MEPs ‘deeply disappointed’ by failure of EU-mediated talks in Georgia, warn of difficulties in EU financial aid

  •  MEPs have blamed both the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition for failing  the EU-mediated talks. Photo: TI EU., 2 Apr 2021 - 11:18, Tbilisi,Georgia

Seven MEPs have released a joint statement saying that they are ‘deeply disappointed’ with political leaders in Georgia ‘for their inability’ to reach an agreement in the EU-mediated talks last Tuesday on election-related issues and the release of opposition figures. 

Both the ruling and the main opposition parties taking part in the discussions are to be blamed for this outcome and a special responsibility lies with the party in government,” said the statement. 

They said that the proposal offered by EU-mediator in the talks Christian Danielsson was ‘in the best interests of Georgia.’ 

The content of this proposal is indeed the right way ahead for Georgia: ambitious electoral and judicial reforms, meaningful sharing of responsibilities in the Georgian Parliament and, most importantly, a solution on future elections and on two cases of politicised justice,” said the statement. 

The MEPs said that following the refusal from the political parties to compromise, ‘Georgia’s leaders should not expect a return to business as usual from the European Union.’ 

The European Parliament in particular will call for consequences in terms of EU financial assistance, including both a suspension of further disbursements of and an increase in conditionality linked to EU Macro Financial Assistance and budget support programmes,” said the statement. 

Danielsson, who was earlier sent to Georgia for mediation by the European Council President Charles Michel on March 12, returned back to Tbilisi on March 27 after the failure of his previous mediation efforts. 

However, his second effort also failed.