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NGOs Express Readiness to Engage in Fulfillment of EC-Proposed Recommendations

By Khatia Bzhalava
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Georgian non-governmental organizations have published a joint statement to confirm readiness to involve in the timely and complete fulfillment of the 12-point recommendations proposed by the European Commission as the precondition for granting Georgia the EU candidate status. The NGOs note that the EU candidate status is a decisive and priority issue for Georgia, saying the government, opposition, and civic sector should direct their efforts to reach this goal.

As the statement notes, the signatory organizations appealed to the Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia to arrange a working meeting as soon as possible with civil organizations in order to exchange views on the format of involvement of civil society in the process and the procedure for further work.

“We believe that today, at a turning point for the country, the only priority is to obtain the status of a member state of the European Union at the end of the year. With the view to achieving the goal, it is necessary to implement the recommendations set by the European Commission in a timely and comprehensive manner,” the statement reads.

As the NGOs note, while some differing views may emerge along the path to the goal, some of the priorities highlighted in the recommendations ‘leave no room for further interpretation’. The statement pointed out the tenth priority mentioned in the European Commission’s recommendations, which requires the effective participation of civil society in the decision-making process at all levels. The NGOs state that for many years they have been working on the issues mentioned in the recommendations of the European Commission, thus, they believe that the case studies, reports, visions, and opinions developed as a result of observation will significantly contribute to the proper management of reforms and changes.

The joint statement is signed by Democracy Index – Georgia, Democracy Research Institute (DRI), Georgian Court Watch, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) and Media Ombudsman.

For the record, European Council decided on June 23 to grant EU candidate status to Georgia once the priorities outlined in the 12-point recommendations are addressed. A Parliamentary working group has already been created that will review judicial reforms, which is one of the preconditions outlined by the European Union for granting Georgia the membership candidate status.