The European Union supports Georgia with a new € 16 million programme on Border Management and Migration.
On Thursday 11 June, 2013 the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, and the State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Alexander Petriashvili, signed the financing agreement for a four year programme totalling € 16 million: “Enhancing Georgia’s Capacity for Border Managements and Migration”.
Good governance and respect for human rights are integrated into this new programme, which will:
- Improve Georgia’s border management, by supporting agencies active in this field, encouraging the exchange of data and providing modern equipment for the monitoring of borders in line with the EU-standards;
- Strengthen the government’s capacity to coordinate and manage migration through technical assistance. In particular, it will support Georgian authorities to implement their Migration Action Plan, and therefore reduce irregular migration in line with human rights principles as well as with the needs of the national labour market;
- Enhance the government’s capacity to fight against cross border crime and against trafficking in human beings by supporting the State Migration Commission and the State Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings.
Border management and migration are key areas in the dialogue on visa liberalisation between the EU and Georgia, and integral part of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan.
At the occasion of the signature, Commissioner Füle pointed out: We welcome the measures taken by Georgia to improve proper management of borders and to promote legal migration, two key aspects in our dialogue on visa liberalisation. This is the largest programme so far in these fields and it will accompany Georgian efforts for the next four years.
This is a concrete initiative which translates the principle of “More-for-More “ launched in the frame of the Eastern Partnership Integration and Cooperation programme (EaPIC): the more and the faster a country progresses in its reforms on democracy and human rights, the more support it will get from the EU.
In this context, Georgia benefited from additional EU support of € 22 million in 2012. The funds were used to scale up an existing programme supporting Criminal Justice Reform, with a specific focus on human rights (€ 6 million) and to prepare a new project on “Enhancing Georgia’s Capacity for Border Managements and Migration” (€ 16 million). The budget will be used for providing grants to civil society, working with International Organisations, supporting Georgian institutions and purchasing specialised equipment.