The State Ministry for Reintegration was renamed into the State Ministry for Reconciliation and Civic Equality starting from January 1, 2014 - a move, which the officials in Tbilisi say will help with engagement with Tskhinvali and Sokhumi.
Renaming of the state ministry, which is in charge of issues related with the breakaway regions, was welcomed by the European Union. In a statement in December the EU delegation in Tbilisi called on the Georgian authorities to “continue steps towards pragmatic engagement with Abkhazians and South Ossetians.”
The state ministry, whose portfolio also includes integration process of ethnic and religious minorities, was initially called the state ministry for conflict resolution issues; when in January 2008 it was renamed into "reintegration", authorities in the breakaway regions protested, saying that they would not have engaged in talks with officials from this state ministry. In July, 2008 then President Saakashvili gave status of his special envoy for conflict resolution issues to then state minister for reintegration Temur Yakobashvili.
Paata Zakareishvili, the state minister, said last March that then President Saakashvili was refusing to sign a proposal to rename the ministry.