Three leading members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Marina Kaljurand, Sven Mikser and Viola von Cramon-Taubadel are ‘surprised and disappointed by the unexpected decision’ of the ruling Georgian Dream party to withdraw unilaterally from the April 19 agreement brokered by European Council President Charles Michel.
A landmark in Georgia's political life, but also in EU-Georgia relations, the Agreement paves the way for the smoothening of political polarisation and strengthening of the rule of law in Georgia, addressing key issues such as the independence of the judiciary, the improvement of the electoral system or power-sharing in Parliament”, the joint statement reads.
It further says that ‘conversely to Georgian Dream's claim that the Agreement had fulfilled its purposes and therefore reached its limits, we believe that it underscores reforms that are meant to be sustained and enhanced over the years - not just episodically’.
???? Joint statement by leading MEPs @MarinaKaljurand, @svenmikser and @ViolavonCramon on @GeorgianDream41's ???????? decision to withdraw unilaterally from the 19 April agreement.https://t.co/XYT9x343IS ???? ????????— AFET Committee Press (@EP_ForeignAff) July 29, 2021
Noting that the elected opposition parties that did not sign the agreement ‘also bear their heavy share of responsibility for this setback’, while the MEPs ‘commend the decision of those opposition politicians who signed the agreement and continue being committed to the taken obligations’.
They further note that after the continued Supreme Court appointments and after the unacceptable violence that led to the cancellation of the Tbilisi Pride, yesterday's announcement by the ruling party came as yet another disappointment.
We call on Georgian Dream to annul its decision, and we urge all the political parties to work together, in good faith and for the sake of Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations, to see that the Agreement is implemented thoroughly, in word and spirit”, the MEPs say.
Reiterating the European Parliament's readiness ‘to pursue its close cooperation with the Parliament of Georgia by providing democracy support’, the MEPs say this their Georgian counterparts should show ‘a willingness to engage constructively in such activities’.
Charles Michel, who has personally mediated talks between the Georgian ruling party and opposition back in April, calls on politicians to put citizens' interests first:
Met yesterday with @Zourabichvili_S to discuss the political situation in ???????? and ???????? relations.— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) July 29, 2021
Consultations in #Georgia are starting. 19 April agreement is the best way to advance a reform agenda.
I call on all parties to put citizens' interests first.https://t.co/nYLxNAueKR pic.twitter.com/3AzKEe27Ce
The ruling Georgian Dream party has annulled its signatory status to the April 19 EU-mediated agreement which resolved a six-month political crisis in the country following the 2020 parliamentary elections and proposed large-scale electoral and judiciary reforms.
The opposition is unanimous in its statements that the ruling party ‘acted in a very irresponsible way and betrayed the country’s western course.’ However, they believe that ‘hasty decisions made by the opposition ‘may further damage the state interests.’