The Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejcinovic Buric, started her official visit to Georgia. The visit of the Secretary-General is linked to Georgia’s forthcoming chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
Secretary-General of Council of Europe meets government officials while visiting Georgia
By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Tuesday, November 12
On 11 November 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the launching of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023. The Action Plan was presented by Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani and Secretary-General.
According to the Minister, the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023 is an outstanding result of constructive cooperation between the Council of Europe and Georgia and includes projects to be carried out during the next four years by the Georgian Government jointly with the COE. The Action Plan serves to assist the Georgian Government in carrying out reforms in the areas of human rights, rule of law and democracy.
With a total budget of €17.5 million, this four-year Action Plan will build on the achievements of the previous one. It will strengthen democratic security in Georgia by developing and effectively implementing policies and legislation in a number of areas where the Council of Europe provides added value: ensuring the harmonized application of European human rights standards; strengthening local democracy, human rights and the rule of law; enhancing social rights protection; supporting criminal justice and penitentiary system reforms, etc.
At the meeting, the sides also discussed the issues of bilateral cooperation between Georgia and the Council of Europe and plans. They also discussed the human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied territories of Georgia. Particular emphases were made on the facts of Russian occupation, illegal borderization, and mass human rights violations in the occupied regions of Georgia.
While meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, Archil Talakvadze, sides discussed future relations between council and Georgia, as well as the problems that the country faces, including the illegal occupation of Georgian territories by Russia.
Talakvadze informed Marija Pejcinovic Buric on the ongoing democratic reforms in Georgia and the Parliament's agenda.
They focused on the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which Georgia will take over on November 27, and the priority areas on which Georgia will work during its chairmanship.
Discussion of the priorities of Georgia's Presidency of the Council of Europe was the main topic of the meeting between Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and Secretary-General.
It was noted that the priorities of Georgia as the next Presidency of the Council of Europe are based on democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
The Prime Minister thanked the Secretary-General for her firm support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The meeting was also held with the president of Georgia, Salome Zourbichvili, during which the plans and the priorities of Georgia were discussed.
The Chair of the Committee of Ministers is held for a six-month term in turn by the representatives of the members in English alphabetical order. The Chair passes to a new Chair mid-May and mid-November, at a date fixed by the Committee based on a joint proposal by the incoming and outgoing Chairs.
At the handover ceremony, the incoming Chair presents the priorities of his/her country's chairmanship to the Committee of Ministers and the outgoing Chair presents a stocktaking report of the last six months.
The Chair acts neutrally and ensures that the rules and guidelines are respected. The Chair guides the discussions, put proposals to the vote and announces decisions.