The FINANCIAL — The Government of Georgia, with the support of the EU, awarded the first 11 municipalities under the Pilot Integrated Regional Development Programme with a total of GEL 5 million in grants in the area of local infrastructure and business development. These grants are part of the Government’s GEL 220 million Pilot Integrated Regional Development Grant Programme, of which GEL 186 million will come from EU funding.
The aim of the programme is to promote a more balanced territorial development and improve living standards and conditions of the population in the regions through inclusive, smart and sustainable socio-economic means. The grant programme will be implemented in the municipalities of four focal regions in Georgia: Kakheti, Imereti, Guria and Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti.
These grants are part of the programme’s first phase which began in June 2020, when the first grant competition was announced in the municipalities of the pilot regions. The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia (MRDI), in the framework of the Government Commission for Regional Development (GCRD), revealed the results of the first grant competition on 8 July. The municipalities of Vani, Sachkhere, Tkibuli, Samtredia, Baghdati, Tsageri, Sagarejo, Telavi, Akhmeta, Ozurgeti and Chokhatauri received funding in the amount of 5 million GEL.
“The development of Georgian regions is a priority for the EU, and with this programme the EU hopes to ensure that this development is balanced and not just focussed on the main cities of Tbilisi and Batumi. We have worked hard with the Government to put the proper structures in place and are happy to see them in action. We look forward to providing over GEL 186 million through our EU4ITD programme to make this initiative a success” – said Vincent Rey, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Georgia.
The development of regional policy in Georgia is an important area of the EU-Georgia cooperation under the Association Agreement. The Pilot Integrated Regional Development Programme 2020-2022, co-financed through the budget support scheme by the EU, was approved by the Government in December 2019. The programme follows the European model of regional development and is implemented for the first time among the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries in Georgia.
The Association Agreement (AA) between the European Union and Georgia fully entered into force on July 1st 2016. The Association Agreement aimed to deepen political and economic relations between the EU and Georgia, also through the creation of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). By removing customs tariffs and quotas and by comprehensively approximating trade-related laws and regulations to the standards of the European Union, the Agreement offers Georgia a framework for boosting trade and economic growth.
Moreover, In the frame of the GRETA project (Green Economy: Sustainable Mountain Tourism and Organic Agriculture), the EU, Sweden and Austria have launched the Tourism Development Initiative (TDI), a call for proposals for grants in the area of tourism development in the municipalities of Mestia, Lentekhi, Tsageri, Oni, Ambrolauri, Sachkhere, Chiatura and Tkibuli. According to the official statement, Tourism Development Initiative (TDI) support per applicant or group of applicants will be granted between €5,000 and €50,000 with the co-financing share at minimum 10% of the total budget. The duration of a project must be at least 6 months and may not exceed 24 months. All TDI activities must have finished by 30 September 2022. Read more.