The House Democracy Partnership (HDP), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is a bipartisan commission of the U.S. House of Representatives that works directly with 21-partner parliaments around the world to support the development of effective, independent and responsive legislatures. HDP is proudly implemented by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
Hon. George Khatidze attended the HDP Regional Seminar on Engaging Citizens in Building a Secure e-Society in Tallinn, Estonia in November 2019. The seminar, which included members of parliament from Armenia, Georgia, North Macedonia and Ukraine, was part of a larger HDP IRI strategy to increase eGovernance capacity. Hon. Khatidze has been a member of parliament since 2016 and sits on the Legal Issues Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. In this semi-regular series, we profile HDP alumni to show how they are applying the lessons they’ve learned to their legislative work.
What parliament and chamber are you a member of?
I’m a member of parliament in Georgia and sit on the Foreign Relations Committee and Committee on European Integration.
What HDP program did you participate in?
I participated in a regional study tour – Engaging Citizens in Building a Secure e-Society – held in November 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia. It brought together members of parliament from Armenia, Georgia, North Macedonia and Ukraine.
What is your favorite thing about your country?
Georgia is the leading country in the region in terms of the protection of human rights, consolidation of democratic institutions, rule of law and economic development. The country is developing, and we receive a tremendous amount of support and assistance from our friends and partners, from the United States of America and European countries. I would like to thank them for their continued support.
Why did you decide to become a member of parliament?
I was working for many organizations and institutions – private, public and international. I was also an Associate Professor at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs. It comes time when you feel that you can share your experience; use your experience and your knowledge for the benefit of your citizens, for your country. Being a member of parliament for me is a big responsibility and the accountability that comes with it. Every day you can do something good for your citizens and country.
What accomplishments in parliament are you most proud of?
The mandate a member of parliament is given is an opportunity to serve the interests of the citizens. I have been engaged in many reforms, initiatives, programs and projects, and I have been doing my best to serve the interest of my country and my citizens.
Looking back on the HDP program, what was most impactful for you?
The study tour, organized by HDP and IRI, was dedicated to e-Governance. It was remarkable that the study tour took place in Estonia because there is much to learn from the success story of Estonia’s e-Governance and digital modernization. It was a great pleasure and opportunity to participate in the regional tour together with our colleagues from Ukraine, Armenia and North Macedonia. We learned how to build a secure e-Society and use the experiences from my colleagues and Estonia in my country. I would like to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to HDP and IRI for such an interesting and well-organized study tour.
How are you applying your experience from the HDP mission to your role as a member of parliament?
e-Governance is an important tool for making governments more transparent, efficient, inclusive, accountable and responsive to our citizens; all of which contributes to building and strengthening democracy, enhancing the rule of law and protecting human rights. Georgia has remarkable achievements and is progressing in developing e-Governance. Open Governance Permanent (OGP) Parliamentary Council is responsible for e-Governance on a parliamentary level in Georgia. As a member of the Council, I am trying to use Estonia’s e-Governance experience within the framework of OGP and the parliamentary activities.
What advice would you give to new members of parliament?
Good ideas come from interaction and discussion, active engagement and sharing experiences.
View original story at IRI’s democracyspeaks.org