Social Coherence and Integration Policy
Georgia is a multicultural country that values the diversity and considers it as one of the main sources of society’s strength. Accordingly, the integration policy of government of Georgia aims to support cultural dialogue and sustain the protection and promotion of cultural diversity.
The main objectives of this policy are as follows:
- promote tolerance and respect among ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious groups living in Georgia;
- create preconditions for minorities to participate in the political, social, economic and cultural life of Georgia;
- protect and promote cultural diversity;
- develop minorities’ cultures and preserve essential elements of their identity, including religion, language, traditions and cultural heritage.
For the purposes of ensuring integration, civic equality and promoting cultural dialogue, several state strategic documents have been elaborated during the past years.
- National Concept for Tolerance and Civic Integration (2009) with its action plan (2009-14) was elaborated by the office of the State Minister of Georgia in the Reconciliation and Civic Equality. Intergovernmental commission was established to ensure the provision of special budget for implementation of this document; the main goal of the document is to support the building of democratic and consolidated civil society based on common values, which considers diversity as a source of its strength and provides every citizen with the opportunity to maintain and develop his/her identity.
- Based on the assessment of National Concept, the office of the State Minister of Georgia in the Reconciliation and Civic Equality elaborated the Civic Equality and Integration strategy 2015-2020 (in 2015) with the purpose of protecting national minorities and promoting of a society that is based on the values of diversity and pluralism as determinants of democracy and development. The strategy underlines Georgia’s rich history of multiculturalism, and positive experience of tolerant coexistence.
- Strategy aims to protect cultural identity and cultural values of every citizen and to create preconditions for proper inclusiveness of all ethnic minorities residing in Georgia using the principle “more diversity, more integration”.
The main goals of the strategy are as follows:
- equal and full participation in civil and political life;
- creating equal social and economic conditions and opportunities;
- providing access to high quality education and improving knowledge of the state language;
- preserving ethnic minorities’ culture and promoting a tolerant environment.
The action plan of strategy aims to implement several measures towards:
- supporting small and vulnerable ethnic minority target groups;
- encouraging cultural diversity;
- protection and popularisation of ethnic minorities’ cultural heritage etc.
The implementation of mentioned measures should result in:
- society’s increased awareness on cultural diversity;
- increased tolerance and respect, developed intercultural dialogue and contacts among ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious groups living in Georgia;
- better conditions for preserving minorities’ cultural identity and protecting their cultural heritage;
- ensured participation of minorities in the cultural life of Georgia and better conditions for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expression.