The latest meeting of the EU-Georgia Civil Society Platform (CSP) took place in Tbilisi on 22 March. The CSP's members discussed the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and adopted a joint declaration. The CSP welcomed the announcement, made earlier in March, for a possible new format for higher 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.
- Small and medium-sized enterprises
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 SME's needs and should further develop policy tools to foster SMEs' growth, investment and involvement in key economic sectors such as agribusiness, information and communication technology, tourism and the green economy.
- Labour rights
The Civil Society Platform underlined the positive steps taken in the tripartite social dialogue and the adoption of the new law on occupational safety and health. However, members also pointed out the lack of legal regulations ensuring equal pay for equal work and gender-sensitive provisions in Georgian labour legislation.
- Food safety reform
The CSP's 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, on the collection of data for assessing food-related risks and on fully informing the public when unsafe products are discovered on the market.