Civil society is engaged in and contributes to participatory decision making to achieve convergence to European values, standards, and practices.
EPF succeeded in promoting civic participation in the process of Georgia’s integration into the European Union. The Program’s success came about in large part due to its multi-prong approach, which involved research and public outreach efforts, as well as capacity building of CSOs on European integration related issues and dialogue with public authorities to ensure Georgia’s progress toward ENP commitments. Through annual assessments of Georgia’s progress toward ENP commitments, EPF was able to contribute to CSO advocacy efforts in this area, with the GoG fully or partially accepting around 51 recommendations developed by CSOs. EPF-led Food Safety Coalition of CSOs and business associations, created in 2011, became a driving force of civic participation in food safety reforms in Georgia, bringing the country closer to European standards and practices in sanitary and phyto-sanitary field. Of the 29 recommendations developed by the Coalition about SPS reforms, 15 were fully or partially reflected in the country’s legislative or policy framework. The Program succeeded in mobilizing Georgian consumers in support of their rights and creating the most popular consumer assistance service center in the country with grant support and technical assistance to www.momxmarebeli.ge.
Lastly, EPF studied the knowledge and attitudes of the Georgian public toward European integration. The four waves of the nation-wide public opinion polls (conducted in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015) allowed identification of trends and changes during the six years period. Based on the survey findings EPF developed recommendations addressed to the Government of Georgia, the EU, CSOs, international organizations, the media, and academic institutions both in Georgia and the EU member states. Survey findings gained wide coverage in the national media and has been sited on numerous occasions by different players in the field.
To promote civic participation in the process of Georgia’s integration into the European Union, EPF will continue (1) to facilitate improved policy and compliance with the European integration commitments, (2) to build consensus on the EU-Georgia Association Agreement implementation issues among different stakeholders, and (3) to work to create the conditions for improved food safety and consumer protection. As during the previous years, EPF will conduct annual assessments of the implementation Georgia’s commitments per Association Agreement or other relevant action plan commitments by the Government of Georgia, as well as conduct studies of the knowledge and attitudes of the Georgian public toward European integration and, based on the results of those surveys, identify issue areas that require further attention in terms of increased transparency, civic participation and awareness raising.