Georgian Parliamentary Delegation Visits the Netherlands

From 6-8 April 2011, a delegation from Georgia, consisting of MPs and parliamentary staffers, visited our political capital The Hague in the framework of the Georgia Parliamentary Programme. During these three days the delegation visited several institutions engaged in oversight of the security sector. The highlight of the visit was a meeting with colleagues from the Dutch Parliament.

On the first day, the delegation visited the Ministry of Defence discussed the making of defence policy and the procedures for sending troops abroad. Next stop was the Netherlands Parliament, where the delegation was met by members of the committees on Defence and Foreign Affairs. Subjects under discussion were the current state of the  Georgia-Russia relations and bilateral relations between the Netherlands and Georgia. The last visit of the first day was to the Court of Audit. During this meeting, the auditing of defence expenditures was discussed. Furthermore, the reforms the Georgian Court of Accounts has been undergoing were set out. 

The next day, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael hosted a round table session. After an introductory session, in which the work of the institute was explained, two Clingendael experts shared their views on the future of NATO and implications for enlargement. In a very open discussion some of the Georgians explained the importance of becoming a member of NATO; not per se as a safeguard against Russia, but for the development of the country. However, taking into account NATO’s current direction, Georgian membership is currently not at the top of its agenda. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted us on the final day. In the morning representatives of the Ministry explained the outlines of Dutch security policy and the workings of the relationship between the Ministry and Parliament. In the afternoon, the Georgian delegation discussed the preliminary conclusions and recommendations made in the Expert Report. The aim of the report is to analyze the current status of oversight of the security sector in Georgia and to make recommendations for the way forward. It will be one of the first publications on the subject written by Georgians and for Georgians. We expect to publish the Expert Report in the summer.

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