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CSOs discusses regional problems

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, April 21
On April 17, with the aim to discuss critical and timely issues affecting the regions of Georgia, Civil Development Agency (CiDA) organized a conference wherein representatives of the Regional Civil Society Network (R-CSN) and international organizations met and assessed the current situations in the regions of Georgia.

Discussion topics included: self -governance and Regional issues; situation in the Adjara Supreme Council; challenges of the Regional CSOs; the relations between local authorities and NGOs/ Media; the attitude of the population towards Euro-Integration.

“During our discussions, we emphasized the main events going on in the country. We have invited representatives of international organizations in order to introduce them to the current situations in various regions of Georgia. Each member of the R-CSN is actively engaged in their regions’ ongoing processes and their view and assessment is worth taking into account,” Zviad Devdariani, Executive Director of CiDA, told the media.

One of the key issues on the discussion agenda was the lack of information about Euro-integration and issues of the EU-Georgia Association agreement in the regions.

Giorgi Andghuladze, head of Democrat-Meskhs Union from Akhaltsikhe touched upon local population’s attitude towards European integration processes and said that because of the lack of information, people are not entirely positive about Georgia’s European future.

“Georgian authorities, as well as civil society organizations, should make more efforts in the regions to introduce ordinary people to what the EU-Georgia Association agreement will bring to us, what they should consider while working in the villages, what kind of quality should their produced products have in order to distribute them in European market,” Andghuladze said.

Significant attention was paid to self- governance in the regions as well as the situation in the Adjara Supreme Council. Some of the members of R-CSN have been involved in the attestation commission and they stated that reform should continue in this direction, as there were many flaws during the process.

“Today they [regions CSOs] discussed those problems which are problematic in the regions of Georgia. I can highlight self governance issues in the regions, where we have met a lot of problems and violations. Many people addressed our organization with different problems and we are trying to make adequate responses to them,” Eka Gigauri, Executive Director of Transparency International Georgia said.

R-CSN is an unofficial union of regional civil society organizations and civic activists which united more than 50 CSOs around the country. The event was organized by Civil Development Agency (CiDA) within the Advancing CSO Capacities and Engaging Society for Sustainability (ACCESS) project and implemented by the East-West Management Institute and funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with additional organizational assistance and financial support from the Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF).