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An Association Agreement signed with the EU in June 2014 includes cooperation in the cultural field.

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Georgia/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.1 Overview of main structures and trends

Georgia and the European Union signed the Association Agreement, including deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA), on June 27th 2014 in the margins of the European Council meeting in Brussels. The agreement was signed by the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, the President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the heads of states and governments of the EU-member states present at the ceremony. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said the agreement represents "a master plan for Georgia's modernisation."

Chapter 17 of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement is devoted to cooperation in the cultural field and is concretely mentioned in Article 362 and 363:

Article 362: "The Parties will promote cultural cooperation taking duly into account the principles enshrined in the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Parties will seek regular policy dialogue in areas of mutual interest, including the development of cultural industries in the EU and Georgia. Cooperation between the Parties will foster intercultural dialogue, including through the participation of the culture sector and civil society from the EU and Georgia".

Article 363: "The Parties shall concentrate their cooperation in a number of fields:

  • cultural cooperation and cultural exchanges;
  • mobility of art and artists and strengthening of the capacity of the cultural sector;
  • intercultural dialogue;
  • dialogue on cultural policy; and
    • cooperation in international fora such as UNESCO and the Council of Europe, inter alia, in order to foster cultural diversity, and preserve and valorise cultural and historical heritage."

Georgia has signed various agreements, in the sphere of culture, with the EU countries, CIS countries (Commonwealth of Independent States), USA, China, Israel etc. These agreements are divided into:

  • interstate agreements between governments in the sphere of culture;
  • special inter-governmental cultural programmes; and
  • agreements between Georgian ministries and departments with respective partner organisations in the sphere of      culture.

The first group of agreements include those between Georgia and the UK, China, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Germany, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan (all in 1993), Poland, Russia, Turkey (all in 1994), Bulgaria , Uzbekistan (all in 1995), Spain, Israel (all in 1996), Greece, Iran, France, Kyrgyzstan (all in 1997), Italy (1999), Romania (2000), Estonia, Cyprus, Slovenia (all in 2005), Lithuania (2007), Slovakia (2009) and Malta (2010).

The second group of agreements includes intergovernmental programmes on cultural exchange with Russia (1997) and intergovernmental cooperation programmes on culture, education and science with Israel, Spain, and Greece for 2004-2006:

  • Programme for Exchange in the Spheres of Science, Education and Culture between Georgia and the Russian Federation for 1997. Effective: 06.06.1997;
  • Protocol on Cooperation between Georgian and Ukrainian Frontier Troops in the Sphere of Sports and Culture between the State Department of National Frontier Protection of Georgia and the State Committee for National Frontier Protection of Ukraine. Effective: 14.02.1997;
  • Programme of Cooperation in the Education and Culture Sphere between Georgia and Spain (2004-2007). Effective 20.10.2004;
    • Grant Agreement on Project of Japan-Georgia Cultural Cooperation In Connection with the Study of the Japan Language in Tbilisi State University between the government of Georgia and the government of Japan. Effective: 24.12.2008; and
    • Programme on cultural cooperation between the government of Georgia and the government of the State of Israel for the years 2013-2015. Entry into force: 25.06.2013

The third group of agreements includes those between the Ministry of Culture of Georgia and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs of Armenia (1999) and between the Ministry of Culture of Georgia and the Georgian Cultural, Tourist and Trade Centre in Japan (2000) and so on:

  • Agreement on Cooperation in the Sphere of Culture between the Ministry of Culture of Georgia and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs of the Republic of Armenia. Effective: 30.07.1999;
  • Protocol of Intention of Understanding on Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture of Georgia and the Ministry of      Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Italy. Effective: 10.12.2002;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Procedures for Political Consultations in Common Interests between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture of the Republic of Costa-Rica. Effective: 17.11.2009;
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the government of Georgia and the government of the Republic of Portugal on cultural cooperation. Entry into force: 03.12.2010;
  • Agreement on co-operation in the fields of culture, education, science, sports and youth affairs between the      government of Georgia and the government of the Republic of India. Entry into force: 09.12.2011;
  • Programme on cooperation in the field of culture between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria and the      Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia for the period 2013-2015. Entry into force: 12.06.2012;
  • Programme on cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia for the period 2013-2015. Entry into force: 17.01.2013; and
  • Programme on Cultural Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia and the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia for the years 2013-2016. Entry into force: 26.07.2013.

Recently, Georgia has intensified its contacts with the Baltic countries and GUAM countries (The GUAM Organisation for Democracy and Economic Development is a regional organisation of four CIS states: Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova). The contacts with Ukraine have become especially close and many-sided.

After the Russian-Georgian war of 2008, Georgia officially stopped its membership of the CIS.

In 2017, the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection signed 4 international agreements. Procedures relating to the signing of 35 further agreements are in progress.

Chapter published: 12-02-2019

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