European Council appoints mediator to help Georgian political parties end tension

  • The European Council reports that Christian Danielsson will come to Georgia in the coming days to serve as a mediator. Photo: EU., 9 Mar 2021 - 11:44, Tbilisi,Georgia

European Council President Charles Michel has mandated Christian Danielsson to lead a EU-backed mediation effort in Georgia, in follow up to the relaunch of the political dialogue between the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition. 

The appointment comes shortly after Michel’s visit to Georgia earlier this month. 

Five of eight opposition parties which have won seats in the 10th convocation of the Georgian parliament have been demanding repeat elections since the October 31, 2020 race. 

They have accused the ruling Georgian Dream party of falsifying the elections, refused to take up their mandates and took to the street in November 2020. 

Opposition rallies resumed at the end of the last month, amid the coronavirus pandemic, after the arrest of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party head Nika Melia on February 23 (for his refusal to pay bail). 

UNM head Melia is charged with incitement to violence during the June 2019 protests and was released on bail. However, he refused to pay 40,000 GEL of his 70,000 GEL bail. Photo: Nika Melia's Facebok page.

The European Council reports that Danielsson will work closely with EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell, ‘with the aim to overcome the current political tensions in Georgia.’ 

Danielsson will be travelling to Georgia in the coming days to engage with all stakeholders to the process,” said the statement. 

Michel and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell have encouraged all political actors in Georgia ‘to commit fully to the dialogue in a constructive spirit and with a view to pursuing mutually agreeable outcomes, in the interest of a stable, democratic and reform-oriented Georgia, able to successfully advance on its pro-European path.’ 

Danielsson was formerly  permanent representative for Sweden before he became deputy secretary-general of the European Commission in 2011. In 2013 he became director-general for enlargement and in 2015 he was appointed director-general for neighbourhood and enlargement Negotiations. He is currently the head of the European commission's representation in Sweden.