Ms. Tamar Taliashvili, Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and Vice-President of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia with the invitation of PLATFORMA the coalition of local and regional governments and their associations active in Development cooperation attended the Forum of EU-EAP Local Leader: 10th Anniversary of the Eastern Partnership which was held in Vilnius. She gave a speech during the first session of the forum which was about: Development Cooperation: Priorities of Eastern Partnership Countries and Cooperation Opportunities for Local Authorities. During the speech Ms. Taliashvili spoke about the challenges and experience of EAP countries about the sustainable development goals of United Nations (SDG 2030). She emphasized the large-scale projects implemented in Georgia through decentralized cooperation with the EU and the neighboring countries.
During the same session Mr. Nigel Jollands, Associate Director for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) assessed successful cooperation and joint projects with Georgia as the most successful example of efficient cooperation in the region. Besides, Mr. Hoa Binh Adjemian, Head of Sector Economic Development - Eastern Partnership Countries, European Commission (DG NEAR) praised the dynamics that Georgia achieved within the framework of the Neighborhood Expansion Program.
Ms. Tamar Taliashvili emphasized the role of the cooperation with the European Finance Organizations in the successful implementation of reforms and projects implemented by Georgia in Tbilisi, including initiatives such as: Smart Transport Systems (ITC), Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP), Municipal Waste Management, Forest Renewal and Turtle Lake and Mtatsminda Development, Livable Cities, Civic Engagement Platform, Open Government Program (OGP) and Startup Business Accelerator - Spark. As well as a project – “Networking for Efficiency and Development” (N4ED) implemented by the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG). In addition, she highlighted the project “Green Tourism and Historical Heritage – a stepping stone for the development of the Black Sea Basin” (GreeTHis).
„Georgia's example illustrates how decentralization can be managed so that cities and municipalities become an effective tool for achieving sustainable development goals when given the political will of the central government. Clearly the European Union, the Congress of the Council of Europe and the Eastern Partnership countries should continue to work together to share and spread these results. "– Stated Ms. Taliashvili.
Mr. Olivier Baumard, PLATFORMA Project Officer thanked Ms. Tamar Taliashvili and the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) for their efforts in signing The European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life by the first municipality of Georgia. He emphasized the importance of this step as now Georgia meets with the 5th Sustainable Development Goal of UN (SDG 2030).
Ms. Tamar Taliashvili also participated in the workshop held within the forum, where she introduced participants to the role and tasks of the Congress of the Council of Europe and spoke about the correlation of the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government with the localization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
At the end of the forum, Ms. Marlene Simeon, Director of PLATFORMA expressed readiness to hold the next Forum in Tbilisi.