European Council President Charles Michel has stated that judicial reform is the condition for the disbursement of EU macro-financial assistance to Georgia, following l meetings with Georgian officials and parliamentary opposition parties amid the 17th International Conference - Georgia’s European Way.
Judicial reform is a core part of the 19 April Agreement and a condition for the disbursement of EU macro-financial assistance to Georgia. The recent fast-track confirmation of Supreme Court judges did not fully reflect the results of consultations with international and domestic stakeholders. This was clearly a missed opportunity,” stated Charles Michel.
The implementation of the 19 April Agreement, in both the letter and spirit and in good faith, remains the best guarantee to advance Georgia’s ???????? democratic agenda in the interest of the country's citizens. pic.twitter.com/VM0bnKkBFO— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) July 19, 2021
Charles Michel also said that his most important message for all political parties of Georgia is the full implementation of the EU-mediated agreement.
My single most important message to all political parties in Georgia is that the full implementation of the 19 April Agreement remains the best guarantee to advance Georgia's democratic agenda in the interest of the country's citizens,” said Michel.
He also underscored the importance of protecting constitutional rights and noted that ‘respect for diversity and human dignity are essential to our fundamental values.’
I also stressed in all my meetings today the central role fundamental rights and freedoms play in our EU-Georgia relations. Rights of minorities are not a marginal issue - respect for diversity and human dignity are essential to our fundamental values. The constitutional rights to freedoms of expression, press and assembly must be upheld,” Charles Michel noted.
Opposition politicians noted that the conversation was focused on the EU-mediated agreement, which ended months of the political standoff in April 2021, events of July 5-6 and the debated appointment of judges to the country’s Supreme Court.
MP Salome Samadashvili from the faction - Lelo Partnership for Georgia stated that they discussed the EU-mediated agreement and the fulfilment of the commitments made within the document.
We have talked about the need to strengthen the mechanisms of pressure on this government - a government that openly and clearly denies the European future of our country. I'm sure we will see serious discussions in the near future on the development of appropriate sanctions from the European side,” Samdashvili noted.
The leader of Strategy Aghmashenebeli party Giorgi Vashadze said that they talked about the violent events of July 5.
Of course, we talked about the violent events of July 5. We specifically told the police not only failed but also did not protect the journalists...We should not allow the (Georgian Dream) to deviate from the process of integration into the European Union,” said Vashadze after the meeting.
Charles Michel also called on parties and individuals have not signed the April 19 Agreement yet, to do so.
I was pleased that all signatories of the Agreement remain committed to its full implementation and to developing a more inclusive, united way forward among all political forces in the country. I call on those who have not yet signed to do so,” stated Michel.
The agreement between the opposition and the government with the involvement of Charles Michel was signed on April 19. The document so far has not been signed by the United National Movement (UNM) and European Georgia.
The signatory parties agreed to resolve several issues within the document, including the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court.