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Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness

Eastern Partnership - Georgia

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Civil Society Organizations and the Parliament of Georgia signed the Memorandum of Cooperation
On 12th of December, 2013 Civil Society Organizations and the Parliament of Georgia signed the Memorandum of Cooperation. The memorandum was signed by the Chairman of the Parliament and more than 145 Civil Society Organizations. The memorandum is an open document and any CSOs can join it freely, if they agree on the content. By this memorandum the Parliament of Georgia and the Civil Society Organizations are establishing new standards of cooperation. It consists of 10 articles and covers range of issues.

The chairman of the Parliament addressed the participants of the event. "Today’s event is a very important step to this goal and objective and therefore, I would like to thank you, representatives of more than 100 Civil Society Organizations for coming and attending this meeting in the Parliament of Georgia. Our aspiration was to confirm our future relationship and links by signing the Memorandum of Cooperation so that everything would be rendered on the paper, so that we will become partners in the future – the Parliament of Georgia and Civil Society Organizations. I would like to emphasis the word "partners”, because we are going to become just partners and not friends…” – said the chairman of the Parliament (see the full speech).

One of the organizers, director of the Civil Society Institute, Vazha Salamadze mentioned: "Today is an important day in the history of the country's civil society. Today the Memorandum between the Parliament of Georgia and the civil society organizations (CSOs) will be signed. Many of you remember our last year's meeting, when the Chairman of the Parliament has provided an active feedback to the Civil Society Institute's initiative on drafting the Memorandum and the process has commenced… political aspect: for the first time in Georgia's history, the country's legislative body recognizes CSOs as equal development partners by a formal document and ensures their institutional involvement in the law-making process” (see the full speech).

On this day was also held the Civil Society Organizations’ Day at the Parliament of Georgia, which will be held every year in order to deepen dialogue between CSOs and the Parliament. Representatives of the Civil Society Organizations had the opportunity to present the problems facing the country and discuss ways to solve them. CSOs presented the issues: Freedom of information, rights and interests of ecomigrants, challenges and threats of the amendments in the law of cultural heritage, reform of self-governance and other current issues.
The event was also attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations.

Civil Society Institute would like to thank European Union Delegation to Georgia (EU), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), East-West Management Institute (EWMI), Brot für die Welt and Open Society Foundation Georgia (OSGF) for the support.

As mentioned above, the memorandum is an open document and any CSOs can join it, if they agree on the content. CSOs can join it via e-mail (eka@civilin.org) or by coming in the office of Civil Society Institute and signing the document (address: 2, 26 May Square, Civil Society Institute, Tbilisi, Georgia).
See the memorandum