"Government of Georgia has an unshaken political will to continue and complete the process of decentralization and democratization of local authorities" stated Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia when delivering a speech at the General Forum of Institutional Dialogue Between National and Local Authorities.
As noted by the Head of Government of Georgia, creation of a free, democratic and fair state means the formation of a political system based on principles of local authority to provide for the fundamental rights of citizens.
"We welcome that Parliament of Georgia is hosting a significant forum today, which aims to facilitate the process for the improvement of decentralization, development of local authority and governance system. Local authorities have always enjoyed a special role in Georgia and Georgian democracy. It is symbolic that our current vision fully adheres to the vision of our ancestors, that of the first republic on the development of local authorities in the country" added the Prime Minister of Georgia.
According to the Head of Government of Georgia, public welfare, free development of each individual citizen and delivery of comprehensive public services to general public is the aim and goal of the national authorities.
"It would have been impossible solely in the conditions of centralized governance, as the decisions made by the public institutions in a centralized manner may not always respond to local interests of our citizens. It is essential to distribute the roles of governance and respective resources between the central and local authorities to make sure that the established governance system adequately meets the public demand and ensures the public engagement in the decision-making process" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.
As stated by the Head of Government of Georgia, decentralization of governance and establishment of fully-fledged local authority is one of the key aims of the Government.
"Indeed, it should be implemented with active participation of the Government, in close cooperation with the Parliament, consultations with local authorities and participation of civil society. It is essential that we all share the spirit of the future reforms and work in a targeted manner for shared success. We have had plenty of steps made forward towards this end. We are soundly progressing towards decentralization. Additional financial resources allocated for the solid establishment of democratic mechanisms locally are increasing from one year to another. State Budget for 2019 will not be any exclusion in this regard" stated the Prime Minister of Georgia.
In the opinion of the Head of Government of Georgia, national authorities have an unshaken political will to continue and complete the process of decentralization and democratization of local authorities.
"You may well be aware that we celebrate 100th Anniversary from the elections of Common Self-Governance in Georgia and it is symbolic that we will be finalizing the drafting of an Interim Strategy Document for Decentralization this year. What is most important, we are launching the process of fiscal decentralization. I wish to thank everyone who contributed with their initiative in the creation of a Platform of Institutional Dialogue for National and Local Authorities. This forum enables us to have a consultation mechanism per se, which will create an avenue for local authorities to raise questions, get answers, share experiences, formulate plans for future and define tasks for implementation. We will be establishing these models by taking into consideration the European practices, which we need today, which Georgia needs to make the local authorities further more effective" concluded the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Event participants were greeted by Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia; Zaza Gabunia, Chairman of Regional Policy and Local Authority Committee of the Parliament of Georgia; Maya Tskitishvili, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia; Kakha Kaladze, Mayor of Tbilisi; Adam Schmidt, Director of United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Gigi Bregadze, Head of Democratic Governance of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Georgia.
Forum was attended by over 120 representatives of national and local authorities of Georgia to discuss the reform of local authority.