Project Duration: 04.2017 || 07.2019
Donor: European Neighbourhood Instrument of the European Union
Partners: Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC, lead partner), Association of Business Consulting Organizations (ABCO Georgia), GLOBSEC (Slovakia), Association Caucasus Genetics (Georgia), ATINATI (Georgia) and Young Scientists Union “Intellect” (Georgia).
Budget: 70, 250 EUR
Partners: Eastern Europe Studies Center (EESC, Lithuania, lead partner), GLOBSEC Policy Institute (GPI, Slovakia), Association of Business Consulting Organizations (ABCO), Association Caucasus Genetics, ATINATI and Young Scientists Union “Intellect” and Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP).
The project’s overall objective was to strengthen the capacities of Georgian civil society organizations (CSOs) and business support organizations (BSOs) for the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) implementation process and for implementation of the small and medium enterprises (SME) strategy for Georgia. The project analyzed the status-quo to identify the shortcomings of DCFTA/SME strategy implementation in Georgia, with the intention to lay the foundation and provide the tools for later project activities aimed at capacity building trainings for Georgian CSOs. These trainings enabled the CSOs to become equal partners in all the project implementation phases: a) executing a nationwide DCFTA/SME communication campaign; b) providing trainings and seminars for Georgian SMEs and public officials; and c) forming and organizing the work of Local and Central Advisory Councils, the first format of its kind to bring together representatives of local and central government bodies, SMEs, CSOs, BSOs and international experts. The status quo analysis on DCFTA implementation in Georgia was also used to evaluate the project’s final results and develop follow-up initiatives.
The Georgian Institute of Politics contributed to the project by overseeing four of the ten regions – Shida Kartli, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti. The project team conducted trainings on DCFTA implementation to local CSOs, SMEs and public officials, and organized the Local Advisory Councils there. Georgian Institute of Politics also led the Central Advisory Councils and consultations with the government agencies to prepare project’s recommendations; coordinated data collection for the baseline study and mapping of local CSOs and SMEs, and published the baseline and final studies.
The project activities were based on the following three specific objectives:
- Increasing the role of CSOs in raising public awareness, understanding and support for DCFTA implementation in Georgia;
- Building the capacities of Georgian CSOs to assist and consult local SMEs on accessing and benefiting from the EU single market;
- Establishing comprehensive monitoring and advice-based cooperation between Georgian government bodies, CSOs, BSOs and SMEs.
Activity 1: Preparation of Methodology, Survey Questionnaire and Informational Materials
Activity 2: Capacity Building Trainings for CSOs in Georgia’s Regions
Activity 3: Nation-wide DCFTA/SME Communication Campaign
Activity 4: Study Trips to Lithuania and Slovakia
Activity 5: Establishing DCFTA Local and Central Advisory Councils
Activity 6: Advocacy Events in Lithuania, Slovakia, Brussels and EaP countries
Activity 7: Project-closing Conference in Tbilisi