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Georgian Dream openly says no to the EU

By Malkhaz Matsaberidze
Wednesday, September 8
Problems between the Georgian government and the country's strategic partners have already become apparent. Georgian Dream first announced the annulment of the April 19 agreement, which, according to Western partners, included a list of reforms to be carried out.

Opposition groups and non-governmental organizations have stated that the Georgian Dream has reaffirmed its commitment to reform and the West, while the Georgian government has repeatedly stated its commitment to the Euro-Atlantic course and made inaccurate statements about its strategic partner. "And Georgia's judiciary is better than many EU countries.

On August 31, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili announced that the Georgian government was refusing the second tranche of EU macro-financial assistance. This was explained by the fact that they decided to gradually reduce the country's foreign debt and in the current "double-digit economic growth" they no longer wanted to increase the country's foreign debt. However, it soon became clear that Georgia could not receive this tranche from the EU.

No reforms were made as a condition of its adoption, first of all, judicial reform. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, warned Irakli Gharibashvili about the loss of aid without carrying out reforms during an informal meeting in Kyiv on August 23.

According to Charles Michel, "it is time for Georgia to show its commitment to the agreement, especially concerning reforms."

Georgia has received four macro-financial assistance from the European Union since 2008. For a country in crisis, macro-financial assistance is an EU emergency tool and is provided to EU partner countries, although assistance depends on the fulfillment of political preconditions - the protection of the principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

2020 In April, in the wake of the Covid crisis, Georgia requested macro-financial assistance from the European Union. 2020 According to the decision made on May 26, the European Union provided macro-financial assistance to Georgia for 150 million euros, preferential loan of about 2% for 15 years.

The second Euro 75 million was to be credited this year, depending on the European Commission's positive assessment of the 7 preconditions set by the Georgian government, the most important of which were related to the reform of the justice system. Then the April 19 document, one of the main points of which was the reform of the judiciary, is annexed to the EU.

An independent judiciary does not need to prove what is important for the establishment of democracy. According to Western friends, the reform demanded by the European Union should have led to the establishment of such a judicial system in Georgia. The Georgian government has refused to implement this reform, despite previous consent and promises.

At the same time, this factual refusal is accompanied by the Prime Minister's assertion that the Georgian judiciary is better than the judiciary of many EU countries and no less incorrect statement that the MEPs are not its heads.

The idea was growing in the EU to stop the second tranche of macro-financial assistance to Georgia, but the Georgian Dream considered such a thing detrimental in the pre-election period and simply attended the EU announcement - we do not need a new loan.

However, this did not prevent the statement made by the EU representative that "Georgia has not been able to sufficiently meet the conditions for receiving macro-financial assistance and, in particular, has increased the independence, accountability, and quality of the judiciary."

The move by the Georgian government has drawn sharp criticism from the opposition and the non-governmental sector. The government has caused significant damage to the country not only economically but also politically. "Georgian Dream" is no longer openly fulfilling its obligations to Western partners and thus threatens the country's Euro-Atlantic course, "Lukashenko" is underway and Georgia is leading to Russian-style authoritarianism.

In response to such assessments, the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Kuchava stated that "the Euro-Atlantic course is not in danger." According to other government officials, no one can name any reforms that have not been properly implemented.

Parliament is due to consider the constitutional amendment provided for in the April 19 document on September 7, but even after the agreement was annulled, the Georgian Dream no longer guarantees that it will support such changes, such as the introduction of a 2% electoral threshold.

The 43% mark that the Georgian Dream must collect in the upcoming self-government elections has been canceled, otherwise, early parliamentary elections will have been called. Today, the leaders of the Georgian Dream are constantly repeating that there will be no snap elections.

Much still depends on how the October 2 self-government elections end. Georgian Dream announces its next victory in advance with a big advantage, but beware of opposition protests. If serious irregularities are observed during the elections, direct sanctions from the West will already be expected.