EP’s Foreign Affairs Committee adops report on Georgia: ‘upcoming elections will be pivotal’

The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has adopted a report on the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Agenda.ge, 15 Jul 2020 - 13:09, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee adopted its new report on the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, saying that the upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia in October will be ‘pivotal’ in confirming the country’s democratic credentials. 

The report was approved by 56 votes in favour, eight against with six abstentions.

The report welcomed the ‘continuous deepening’ of EU-Georgia relations and acknowledges the ‘country's recent progress in implementing comprehensive overall reforms, which has made Georgia a key partner of the EU in the region.’

The report also says that ‘enhanced cooperation and EU assistance are conditional on continued reform progress on, in particular, democracy and rule of law, including checks and balances in the institutions, independence of the judiciary and electoral reform.’

In the text, MEPs commended the “internationally praised response of the Georgian people and public authorities to the COVID-19 outbreak”, as well as the effective work of the country’s medical workers and authorities during the pandemic.

The report condemned Russia's actions in Georgia. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

The report praised the recent adoption of constitutional amendments ahead of the upcoming elections.

With regard to Georgia’s media landscape, the report views it as ‘dynamic and pluralistic, but also polarised’. 

The report urged the Georgian authorities to refrain from interfering in media freedom, pursuing politically motivated judicial cases against media owners and take steps to prevent disinformation campaigns by both foreign and domestic actors.

The report said that the recent selection of Supreme Court judges in Georgia was not “entirely in line” with the recommendations by the Venice Commission and suffered from serious shortcomings. 

The report condemned the ‘constant violations by Russia, which is currently exercising effective control over the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia’, of the fundamental rights of the people living in these regions, ‘who are being deprived of both their liberties and rights’.

The report will now be submitted for approval by the European Parliament as a whole. The plenary vote is currently scheduled to be held in September.