The disbursement decided today is part of the EU’s long-standing support to Georgia and its citizens. On the back of successful completion of critical reform commitments and improved stability, but at a time when our partner continues to face a challenging balance-of-payments and fiscal situation, the EU’s assistance will help alleviate Georgia’s short-term financing needs.
It will also support the implementation of key reforms aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation, reinforcing social safety nets and strengthening the stability of the financial sector” argued Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxations and Customs, last 28th April. The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, has approved the disbursement of the second tranche of EUR 23 million under its Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) to Georgia. This tranche is a part of the agenda agreed on July 2014, when Georgia signed a Memorandum of Understanding fixing the priorities for EU cooperation for the period of 2014-2017 with an indicative financial allocation in the range of €335–410 million.
The EU’s MFA programme was intended to strengthen Georgia’s external and budgetary positions and to support the government’s agenda of economic, social and financial reforms. The policy programme attached to the EU’s assistance, which was jointly agreed by Georgia and the EU in December 2014, included measures aimed at improving public finance management, fostering social inclusiveness and strengthening financial supervision. It also contained measures related to trade and competition policies, which aimed at helping Georgia fully reap the benefits of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement (AA), including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which was signed in 2014, provisionally applied from September 2014 and entered into force in July 2016.
As a direct result of the DCFTA, new Georgian exports to the EU are materialising. Georgian kiwis, blueberries, nuts, garlic and wine are exported to the EU and copper and petroleum oils have seen sizable increases of exports. Exports of honey started in December 2016. The EU also supports the development of new business in Georgia, most recently through the introduction of credit lines.
The revised EU-Georgia Association Agenda defining a new set of cooperation priorities for the period 2017-2020 is expected to be adopted before summer 2017.
We hope the positive and productive attitude matured between the EU and Georgia will further strengthen even in the next strategic planning cycle 17-20.