Summary: June 15, 2004: European Commission to pledge €125 million at Georgia Donors’ Conference, Brussels, 16 June 2004 (Brussels)
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At the Donors Conference on 16 June in Brussels, the European Commission (EC) will announce a pledge of some €125 million/$150 million of European Union (EU) support to Georgia for the period 2004-2006. The assistance is designed to support the Georgian government’s urgent needs in order to carry through its substantial reform plans. Together with humanitarian assistance, through the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO,) as well as rehabilitation in areas of Georgia affected by the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region, total EU assistance to Georgia for 2004-2006 amounts to €137 million/$164 million. This represents a doubling of EU assistance compared with the previous 3-year period 2001-2003.
This pledge is in addition to the pledges by individual Member States that will be made at the Conference and underlines the scale of the overall support the EU has given to reform in Georgia since the coming to power of President Saakashvili in the elections of January 2004 following Georgia’s “Rose Revolution” of November 2003. The EU assistance is designed in particular to support the Georgian government’s strategy of improving governance/rule of law and fighting corruption as well as tackling the serious problems of poverty in Georgia.
The Donors Conference, co-chaired by the Commission and World Bank, takes place in the same week the European Council will consider to include Georgia, as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan, in the European Neighbourhood Policy.
The European Neighbourhood Policy offers new opportunities to develop relations between the EU and Georgia based on the shared values of democracy, rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights and the principles of market economy.
The EU has a long record of economic assistance to Georgia. Between 1992 and 2003, the EU has provided €370 million in assistance to Georgia. EU-Georgia relations are based on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which entered into force in 1999.