The evaluations of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe on electoral amendments implemented by Georgian authorities with the goal of gaining the European Union membership candidate status are “clearly positive”, Givi Mikanadze, a ruling Georgian Dream party MP, said on Monday.
Mikanadze said legislative changes related to residency status for candidates in municipal elections, measures for ensuring impartiality of members and observers in lower-level election commissions, introduction of additional criteria for recalculating election results, and increased deadlines for submitting complaints had been “particularly highlighted as positive”.
The draft of the conclusion by the European bodies, planned to be officially approved on December 15, will be available later today, the MP added, noting recommendations on “several topics” would be considered before the final approval of the bill.
The amendments are part of Georgia's plans to receive the EU membership candidate status. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
It is clear that the work that the ruling party has done with the involvement of several opposition groups over the past several months has been positively evaluated by the international organisations of such high authority”, Mikanadze pointed out, adding “we will consider each of the recommendation in detail and submit appropriate amendments for the second reading”.
In further comments, the lawmaker said his party had initiated the creation of nine working groups since June, when the country was granted a European perspective by the European Council and tasked with meeting conditions set by the bloc for granting the country the membership candidate status.
He said the working groups, with the involvement of several opposition parties, had held 60 working meetings between July and August to propose amendments to meet the conditions.
A portion of the 12-point conditions has been fulfilled in several directions, and intensive work is being done on the rest. Our goal is to complete most of the activities under this plan by the end of this year”, Mikanadze said.
Georgia applied for EU membership in March along with Ukraine and Moldova, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.