Georgia’s Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze claims that the country has carried out a range of reforms and now is ready to upgrade itself in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) assessment.
Georgia is ready for higher PACE assessment
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, July 6
Kobakhidze meant Georgia’s current “monitoring stage” in the PACE assessment. This means PACE rapporteurs regularly visit the country and conduct an ongoing dialogue with authorities, and occasional plenary debates to ensure that a state's progress and problems are honestly assessed.
This currently applies to ten states, namely Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
“We deserve to move to the post-monitoring dialogue from the existing monitoring level. We will very actively work for this and the reforms carried out in Georgia also serve the aim,” Kobakhidze told the Secretary General of the Assembly Wojciech Sawicki.
Post-monitoring dialogue means states that have made progress may pass on to this stage, a less intensive procedure involving a limited number of remaining issues.
This currently applies to three states: Bulgaria, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The post-monitoring state is also followed by two more stages.
All other member states are subject to this periodic reviews roughly every five to six years, which draw together information from all parts of the Council of Europe to arrive at an overall assessment of how far they are honouring their obligations and commitments to the organisation. This currently applies to 33 of the Council's 47 member states.
Specific reports on the Functioning of Democratic Institutions allow the committee to prepare a report on the functioning of democratic institutions in any member state when particular developments warrant them.
Georgia’s Parliament Speaker, who participates in the PACE assembly with the Georgian delegation, also stated that one of the key issues of the discussion in the Assembly was the reform of the Constitution of Georgia.
He stated that the reform would also provide guarantees for upgrading Georgia’s level in PACE.
However, the reform is strongly criticized in Georgia by the opposition and NGOs, who call the changes “fitted to the interests of the ruling Georgian Dream team”.
The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, which provides recommendations for constitutional issues, has already given a general, positive evaluation to the changes.
However, the Georgian Dream party postponed some key changes, positively assessed by the Commission in its preliminary report.
One of the changes referred to the full move to a proportional election system, which was postponed until 2024 by the ruling team.
The Venice Commission chairperson Gianni Buquicchio stated he was “disappointed” by the delay.