On 21 January in Tbilisi, Georgia EU-funded Twinning project held a dedicated event to take stock of its progress in helping Georgia to bring its sanitary, phytosanitary and food safety system closer to EU standards and practices. Through sharing experience of the European Member States and transfer of knowledge to the Georgian colleagues, the project aims to contribute to strengthening consumer confidence in food control system and enhancing competitiveness of Georgian food products in the EU market.
At the event, state institutions responsible for the food safety in Georgia together with the project partners from Latvia, Estonia and Sweden presented the progress of the European Union funded Twining project “Ensuring further progress of SPS and food safety system in Georgia” to the stakeholders in the sector and discussed the key aspects of access to the European Union market for Georgian agricultural products.
The main benefit of the Twining project is that it will boost the competitiveness of Georgian products in the European Union market and strengthen consumer confidence in the food control system. The results of the first year of the project have been successfully achieved and now it is time to take further steps to implement it, said the project leader, Director General of Latvian Food and Veterinary Service Māris Balodis.
The approximation process with the European Union legislation in the field of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary is proceeding according to the plan. In 2015-2020, up to 150 legal acts were approximated within the framework of the DCFTA agreement. As a result of the support provided by the European Union, we already have tangible results in protecting the interests of consumers, introducing modern standards in production and raising awareness in the business sector. However, challenges remain as we move forward. We have ambition to make Georgian products competitive on the EU market. In this regard, it is important to share the experience of other successful countries and this opportunity is being offered by the Twinning project, stated Zurab Chekurashvili, Head of the National Food Agency.
This project (EUR 1 450 000) commenced its activities in October 2020 and will continue until November 2022. The involved European food safety institutions will share their knowledge and practical experience with the Georgian colleagues in legal approximation as well as to align national rules and procedures with EU standards and build capacities.
Twinning is a European Union instrument allowing for a direct exchange of knowledge and expertise between EU Member States public administrations and their counterparts in the Beneficiary Country. Twinning projects bring together public sector expertise from EU Member States and the Beneficiary Country with the aim of achieving concrete mandatory operational results through peer to peer activities. In Georgia, the first Twinning project was launched in 2009. Since then a vast majority of key priority areas of EU-Georgia cooperation has been covered by the Twinning instrument and the demand has consistently increased.
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