We signed the Association Agreement, then the FTA, also received visa-free travel, and last year our country officially applied for EU membership, Georgian Prime Minister said at the presentation of the Anticorruption Bureau.
“It is a great honor to be addressing you today. It is a very important day, indeed. We just listened to Mr. Kuprashvili’s vision and presentation as to what kind of service it should be. Before that, I want to briefly remind the public and our friends about the path our country has covered over the past 10 years. As you know, we signed the Association Agreement, then the FTA, also received visa-free travel, and last year our country officially applied for EU membership. Of course, it was a momentous decision of historic importance. Equally historic was the decision made on June 17, 2022, when the European perspective was granted to Georgia. This is a vocal recognition of the centuries-old aspirations of the Georgian people and, at the same time, the beginning of a new historical era.
Dear friends, as you know, last year we received 12 recommendations, to implement which our Government set out immediately. The Parliament invested a lot of effort, relevant working groups were established, and we did and are doing everything to make sure that the Government duly fulfills every obligation. In this 12-point plan, the fourth recommendation envisages the empowerment of anticorruption mechanisms. And it is to this very end that the Anticorruption Bureau was established.
I would like to emphasize that the bureau is distinguished by a very high level of independence, including financial independence. It is accountable only to the Parliament of Georgia and the Interagency Anticorruption Council, which means reporting to them on an annual basis. Candidates for the office of Head of the Bureau were selected by an independent commission bringing together representatives of state institutions and civil society.
And it was from the list of candidates endorsed by this commission that the Head of the Bureau, Mr. Razhden Kuprashvili, was appointed. Once again, I would like to congratulate you and wish you success.
I also want to point out that this umbrella bureau brings together all key corruption prevention functions. One of the main directions of its operation implies defining anticorruption policy in coordination with the relevant state institutions. The bureau is authorized to supervise the implementation of anticorruption policy documents and to issue relevant recommendations. Recommendations issued by the bureau will serve as a mechanism underpinning our country’s strong anticorruption policy.
According to the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index, Georgia ranks 41st among 180 countries. Let me cite another fact: according to the 2022 TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix, Georgia ranks among the top 20 European performers, while holding the 33rd spot among 194 countries in the global ranking. Let me also remind you that, according to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, Georgia ranks 1st in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, similar to the Open Budget Survey that ranks Georgia 1st in the world among 120 countries. Dear friends, in the World Bank’s Control of Corruption indicator, Georgia has advanced by five points among the World Bank’s 189 members to rank 21st in Europe and among the top 20, namely 18th, in Continental Europe. Comparing these indicators to the period prior to 2012, progress becomes even more evident. At that time, Georgia ranked 62nd in the world-naturally, far removed from Europe’s top 20.
Presently, in the Control of Corruption indicator, Georgia is ahead of 11 EU member states and 13 NATO member states. Georgia ranks 1st in the Caucasus and the Black Sea Region. At this point, of the post-Soviet countries, only the Baltic States are ahead of us. This progress is of course consistent. In terms of Control of Corruption, Georgia has improved its score, and these achievements further motivate us to do more. In our modern world, with corruption posing a serious challenge even to strong, developed countries, we need coordinated, consistent work, to build a state where corruption cannot be a factor hindering the development of the country and society. From now on, the lion’s share of responsibility for working in this direction is vested on the Anticorruption Bureau. I am confident that the new Head of the Bureau and its every employee will spare no effort for our country to achieve even greater progress in this direction”, - said Irakli Garibashvili.