In April 2021, three seminars were held in Georgia in the framework of the project „Local Ownership of Democracy: Transparent Governance on Local Level“. Seminars were held for the representatives from Telavi, Samtredia and Tsageri local governments, civil society organisations, and local media.
The aim of the project is to encourage local governments to initiate changes to strengthen democracy. During the seminars, the experts from Estonia shared their experiences and best practices on the implementation of reforms and changes in Estonia.
April 16, 2021 – Telavi Opening Seminar
The cooperation between ECEAP and Telavi was formalized by signing of the Cooperation and Partnership Agreement. Mr. Andrus Kärpuk, Head of Pärnu County Public Transport Center made a presentation about the role of local governments and importance of cooperation in the formation and organization of the local public transport system and spoke about the example of Pärnu County in Estonia. According to him, local and inter-municipal public transport must be organized by local governments jointly, but in cooperation with the state. This allows for the best combination of expertise and resources and the implementation of major plans. Mayor of Haapsalu, Mr. Urmas Sukles, spoke about the possibilities for local governments to support the economic development of their region and increase employment with a focal message that a clear goal set by the local municipality helps reach results faster.
April 21, 2021 – Samtredia Opening Seminar
Samtredia seminar was opened by the mayor, Mr. Valerian Potskhveria, who presented his readiness for cooperation and hear about Estonian best practices. Mr. Jaan Kelder, entrepreneur from Estonia, talked about the development of Estonian economy from 1992 to 2021. According to him, entrepreneurship is changing the way of thinking, which is why it is important to invest in young people and entrepreneurship education already in schools. His message for the municipality was also that local governments should not wait or rely only on the support from the central level, but instead take matters into their own hands more actively as they know the local realities and needs the best.
April 22, 2021 – Tsageri Opening Seminar
Mr. Avtandil Ugrekhelidze, Mayor of Tsageri and Ms. Tiina Ilsen, ECEAP Programme Director, signed the Cooperation and Partnership Agreement on April 22, and joint cooperation began immediately with an opening seminar. Former head of the rural municipality council in Estonia, Mr. Arnold Pastak shared his knowledge and experience about the local government development in Estonian rural areas from 1991 to 2021 and focused with his presentation on how to deal with depopulation in rural areas and how to reorganize local life.
This project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.