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Journal number 3 ∘ Boris Gitolendia
Ways of approximation and further compatibility of Georgian transport system with the European and International Standards


Georgia has greatly deepened relations with the EU in recent years, which has been strengthened with the most powerful and comprehensive so-called EU-Georgia Association Agreement in the history of EU-Georgia relations. Since then the relationships between EU and Georgia have moved to a new, historically unprecedented level. The VI Title of the Association Agreement deals with transport and related issues and, first of all, envisages modernization of transport sphere and the introduction of European standards. The presented article discusses the ways of approximation and further interoperability of Georgian transport system with European and international standards and suggests specific proposals. The article is prepared on the basis of the Young Scientists Grant (N YS-2016-41) of Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation.

Keywords: transport, standard, infrastructure, regulations, recommendations 


Geographical location has always defined the role and political and cultural progress of South Caucasian countries, including Georgia, namely, being on the border of Caspian, Black and Mediterranean seas and having the shortest trade bridge, which connected Asia and Europe. During the Soviet empire, economics of the Caucasian republics, including transport infrastructure, belonged only to outskirts, deadlocks and/or objects inside the country and did not have a practical value in terms of the economic development and global integration in the rest of the world.

It is natural that the perfection of foreign economic ties is the greatest reserve of economic efficiency of each country. In the context of foreign economic ties, the EU market is attractive for Georgia due to various advantages. In addition to considering the size and significance of the complexity of the measures that the transport provides for the economy of any country, it can be said that the modernization of Georgian transport system and adaptation with European and international standards can become a key point and a powerful tool in the further economic development and lead to achieving long-term goals.

Under the conditions of deepening economic globalization, the connection between countries is unimaginable without international standards in transportation system. Taking into consideration strategic geographical location, Georgia's urgent task at this stage is a new understanding of the country's role in the global world and the necessity of acquiring additional international functions, which cannot be achieved in accordance with all kinds of high international standards without interconnecting transport with European systems. In this context it should be noted that, due to enormous advantages, it is known that the preconditions for integration into the European Union are to carry out certain economic and institutional reforms, a set of criteria, without satisfying which EU membership and regional integration are impossible.

In turn, the EU transport policy is currently under development. Its future depends on the rational use of transport, the multimodal development of transportation, the improvement of competition, the efficiency, the comfort and speed of transporting passengers, the improvement of services offered on transport, and the environmental impacts. Today's requirements regarding the EU transport policy can be briefly formulated in the following standards: Effectiveness, Safety and Environment.

That is why the improvement of transport infrastructure for Georgia and the approach to European standards should be a crucial strategic task, especially for the economic and social development of the country.

In fact, Georgia aims to integrate transport into European transport infrastructure and its recognition as an integral part of the European transport system. In turn, the European Union considers Georgia's European aspirations. The EU welcomes Georgia's readiness to deepen cooperation in every field, including in the field of transport.

The article is prepared on the basis of the Young Scientists' Grant of the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation (N YS-2016-41). 

Main Part: As is known, with the support of special programs (such as TRASECA and INOGATE etc.), for the last twenty years, the European Union, specific European countries and companies have provided important measures to create, renovate and modernize all types of transportation and general transport and energy projects in Georgia. In recent years, Georgia has greatly deepened relations with the EU, which has been strengthened by the most powerful and comprehensive so-called EU-Georgia Association Agreement in the history of EU-Georgia relationship (The Agreement is officially called "Association Agreement on the one hand, between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Union and their Member States and on the other, Georgia"), a part of which is "Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement" DCFTA. With the signing of the agreement, relations between Georgia and the European Union have moved to a new, historically unprecedented level.

The Association Agreement also includes a "Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement", which establishes a free trade regime between Georgia and the EU and contains the main economic and trade mechanisms that are first and foremost useful for Georgia.

Georgia has taken obligations to achieve its aim through ensuring reforms in all directions, including in the field of transport by considering the European Union's European Transport Policy Guidelines and Recommendations.

Title VI of the Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union relates to cooperation in terms of transport. Transport and related issues are one of the important parts of the contract. The Association Agreement with the European Union, first of all, envisages modernization of the transport sphere and the introduction of European standards.

Having worked on special literature and sources we will present some recommendations and views on the approximation of Georgia's transport system to European and international standards and further compatibility:

  1. First of all, in order to achieve this objective, the Government of Georgia must recognize the political will and desire to actively work on the solution of existing problems, proper financing at all levels of transport, transport policy, deepening relationship between EU countries and international organizations, coordinated development and making inter-state agreements. In this regard, the most important thing is "EU-Georgia Association Agreement", where Georgia undertakes to gradually get closer to international legal and technical instruments, including in the sphere of transport.

The quality of achievement in all directions depends entirely on the ability of the Georgian government to make recommendations and prioritized reforms in compliance with international and European norms and principles.

  1. In order to solve the interoperability with the transport systems and make Georgian transport system actively involved in the international network, Georgia needs to develop an appropriate legislative base, gradually make it closer to EU legislation and international legal tools in different areas, including transport, and harmonizing the relevant laws, normative acts, technical regulations and regulatory rules with EU legislation.

The Annexes, together with the Association Agreement, include the specific legal acts of the European Union and the deadline for the approximation of the Georgian legislation with EU, what Georgia should do in accordance with agreed terms. It is about harmonizing the existing legislation in the areas of four main transport - motor transport, rail transport, maritime transport and air transport, and creation of mechanisms for their execution. The transport activities of Georgia should be legally compliant with the international law of this sphere.

We believe that it is necessary to create a strategic national document for transport - Georgia's national transport policy. "National Transportation Strategy", where the vision of development of the economy of the country is determined by the challenges in the transport sector. It should be noted here that the Government of Georgia is currently working on the creation of this document.

  1. Attention should be paid to improving the overall road infrastructure. Namely:

- The necessary road infrastructure should include construction and rehabilitation works of international, domestic and local roads;

-  must be controlled by road standards and characteristics of international standards;

- It is necessary to monitor the damaged and subsequently rehabilitated sections, continuation of restoration and reconstruction works on bridges and other artificial structures.

- Complete rehabilitation and further development of highways and access roads to commercial and service providers as well as roads leading to regional centres, main resorts, historical and cultural monuments and neighboring countries, basic infrastructure etc.

4. It is important to continue active work on improving road safety on the Georgian roads.

- Mandatory technical check of the cars must be urgently introduced for all types of transport to ensure that technical conditions of all cars are in compliance with the European standards.

- To ensure greater engagement and interoperability in international logistics systems, it is necessary to modernize the Georgian automobile park and move to European standards of service.

- Motor vehicles participating in international traffic should be equipped with the so-called “tachometers” for motor diagnostics and measuring transportation regimes, this high-speed equipment provides motion and ecological safety, with other means of dimension, weight and technical uniformity (this issue is currently regulated by Georgian legislation).

- When implementing technical terms with Euro regulation, one of the main demands is to enforce regulations related to road transport, namely, truck and passenger transport (more than 9 people). The weight of load and dangerous cargo transportation should also be a subject of regulation and control (this issue is currently regulated by Georgian legislation).

- Special attention should be paid to protecting the safety regulations of the means of transport.

5. It is important to take into account the social aspects which involve improving the social conditions of workers in all sectors of the transport, in order to successfully accomplish the approximation and adaptation strategy of Georgia's transport system with European and international standards. Namely:

- It is important to carry out pre-qualification training, certification and encourage the further professional development of drivers, train operators, pilots and seafarers.

- Strict protection and monitoring of labor conditions, work and leisure time and hours corresponding to the international standards of workers employed.

- It is important to introduce alco and narcological checks for drivers on long-distance and international routes.

- It is necessary to make driving test requirements similar to European standards when issuing the license of different categories and additional strict control of tests themselves. 

- Issues about passenger rights and liabilities as well as public transport services.

6. One of the main priorities of the country these days should be to attract foreign investments and place them in the transportation sphere. After appropriate examination and justification, the logistics centers of the appropriate standard should be constructed on border territories, automobile and railway stations and airports, as well as in complex areas of industrial facilities (factories).

7. Ensuring improvement of rail transport service including issues related to border crossing procedures.

With the purpose of making the railroad transport compliant to Euro standards and multi-modalities, the following should be done:

-  Infrastructural and technical measures to be taken to ensure that the railway can be used to transport heavier cargo.

- It is important to update damaged rails, rolling stock and wagons, strengthening drainage system in bridges and tunnels.

- The existing, old communication system on the Georgian railway should be replaced with a brand new digital communication and signaling system which will improve communication and ensure more mobile and timely movement of trains.

-  It Is necessary to continuously conduct rehabilitation and modernization of internal motorways and power supply.

The implementation of these measures is important to ensure technical and security conditions and interoperability with a single European railway zone to allow opening the market and access to infrastructure. For approximation with European standards, it is necessary to set tariffs for companies to access the railway infrastructure.

8. The transport system of Georgia is impossible without the development of marine ports. For Marine Transport Development:

-  Marine infrastructure management standards should be further approached in compliance with international rules and conventions.

-  Restrict the amount of documentation, increase its informative content, decrease the decision making time and improve quality.

