Mr. Kakha Kaladze, President of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia and Mayor of Tbilisi initiated to mark the 20th anniversary of Georgia’s membership in the Council of Europe, the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe and the 25th anniversary of the Congress with the ceremony.
The Mayor addressed the audience and spoke about the importance of the ceremony.
In his speech, the Mayor of Tbilisi touched upon areas of successful cooperation between the Council of Europe and Georgia, such as the process of refinement of the Georgian constitution, formation of the Georgian electoral system, reforms of the judiciary and penitentiary systems.
Mr. Kaladze also underlined the fact of elaborating a strategy for more participation of women at the national level and noted that such approaches, with the active support of the Council of Europe, contribute to the practice of equal participation in the country.
"It is particularly noteworthy that the Congress, as the youngest institution in the Council of Europe, and Georgia as a young democracy, are an example of successful cooperation. This is reflected in support of Georgia for the successful decentralization reform process, the improvement of the legislative framework and the strengthening of local democracy. The main pillar on which democracy is based is human rights and equal participation. Georgia is one of the successful examples in this respect. Gender boards work effectively in municipalities as part of a strategy for greater engagement of women. In our government, women's representation in elected bodies is instantly increasing. Our association is actively cooperating with the Committee of European Municipalities and Regions and the result of this cooperation is that today four municipalities of Georgia will formally join the European Charter of Equal participation, which will make women's participation in local life even more systematic. Personally, me and my teammates, of course, welcome the involvement of women at both local and central government levels. Their involvement in politics is only welcomed. I want to point out that women are more active.
The fact that Georgia has become a prominent example of democratic transformation in recent years is evidenced by various ambitious, successful reforms. Among the main areas are: direct election of the mayor, transfer of powers at the local level, financial decentralization and, finally, unprecedented reform across the region, transfer of a significant share of value added tax to local budgets. Clearly, this is not a complete list of the Georgian government's efforts to empower local governments. These days the Georgian government will approve a new, ambitious strategy of decentralization.“ - stated Mr. Kakha Kaladze.
The Mayor of Tbilisi thanked the Congress for their support in the process of strengthening democracy and noted that many successful examples of development of local democracy will be created at the new stage of close partnership.
A joint event focusing on the promotion of local democracy in Georgia organized by the Congress and the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) focusing on the promotion of local democracy in Georgia
Mr. Kakha Kaladze, President of NALAG, Mr. Giorgi Tkemaladze and Ms. Tamar Taliashvili, Vice-Presidents of NALAG, Mr.Xavier Cadoret, Congress Vice-President and President of the Chamber of Local Authorities, Mr. Andreas Kiefer, Congress Secretary General, Ms. Maya Tskitishvili, Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, Mr. Zaza Gabunia, Chair-man of the Parliamentary Committee on Regional Policy and Self-Government and Mr. Vahag Muradian, Deputy Head of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia addressed the ceremony.