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The News in Brief

Friday, January 27
Georgia in PACE Resolution on ‘Media Freedom in Europe’

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted on January 24 a resolution calling for strengthening independence and diversity of the public and private media in Georgia.

The resolution “Attacks Against Journalists and Media Freedom in Europe” was adopted with 110 votes to 15. Both opposition and ruling party lawmakers of the Georgian delegation supported the resolution.

The resolution says that it “welcomes” Georgian legislation, which “provides a framework for freedom and stability of the media as well as the law on broadcasting,” but “encourages all responsible authorities to continue strengthening the independence and diversity of the public and private media.”

The Assembly reiterated the concerns expressed in PACE’s Resolution 2035 (2015), stating that it regrets “the past and continuing changes in media ownership in Georgia, which have an impact on media pluralism and diversity in Georgia.”

“Efforts to change the ownership of the country’s most popular pro-European TV station have caused continual concern among many international interlocutors and in civil society,” the statement reads referring to the ongoing ownership dispute over Rustavi 2.

GDDG lawmakers requested removal of the two clauses, arguing that Rustavi 2 maintained independent editorial policy and that its management remains the same, but the motion was outvoted with 98 against 24. “Rustavi2 maintains a critical position towards the government and is constantly progressing. Maestro TV shares have not been acquired by a new shareholder. No legal case has been submitted to the court regarding ownership of the company,” GDDG-drafted explanatory note stated.

According to the resolution, the Assembly also “notes with deep concern” that media freedom “is absent in other territories of member States which are de facto controlled by separatist regimes, namely in Nagorno-Karabakh of Azerbaijan, Abkhazia and South Ossetia of Georgia, and Transnistria of the Republic of Moldova.”

The resolution was based on a report compiled by Ukrainian lawmaker Volodymyr Ariev, chairman of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE, a body which is made of 324 lawmakers from the parliaments of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states. (

New awareness campaign to boost EU-Georgia integration

Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Georgia Janos Herman believes Georgia has never been so close to Europe as it is now.

Attending the official launch of an EU-Georgia relations awareness campaign today, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili praised the efforts of the campaign to bring Georgia and its people closer to Europe.

The ˆ150,000 campaign comes as part of the EU-funded Facility for the Implementation of the Association Agreement in Georgia project. The campaign aims at raising public awareness on EU-Georgia political and economic relations and the benefits the country will receive.

The six-month campaign will be carried out in several stages through direct and indirect communication promoting European values. This includes but is not limited to exhibitions, video clips, success stories, competitions and other forms of communication that better explain the values Georgia and Europe have in common.

Kvirikashvili said Georgia, with its "ancient history, culture and rich traditions” is approaching a "free and independent European family”. The PM believes Georgia will contribute to diverse European culture and strengthen its peace and security.

He further positively assessed the reforms Georgia has been carrying out under the Georgia-EU Association Agreement (AA) which was signed on June 27, 2014.

Prime Minister said "as anti-Western propaganda keeps growing” it is important that people receive truthful and comprehensive information on Georgia’s path towards Euro-integration.

“Our citizens should have as much information as possible on EU-Georgia political and economic relations. They should be aware how each of us could benefit from the AA and visa-free travel,” Kvirikashvili said.

He said the role of the Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European & Euro-Atlantic Integration and the NATO-EU Information Centre would be important in the successful implementation of the campaign. (

Investigation launched into incident at kindergarten

An investigation has been launched into an incident that took place at one of the kindergartens in Tbilisi. Experts of the Criminal Police are working at the incident site.

A mother accused a teacher of having physically assaulted her 3-year-old child, and claims that the child now has injures to the ear. The child is being subjected to an examination at the National Forensic Bureau.

The Kindergarten’s Administration claims that they already talked to the teacher and are waiting for the investigation’s results.

The teacher is temporarily suspended from work. She denied all the allegations of violence. The Kindergartens Management Agency is also studying the case. A criminal case is opened into the fact. (

We have read Mr. Daul’s statement; we dispute that claim - Party of European Socialists

“We have read Mr. Daul’s statement urging the Prime Minister of Georgia to release so-called ‘political prisoners’. We dispute the claim,” the Party of European Socialists says in its Facebook post.

“Our firm belief is that Georgia is a successful country which is developing its democratic institutions and excelling at the introduction of European standards. Since 2012, Georgia has achieved exceptional progress in protecting democracy and human rights, advancing the independence of its judiciary, and promoting media pluralism.

“We must all support the development of this young democracy and its European integration,” the statement says.

As a reminder, Joseph Daul calls on Georgia’s PM to immediately release the country’s political prisoners.

“I am sorry for all the political prisoners who are detained in Georgia, and I call on Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili to immediately release them,” European People's Party President Joseph Daul said after meeting with the leaders of the European Georgia party.

Joseph Daul met with Davit Bakradze, Gigi Ugulava, Giga Bokeria and Gigi Tsereteli in Brussels.

"Today I met with Davit Bakradze, Giga Bokeria, Gigi Tsereteli and Gigi Ugulava. They introduced their new political project, European Georgia. I was happy to see Gigi Ugulava, who has recently been released from prison after spending 2.5 years behind bars. I am sorry for the other political prisoners who were detained in Georgia and I call on Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili to immediately release them,” says Joseph Daul in a statement released by European Georgia. (IPN)