-  Ensure effective and strict monitoring of the requirements of the port state control and military policies, as well as the requirements of the Marine Environment Protection Committee resolutions and International Maritime Organization (IMO) conventions on the safety of the tankers.

- In order to control activity, it will be good to introduce the internal auditors’ system that will conduct relevant analysis each year.

9. As regards the specific measures to be taken in the direction of aviation, the air transport sector is gradually getting closer to the EU based on the agreement "on the one hand between the EU and its Member States and on the other hand, Unified Airspace of Georgia", therefore:

-  There is a need to accelerate the approximation of international regulatory system in the field of aviation.

-  Security issues should be controlled strictly.

-  Domestic flights of the Georgian aviation companies should be encouraged especially in areas popular with tourists.

-  It is important to carry out constant control of the relevant administrative bodies in implementation of the relevant EU legislation.

10. One of the fundamental and essential demands of the European Standards Policy today is the reduction of adverse impacts on the environment and the development of sustainable transport. Taking into account the Euro directions with this regard, one of the priorities is to develop sustainable transport systems in Georgia that include all types of transport. Particular attention should be made to ensuring ecologically clean, efficient and safe transportation systems.

The quality of air cleanliness and the reduction of transport share in air pollution is a significant challenge for Georgia. Sustainable development means not only dealing with specific problems but also the introduction of concrete approaches. Namely:

- Strict control of fuel quality.

- Development of green transports and sustainable energy use.

- Reinforce the relevant legislation against air pollution in main transportation means and transportation and logistics centers.

- Various ways can be encouraged by the social and environmental aspects of business involved in the transport sector, and so on.

Analysis of general and specific issues in the present work gives an opportunity to note that the improvement of the Georgian transport system and its approximation to EU standards is relevant both in terms of political, economic and practical terms. 


Global processes and the pace of development in the world require gradual changes and development of Georgia. The role of international economic relations is increasing particularly. Today, as always, it is important to develop a common rule of international economic systems and standards and to implement it in the economy of each country. Despite the fact that this process is difficult and hard to adapt to different political, economic, social and historical and cultural aspects and develops at different levels in different countries, the modern world still characterizes countries and people to adapt to the global space. Today, it isvital for everyone to engage in international processes and complete global integration.

Georgia can not avoid this movement can, which, despite its many problems, is an active subject of modern globalization. This role is particularly high in geo-political context. The transit function of Georgia was revealed by Geostrategy of Georgia – being located on the verge of Europe-Asia. In addition, Georgia strives to join the EU and Euro-Atlantic structures and is committed to Western values.

As a result of the survey, we conclude that the complex modernization of the transport sector in accordance with the above recommendations is important for the approximation and adaptation of Georgia's transport system with European and international standards.

We believe that the government's will and practical hand is essential for implementing recommended measures to enable the country to fulfill its obligations, which is important for the development of our country's well-being and turning it into a European state. Today, we should note that effective steps are already been taken in this direction, but it is desirable that the pace becomes more active, in this case, we often refer to the introduction and implementation of specific regulations and standards, fragmented and time-sized procedures, such as around technical inspections and other topical issues.

As mentioned above, the European Union takes Georgia's European aspirations into consideration. The EU welcomes Georgia's readiness to deepen cooperation in all fields, including transport, and seeks to normalize our country's transport infrastructure so that its integration into the developed European transport system speeds up. To achieve this goal, Georgia needs to develop appropriate legislative base, proper standard transportation and transportation services.

Quality of cooperation with the European Union depends on the commitment of the common values ​​of Georgia and the ability of the country to implement the priorities of the EU in compliance with international and European norms and principles. The pace of development of these relations will depend entirely on Georgia's commitment and the specific successes that the country will achieve in the implementation of the obligations taken.  

Used Literature 

  1. I. Lashkhi, T. Pataraia, G. Gabrielashvili, A. Imnaishvili - Pproject of Open Society Georgia Foundation - "Georgian Railway LLC - Drafting an Analytical Report";
  2. State Program for "Strong, Democratic, United Georgia" - Government of Georgia The main data and directions of the country for 2016-2019;
  3. Office of the State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration - "Georgia's Progress Report on Implementation of ENP Action Plan and the EaP Roadmaps" - 2014;
  4. European Commission, Directorate-General for Communication Citizens Information - THE EUROPEAN UNION EXPLAINED - "Transport" - 2014;
  5. ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, and the Georgia, of the other part - Official Journal of the European Union - 2014;
  6. http://europa.eu/pol/trans/index_en.htm
  7. http://www.economy.ge
  8. http://eeas.europa.eu/georgia/pdf/quick_guide_eu_ge_aa_en.pdf
  9. http://www.enpi-info.eu/maineast.php?id=272&id_type=10