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Shalva Papuashvili Concludes Georgia's Road to the European Union Conference

By Liza Mchedlidze
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
While summarizing the conference titled Georgia's Road to the European Union, the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Shalva Papuashvili, expressed satisfaction with its success and emphasized the importance of further building on this experience with similar events that delve into other pressing issues. According to Papuashvili, the conference facilitated substantive discussions on various topics, including judicial reform, electoral matters, and de-oligarchization.

Papuashvili extended his gratitude to the Civic Platform, acknowledging the real need for such meetings and the enthusiasm shown by participants to exchange ideas. The length of the conference demonstrated the collective interest in sharing perspectives. He highlighted the constructive nature of the discussions, even on polarizing subjects, which showcased the potential for professional dialogues about substantial matters.

"I believe the conference was a resounding success, and I would like to extend my gratitude to the Civic Platform for organizing it. The conference was much needed, evident from its duration and the enthusiastic exchange of ideas among participants. We covered vital topics, including judicial reform, electoral issues, and de-oligarchization. While discussions on polarizing issues may have evoked strong emotions, it also demonstrated the possibility of conducting professional deliberations on substantive matters." Papuashvili said.

However, Papuashvili expressed disappointment that the opposition did not remain as engaged throughout the event. He observed a pattern wherein the opposition uses its candidate status as a tool to exert pressure on the government, resorting to blackmail and creating chaos. The Chairman lamented that when faced with a professional and calm discussion that cannot be exploited as a weapon, the opposition chose not to actively participate.

"Unfortunately, the opposition left the conference after just half a day, indicating a general lack of interest in the broader issues. It's disheartening to witness the opposition using their candidate status as a tool to pressure the government, resort to blackmail, and create chaos. However, when confronted with a professional and composed discussion, they seemed reluctant to participate, revealing their hesitation to engage in constructive dialogue.

I would like to express my appreciation to the representatives of the opposition who were initially involved, although, regrettably, most did not actively participate throughout the conference." The Chairman of Parliament stated.

Additionally, Shalva Papuashvili stressed the need to continue such conferences, exploring other topics in greater depth. He highlighted specific areas, such as environmental protection and the economy, related to the association agreement and considered essential to the European Union. Papuashvili concluded that discussing these issues is crucial as they directly impact the lives of Georgian citizens.

"Regarding our cooperation with the civil platform, I extend my thanks for their representation of a diverse civil society. Everyone had the opportunity to express their opinions on all issues. I consider this first conference a success, and I believe it is vital to build on this experience by organizing similar events where we can delve more deeply into various topics. We are yet to discuss issues arising from the association agreement, particularly those concerning environmental protection and the economy-fundamental values at the heart of the European Union. It is crucial that we address these issues as they directly impact the lives of our citizens," stated Papuashvili.