From the Head of Office, Caterina Bolognese
We are 16 staff members in the Tbilisi Office, many of whom work on a variety of cooperation programmes to assist Georgia in fulfilling Council of Europe standards in the areas of human rights, rule of law and democracy.
Georgia became the 41st member state of the Council of Europe in 1999, an historic step best remembered when the Prime Minister at the time, Mr Zurab Zhvania, at the Parliamentary Assembly, declared on behalf of the Georgian people: “I am Georgian and therefore I am European”.
Fifteen years have passed and Georgia has taken significant steps to consolidate democracy and strengthen human rights and the rule of law. The Council of Europe strives to assist Georgia along the way, through a range of cooperation activities and mechanisms which monitor Georgia’s progress in fulfilling the Organisation’s standards. Please visit our calendar of events for details of our upcoming activities. The Office in Georgia provides support to all these efforts, by facilitating the work of colleagues in our Strasbourg headquarters, by bringing our Tbilisi-based cooperation programmes under one roof, and by providing a local contact point for enquiries from the Georgian government, civil society institutions and the public at large.
Georgia-Council of Europe engagement was boosted with the adoption of a 3-year Action Plan, launched by Secretary-General Jagland when he visited Tbilisi in February 2014. Funding for two-thirds of this EUR17M Action Plan has been raised, through the European Union and other donor Governments keen to support Georgia’s progress. Work continues, both in Strasbourg and Tbilisi, to secure the remainder.
We are pleased to mark the 15th anniversary of Georgia’s membership also through the publication of this new website in Georgian and English. We would be glad to receive any feedback you might have on the website and how we could improve your access to information about the Council of Europe and how it benefits Georgia and its people.