Georgia

Georgia

WFD has been a key partner in the UNDP/EU programme Strengthening the System of Parliamentary Democracy in Georgia since 2014. In 2019, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) entered the third phase (2019-2021) of the programme to strengthen Parliament of Georgia, working with legislators, parliamentary committees, civil servants, local civil society organizations (CSOs) and the media. 

Georgia’s aspires to join European Union. Working towards membership requires the nation to make robust reforms aimed at strengthening its state institutions and providing opportunities for citizens’ to engageme in parliamentary processes. By establishing a practice of conducting committee inquiries as well as post-legislative scrutiny (PLS), the programme supports the improved engagement of CSOs and citizens more broadly in policyand law making. It supports their evidence-based engagement in parliamentary oversight processes and thus increases government’s accountability.

The programmes aims at increasing the parliamentary committees’ capacities to conduct thematic inquiries and PLS through trainings and tailored workshops along with providing expertise throughout the processes. What is more, the programme will raise CSOs’ understanding of the new parliamentary tools and support their participation through providing trainings and small grants. Finally, the programme will work with journalists covering parliamentary affairs to ensure their news reports are accurate,  in order to increase public interest in parliamentary work. The programme-supported thematic inquiries and PLS should lead to improved policies and legislation effecting the citizen’s lives.

2009: Year of first WFD programme
Context

Since its independence in 1991, Georgia has been on a journey towards Euro-Atlantic integration. The country seeks membership of institutions such as NATO and the European Union. This process requires deep and wide ranging democratic reforms. As part of this, Georgia is moving towards parliamentary government. Building stronger relations with international community and external support is central to reforms.

Financial oversight

WFD’s work has seen parliamentary committees’ increase their role in pre- and post-budget scrutiny. This ensures better monitoring of public finances and use of resources. We encourage stronger engagement with services such as the Parliamentary Budget Office and institutions like the State Audit Office. We have engaged civil society within the budget process, bringing this closer to citizens and providing an avenue for policy alignment with the public’s priorities.

Supporting new parliamentarians

For the first, a parliamentary staff-led induction scheme for newly elected parliamentarians has been implemented, with WFD support. This provides training and orientation for newly elected MPs, aiding them to understand and fulfil their duties. This allows new members to understand the institution, and to effectively represent citizens right from the start of the convocation.

Reforming parliament’s structure

WFD has advised in the reforming of the parliament’s International Relations Department (IRD). With our support, the IRD’s role has been expanded and clearly defined. To aid the unit meet its new responsibilities, WFD has supported staff training and learning. Through this process, the IRD will play a central role in supporting Georgia’s parliamentary diplomacy, international linkages and global exposure.

Country Data

Population:

Population:

3.7
million
GDP:

GDP:

$14.3
billion USD
GNI per capita:

GNI per capita:

$3,830
(USD)
Media freedom:

Media freedom:

50/100
(partly free)
Democracy index:

Democracy index:

64/100
(partly free)

Results

Journalists’ understanding of thematic inquiries and PLS increased
Local CSOs supported to participate in parliamentary thematic as well as PLS inquiries
Parliamentary committees supported to conduct thematic inquiries and PLS
Enhanced financial oversight capacities of parliamentary committees (MPs and staff)
115 MPs and parliamentary staff have been trained
Established new practices for collaboration with CSOs and other state agencies
A reformed International Relations Department with new functions and capacities
The first induction programme led by parliamentary departments/staff for new MPs

Implementation

Consolidating parliamentary democracy
Underway
2021
Enhanced oversight function of the Environment Protection Committee
Underway
Programme end: December 2018
Supporting financial oversight and international relations in Parliament of Georgia
Underway
Programme end: June 2018

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