Ambassador Janos HERMAN, the European Union Delegation to Georgia, addressed the participants of the regional conference on ‘Ethics and transparency at local level: strategies and tools’ at the opening on 6 December 2017 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The event was organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the thematic programme “Strengthening institutional frameworks for local governance”, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Council of Europe, through the Partnership for Good Governance (PGG) 2015-2017 for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.
“Today we see the results of the co-operation between the EU and the Council of Europe in local governance, the opportunities and support offered to enhance transparency and participatory democracy in the Eastern Partnership region”, he stated, highlighting the commitment shown by local authorities and their ownership over these results.
Ambassador HERMAN also underlined that local governance is an important emerging issue in Georgia and welcomed the fact that both EU and Council of Europe – including its Congress of Local and Regional Authorities - are paying attention to it.
“Georgia, at this phase in the development of its democracy, is transferring more and more competences from central to local level. Local authorities must be prepared to receive them and this is the aim of the programme”, he concluded.
The Tbilisi regional conference brought together around 100 mayors and local elected representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, including numerous newly-elected Georgian mayors, as well as representatives of national associations of local authorities, civil society organisations and expert. The aim was to enable peer-to peer exchange on good practices to promote and strengthen ethics, transparency and citizen participation at local level in these countries.