministers in the frames of a Georgia-EU political dialogue.

From the Georgian side, the meeting was headed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Davit Jalaghania and from the European side - by the Director of Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia of the European Commission's Directorate-General for External Relations, Gunnar Vigand.

The sides discussed the issues of the Georgia-EU relationship, priority trends and future prospects of cooperation. Attention was focused on the issues of cooperation in the bilateral as well as multilateral formats of European Neighborhood Policy and Eastern partnership; on the process of talks, regarding the Association Agreement, possibility of creation of the free and comprehensive free trade zone, simplification of visa regime and its further phases of liberalization as well as the possibilities of deepening cooperation between Georgia and the European Union in the fields of transport and energy.

Discussions centered on the state of the rule of law, democracy and governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms in Georgia. The Georgian side provided the Europeans with exhaustive information on the reforms and measures carried out or planned in the aforementioned fields during the last year.

Central to the discussions was the state of security and stability in Georgia. The Georgian side emphasized the importance of further intensifying the European Union's role in strengthening security in the country, enhancing the scope of the EU Monitoring Mission's activity, effectively conducting Geneva talks, as well as implementing the European Union's non-recognition policy.

At the tenth meeting of the Georgia-EU cooperation committee, subcommittees of Georgia-EU cooperation were set up on the issues of transport, energy and environmental protection and on the issues of employment, social security, public health, training, education and youth, culture, audiovisual policy, science, technologies and innovations. (Prime-News)

Control Chamber finds violations in immunization program

The Chamber of Control of Georgia has revealed serious violations in the appropriation of state funds allocated for the immunization program last year. The audit reports that 1,070,000 GEL was misappropriated by the machinations carried out by senior officials of the Health Care Ministry and the company, which won the contract.

Giorgi Alasania, the chief of the Social Department of the Chamber of Control said the state funds allocated for the immunization program, were determined to fit the terms of the tender package proposed by the N-Pharm Company. Though the application of the company was placed in an envelope like all other proposals, some officials opened it in advance and facilitated the allocation of funds from the state budget, which would suit perfectly the terms proposed by the company.

In addition, it was also discovered that the Agency of Health Care and Social Programs purchased a vaccine of inferior quality and short expiration, which was less in number than was required. Serious damage was inflicted on the state budget, while the company benefited from the aforementioned machinations.

Immunization vaccines were provided to Georgia by donor organizations until 2009 and only last year did the government begin to purchase vaccines. (Rustavi 2)

CDM leaders introduce remarks to constitution to diplomats

The leaders of the Christian Democratic Movement of Georgia have met with the representatives of Diplomatic Corps and proclaimed their visions and remarks on the draft constitution of Georgia.

The members of the faction CDM hosted the diplomats at the parliament today and said they would speak about the effectiveness of the new constitution if all those amendments were implemented after it was adopted.

The opposition party members call upon the politicians to involve foreign diplomats in the discussion of the new constitution and introduce their thoughts to them.

`Our key goal is to facilitate taking a neutral position between political monarchy and anarchy in our political system. We wanted to introduce our proposals and initiatives, which we have already reported to the majority, to foreign NGOs and diplomats,` Giorgi Targamadze told journalists after the meeting. (Rustavi 2)