The co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe praised “many reforms” implemented by Georgia since joining the Council and “good progress” made by the country to bring democratic and rule of law institutions in line with European standards, Imedi channel said on Tuesday.
After their visit to Georgia in late March, the co-rapporteurs also hailed the Georgian Government’s willingness “to combat the excessive influence of vested interests” in economic, political and public life while commenting on the deoligarchisation bill, but also expressed concern that the “personal approach” taken by the proposed law would be “difficult to reconcile with the European Convention on Human Rights”.
The co-rapporteurs Claude Kern and Edite Estrela emphasised that “Georgia is at a crossroads on its path to European integration”, and noted, “they have always fully supported, and tirelessly worked for, the country's full integration into Europe's institutional framework”.
We [the PACE co-rapporteurs] urge the Georgian authorities and all political forces to overcome their extreme animosity and polarisation, to set aside narrow party interests, and to jointly work with all stakeholders to implement the 12 priority areas for reform outlined by the European Commission in order for the country to obtain EU candidate status”, the co-rapporteurs said.
They also called on the authorities to strongly condemn “frequent attacks” against civil society organisations and, where necessary, investigate “these attacks that aim to silence and stigmatise” the organisations, citing “a vibrant and critical civil society [...] is essential for a well-functioning democratic society”.
As for the developments regarding the imprisoned former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been receiving treatment at Vivamedi civilian clinic in Tbilisi since May 2022, the co-reporters noted that “in the best interests of Saakashvili, it is important to depoliticise his health condition”, and emphasised the importance of the “presence of impartial foreign doctors” to provide “neutral, reliable, and trusted information” on the former President’s health condition.