European Union reaffirms support for setting up pro-European initiatives in post-Soviet countries

On February 2, the European Union and the World Bank jointly launched the Economic Policy Support Project, which aims to boost economic growth and increase incomes for the citizens of Belarus.

“The European Union considers the economic development of Belarus as an area of common interest and supports the country’s economic progress,” – stated Andrea Wiktorin, Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus. “This project will help Belarusians to enjoy sustainable economic growth, low inflation, increased market opportunities, secure competitive jobs and better social protection”, – he added.

The World Bank will assist the Belarusian government in enhancing public finance system, protecting vulnerable households, developing market institutions, strengthening enterprise accountability. “Thanks to the European Union, Belarus will receive the World Bank’s expert advice on policy changes needed to raise the incomes of ordinary Belarusians,” – noted Satu Kähkönen, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. “We are ready to apply our knowledge and experience to policy matters which are critical for stimulating economic growth”- he said. In total, the European Union will allocate 3 million euro to support the Economic Policy Support Project during the period 2018-2020.

On February 7, the European Union announced the launch of entrepreneurship projects in Georgia to support the municipalities in promoting local economic growth and development. Bolnisi, Gori and Tbilisi municipalities within the EU-supported “Mayors for Economic Growth” initiative will implement the three pioneer projects. “Municipalities can make real changes on the ground with a direct impact on economic growth and living conditions of the population. This is why the EU strongly supports local authorities to become active facilitators for sustainable development and economic growth,” – stated Carlo Natale, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia.

The European Commission selected these municipalities on a competitive basis during a call for proposals from the local administrations of the Eastern Partner countries. The European Union allocated 1.4 million euro for the implementation of the Project that envisages establishing a platform for the efficient flow of business activity in Bolnisi municipality, enhancing local opportunities for sustainable economic growth in Gori municipality, creating a business accelerator for sustainable small and medium-sized businesses in Tbilisi.

On February 5, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia and Cecilia Malmström,  European Commissioner for Trade discussed possibility of accrediting Georgian businesses. The relevant procedures will be carried out soon. Georgian businesses will be able to land their products on the EU market due to meeting EU accreditation standards.