Georgia, Switzerland exchange views on local governance and regional development
TBILISI. 11 December 2013 – Georgian parliamentarians and government officials paid a visit to Switzerland last week to learn about different models of local and regional governance.
Throughout a 5-day visit, the Georgian delegation met with representatives of the Swiss Federal Government, governments of Cantons and municipalities, as well as the associations of local authorities.
The Georgian and Swiss counterparts discussed effective planning of regional governance, possible scenarios of reform, and different aspects of regional development with the special focus on mountainous areas.
The Georgian and Swiss Members of Parliament agreed to establish an inter-parliamentary friendship group to strengthen partnership and cooperation between the two countries.
“Switzerland has unique experience with local governance and regional development, which can serve as one of the models for Georgia. We were particularly interested to learn more about the Swiss model of developing mountainous regions, and about the ways to ensure efficiency of local authorities and participation of citizens in decision-making. This visit was rich with valuable exchange with our Swiss colleagues. I welcome the enhanced cooperation with the Swiss Parliament, which will contribute to advancing relations between our countries,” – said the Head of the Georgian delegation, Erekle Tripolski, MP, after the visit.
The study visit was organised within the frameworks of the project “Fostering Local and Regional Development in Georgia” funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. The visit was facilitated by the Swiss Association of Mountainous Regions (SAB).