PM Garibashvil on links between EU loan and judiciary reforms: we’ve carried out fundamental reforms, are committed to continue them

  • Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili says that the Georgian court system is better than in many EU-member states. Photo: government of Georgia press office., 1 Sep 2021 - 12:18, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has responded to recent statements of local and foreign politicians on the connection between EU financial aid and judicial reforms in the country. 

Garibashvili said that the Georgian Dream government has already carried out ‘fundamental reforms’ in the judiciary and remains committed to the tenets of the April 2021 EU-mediated agreement to proceed with court reforms. 

Everyone knows what the country’s court system was like when the Georgian Dream came to power back in 2012. Since then we have carried out several fundamental reforms, including a four-wave court reform which have made the system far more transparent and accountable,” Garibashvili said. 

He stated that ‘I want to remind everyone’ that the Georgian court system is ‘far ahead’ of the court systems of many EU-member states. 

All reports and studies confirm this, including those conducted by international, trustworthy organisations. So, we continue the reforms,” Garibashvili said. 

He stated that the EU-mediated agreement, which was signed by the ruling party and the majority of opposition parties to resolve a six-month political standoff in Georgia, gave time for the reforms until May 2022. 

We have withdrawn from the EU-mediated agreement because the United National Movement opposition party refused to join the agreement. However, we remain committed to the reforms proposed in the agreement,” Garibashvili said. 

He stated that it is the merit of the Georgian Dream government and not the previous, United National Movement, that the country's Euro-Atlantic course has become irreversible. 

The Georgian government refused yesterday to take the second tranche of the EU’s 150 million euro loan. 

Garibashvili stated that the reasons behind the refusal were the positive moves in the state economy and the government’s intention to gradually pay the country’s more than 20 billion USD foreign debt. 

The EU delegation to Georgia has responded to the refusal, stating that they ‘respect’ the decision, but noting that the country has been unable to completely fulfil preconditions that would have been needed to receive the second instalment.

At a briefing late yesterday, the EU embassy said that the Georgian government has not yet taken genuine steps to improve issues in the country’s judiciary, increase its accountability and quality.