The European Parliament on July 13 considered Rapporteur MEP Sven Mikser’s presentation of the draft of the annual report examining Georgia’s implementation of its EU Association Agreement.
He called on “Georgian authorities to uphold the highest standards of democracy, rule of law, and fundamental freedoms”.
Rapporteur says the draft welcomes the EUCO’s decision to recognize Georgia’s European Perspective, but getting the EU candidate status later this year requires from Georgia to successfully address the key priorities.
The draft calls Georgian authorities to uphold the high standards of democracy, rule of role, fundamental freedoms and pursue the priorities for reforms. It also underlines the importance of implementing genuine and thorough justice reform.
The document calls authorities of Georgia to address the shortcomings, identified by the Venice Commission in the nomination and appointment of judges at all levels and also of the Prosecutor General.
The draft also calls for reforms of the High Council of Justice to be carried out.
It calls to effectively investigate the massive illegal wiretapping that was revealed last September and expresses concern about the amendments to the criminal procedure code of Georgia that increases the number of crime.
It also reiterates the importance of independent oversight of Georgia’s state institutions and regrets in that respect the dismantling of the state inspector service against the ODIHR recommendations and highlights the positive role of the Public Defender in protecting human rights and promoting good governance and strengthening the rule of law.
The report “regrets that deep polarization continues to be a defining feature of Georgia’s political environment,” and points to the EU-brokered April 19, 2021 agreement as the pathway towards strengthening democracy and rule of law in the nation”.
Sven Mikser noted in his conclusion that these are “some of the focal points” of the draft with many issues still to be addressed in the final version. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the assessment and the amendments that will be made to it before it is finalized later this year.