The latest meeting of the EU-Georgia Civil Society Platform (CSP) took place in Tbilisi on 22 March. The members of the platform discussed the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and adopted a joint declaration. The CSP welcomed the announcement, made earlier in March, of a possible new format for higher-level bilateral sectoral cooperation between the EU and Georgia and expressed its support for the visa-free regime for shorts stays, which has already benefited a large number of Georgian citizens.
The joint declaration welcomed the progress made on improving the business climate and the situation of SMEs in Georgia but also stressed that the government should do better in meeting SMEs' needs. The CSP also pointed to the lack of gender-sensitive provisions and rules ensuring equal pay for equal work in Georgian labour legislation. The members welcomed the authorities' efforts to improve the nation's food safety system but also pointed out that more needed to be done on the traceability of unsafe food.(sg)