29 February 2024,   13:39
“The EU and Georgia Working Together for Sustainable Rural Development” conference was held in Tbilisi

The Government of Georgia convened the Rural Development Conference to enhance policy reforms and foster coordination, bringing together national stakeholders, international partners, and rural development experts from EU Member States.

Georgia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture hosted this high-level forum with funding from the European Union and in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Otar Shamugia, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, and Catalin Gherman, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, opened a discussion by highlighting the indispensable role of rural development in driving Georgia"s regions forward, improving the well-being of its people, and facilitating a seamless transition to a greener economy.

The Rural Development Conference featured insightful panel discussions involving Georgian and European officials, practitioners, and experts. Key topics included policy frameworks for sustainable rural development and agriculture, harmonization of Georgian policies with the EU Common Agriculture Policy, the transition to a greener economy in line with the EU’s Green Deal, digital solutions for monitoring and control systems, and funding mechanisms available for EU membership candidate countries.

Experts from Austria, Italy, Latvia, Serbia, and North Macedonia shared their countries’ experiences implementing the EU Common Agricultural Policy and the Instrument of Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development (IPARD).

Summarizing the conference outcomes, Douglas Webb, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia, underscored its significance as a step toward equitable rural development.