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Georgia’s Diaspora parliament

By Messenger Staff
Friday, May 4
The Georgian government has decided to create a so-called Diaspora parliament to facilitate a more active inclusion of ethnic Georgians in other countries. The proposal was submitted to the Parliamentary Committee for Diaspora and Caucasus Issues.

Similar models are in place in Italy, Finland, and Croatia, among other countries. The term of each parliament will be four years, with 45 MPs. They will convene once a year for five days at the official Parliament in Georgia.

As Minister of Diaspora Affairs Papuna Davitaia explained, Georgians holding another country’s citizenship will also receive the status of “compatriot” and special certificates will be issued to them. By the end of May, it is expected that 50 such certificates will have been issued.

The initiative envisages granting a seat once a thousand people register in a foreign country, although there is a maximum of three MPs per country. The law itself will come into force only after 30 000 persons are registered. Thirty MPs will be directly elected, while the other 15 will be directly appointed by the Minister of Diaspora Affairs from those countries where Georgian emigrants number less than a thousand. The Chair of the parliament will be the Minister, while the Speaker will be elected by the members.

While presenting the project, Davitaia noted that it is not related to the upcoming elections, as this institution will only come into force within the next two or three years.

Some years ago, a similar initiative was implemented in Armenia, a country that has a powerful Diaspora. However, little has been done to make that project a reality. Hopefully, Georgia will be able to make their dream come true.