PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili at his news briefing on November 13, 2017. Photo: gov.ge
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced “a new wave of changes” in the Cabinet of Ministers at a special news briefing on November 13.
According to the changes, 13 ministries and one state minister’s office will remain instead of the current 16 ministries and two offices of the state minister.
The Ministry of Energy will be merged with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, while the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection will be divided with its natural resource management component being transferred to the Ministry of Economy and the environmental component being merged with the Ministry of Agriculture. The latter will be named the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture.
The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs will also be divided. Its sport component will be merged with the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection, and the youth component – with the Ministry of Education and Science.
The Office of the State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration will be merged with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a result, only one office of the State Minister - that for Reconciliation and Civic Equality - will continue functioning in the Cabinet.
In other structural changes, the new Emergency Management Center will be established through the merger of the current Emergency Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security and Crisis Management Council. Additionally, the Foreign Intelligence Service will be merged with the State Security Service.
As part of staff changes, Dimitri Kumsishvili will be appointed as Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development to coordinate the work of the Government’s economic team. He will also retain the Deputy Prime Minister’s position. Mamuka Bakhtadze, Director General of the Georgian Railway, will replace him on the Finance Minister’s position.
Interior Minister Giorgi Mgebrishvili will lead the Emergency Management Center. He will be replaced by incumbent Economy Minister Giorgi Gakharia. The latter will also retain his Deputy Prime Ministerial position.
The Foreign Ministry will again be led by Mikheil Janelidze, who will also maintain the Deputy Prime Minister’s position.
Aleksandre Jejelava will be replaced by Mikheil Chkhenkeli, the Deputy Rector of the Tbilisi State University, on the position of the Minister of Education and Science.
The Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture will be led by incumbent Agriculture Minister Levan Davitashvili.
The Minister of Culture Mikheil Giorgadze will retain his position under his enlarged ministerial portfolio.
The new changes will require for the entire cabinet to win confidence vote from the Parliament.
PM Kvirikashvili said today that the package of changes would be approved at the nearest government session and would then be referred to the Parliament for consideration.
“The planned changes will serve greater progress, of shaping an even more modern state and flexible state apparatus, which will reduce administrative expenses,” Kvirikashvili said.
“Our style is to make sure changes are as painless and evolutionary as possible, and not radical,” he said. “This is the rationale behind the upcoming changes. I am convinced that these reforms and changes will make a tremendous difference in our country’s progress and development.”