EU recommends Georgia review law on Occupied Territories

AA signing celebration in Tbilisi, Georgia, June 27, 2014. Photo by N. Alavidze /, 11 Jul 2014 - 11:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Association Agenda between the European Union (EU) and Georgia is calling for Georgia to continue peaceful conflict resolution and review relevant legislation, such as the Law on Occupied Territories.

Initiated and discussed in the Parliament of Georgia last year, changes to the Law on Occupied Territories was opposed by an opposition party, which led to lengthy discussions.

Amendments would imply a person who illegally entered occupied territory illegally once would be punished under the Administrative Law, while violating the border a second time would result in the person facing charges under the Criminal Code of Georgia.

Opposition party United National Movement (UNM) criticised the idea of reviewing the Law on Occupied Territories again. UNM representatives said they would not support the law even if it reentered Parliament.

"We should not accept any European demand. Instead of this we could offer our own arguments as a country," said UNM member Givi Targamadze.

However Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said work to achieve the demands outlined in the Association Agenda would begin from September 1 this year.

"In general, the point is that the agreement envisages rehabilitation of trust in the relations across the administrative boarders," Minister Maia Panjikdize said.

European Parliament will start to ratify the existing Association Agenda next week.

The Association Agenda focuses upon specific priorities the country must look at, such as political dialogue and reform, foreign and security policy, cooperation on justice, freedom and security, and trade related issues, among others.