Lithuania-Georgia Municipal Forum Held

On Thursday, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Lithuania to Georgia held the first annual Lithuania-Georgia Municipal Forum.

The Forum works to bring Georgian municipal leaders together to discuss issues facing the Georgian regions, hear from Lithuanian experts and representatives of municipalities, and work towards a collaborative approach to sustainable, inclusive municipal development.

One of the speakers who opened the Forum was Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, Mzia Giorgobiani. Giorgobiani spoke about the importance of sharing experiences and learning from the acheivements of Lithuanian municipalities.

The goal of the Forum is to share best practices and experiences of local self-government, identify ways to solve existing problems, and exchange ideas for future cooperation. Representatives from two Lithuanian municipalities spoke about their cities' successes. The first, Naujoji AkmenÄ—, discussed the challenge of reviving what was agreed to be a "dead city" at Lithuanian independence from the Soviet Union. The city emphasized active public engagement in decision making as a key component of their success. The second, from Birštonas, called her city "the Borjomi of Lithuania," and shared their example of developing a world class resort town with international appeal.

The forum was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania to Georgia, a representative of the Lithuanian Municipality Association, the Vice-President of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia, the Vice-President of the Congress of the Council of Europe, the Director of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia, and representatives from various municipalities and non-governmental organizations. 

The attendees learned about the current situation of Georgian municipalities and discussed challenges and future opportunities, including the possibilities offered by the EU delegation to support local economic development, capacity building, and energy efficiency in Georgian municipalities.

By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure

14 December 2018 18:45