National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), one of the key partners for the Initiative, has celebrated its 15th anniversary in December 2018.

The success of the Mayors for Economic Growth Initiative implementation in the region and the sustainability of the achieved results is fundamentally contingent on the engagement and buy-in of the key national partners. The M4EG Secretariat values this cooperation and partnership, and we would like start sharing some concrete stories from the countries. This Newsletter issue is devoted to NALAG.

The National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) is a non-governmental, nonprofit and non-political organization, which unites all entities of local self-governance of Georgia. NALAG was established as the joint initiative of the Council of Europe and European Commission 15 years ago, and it aims at further developing the local self-governance system and democracy at the local level.

The main objectives of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia are lobbying for the local self-government bodies’ interests at the national and international level, promoting development of local democracy in Georgia, enhancing cooperation with the central authorities on decentralization issues, and providing capacity-building services to the member self-government authorities (for more information about the organization visit NALAG website http://www.nala.ge/en ).

Within the framework of cooperation with the M4EG and support to the Initiative implementation in Georgia, NALAG has been fruitfully engaged in several ways.

First, it has been active in documenting local self-governance best practices in Georgia, and sharing them with the M4EG Signatories from the rest of the region. As an example, Mr. Davit Melua, NALAG Executive Director, shared the experience of Georgia in a dedicated panel discussion at the High-Level EaP Conference “Municipalities for Sustainable Growth”, which took place on 22-23 November 2018 in Kyiv, Ukraine (http://m4eg.eu/en/news/municipalities-for-sustainable-growth-conference-green-light-from-the-eu-for-the-local-authorities-of-the-eastern-partnership-countries/ ).

Second, NALAG is working to ensure high quality of the Local Economic Development Plans (LEDPs), submitted by the Georgian M4EG Signatories. Mrs. Natya Ghvinashvili, the Deputy Executive Director of NALAG, has taken part in conducting pre-evaluation of submitted LEDPs, providing recommendations on their potential improvement, and clearing them as suitable for further technical evaluation by the World Bank experts.