EU, US congratulate Georgia on 100th anniversary of first constitution

  • Despite its short life, the 1921 constitution is considered a cornerstone of Georgia’s independent statehood that serves as the basis for the modern-day constitution. Photo: archive.gov.ge

Agenda.ge, 21 Feb 2021 - 13:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Union Delegation extends its ‘warmest congratulations to the people of Georgia’ on the 100th anniversary of its first constitution.

The statement released by the EU delegation earlier today says that the 1921 constitution ‘was a remarkable achievement, enshrining a proud legal tradition in support of a progressive and modern Georgian state’, which demonstrated ‘high democratic aspirations of the Georgian people”.

Georgia’s first Constitution firmly placed this country within the wider European family of values, cherishing the principles of democratic governance, the respect for human rights, the upholding of the rule of law and the defence of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and printed media”, it reads. 

Head of EU Delegation to Georgia Carl Hartzell has tweeted:

Noting that in many respects, this constitution ‘was ahead of its time’, the statement says ‘it introduced universal suffrage for a proportional system of elections to be enjoyed by men and women equally’. 

Georgia’s ambition to build a thriving, inclusive, pluralistic democracy is anchored in this historical Constitution. As we solemnly mark this day together, we recall our deep partnership and reaffirm the European Union’s commitment to supporting Georgia on its path towards a strong democracy”, it concludes.

The United States Embassy has also stated that Georgia’s first constitution ‘was an important step in a century-long commitment to joining the community of Western democracies’.  

Calling the first Georgian constitution ‘one of the most progressive in the world at the time it was drafted’ the US Embassy said its values ‘are as important in 2021 as they were in 1921’.

Citizens, elected officials, and party leaders from all sides must take steps to de-escalate the current political crisis, work peacefully within democratic institutions, and keep Georgia on its path to continued Euro-Atlantic integration”, it stated.

The embassy also said that ‘just as there was in 1921, there are those who would like to see Georgia fail at this effort, who view the success of Georgian democracy as a threat’.  

Noting that 'the work of democracy is difficult, and it is never finished' the embassy said the United States 'will continue to stand by and support the people of Georgia in this important work as we move forward together'.

Georgian Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze has meanwhile tweeted:

A century ago on February 21, 1921, the Constituent Assembly of Georgia adopted a landmark historical document that formed the basis of the country’s contemporary constitution.

The historic occasion in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi was held three years after the country had gained independence from Russia in 1918 and only four days before the country again fell under occupation by Soviet forces.

Despite its short life, the 1921 constitution is considered a cornerstone of Georgia’s independent statehood that serves as the basis for the modern-day constitution.

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