The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Wednesday, September 6
European Georgia Joins European People’s Party

The Movement for Liberty – European Georgia, which has the largest opposition faction in Parliament, was accepted today as an observer member of the conservative European People’s Party (EPP).

The decision to accept the party into Europe’s largest political network was made at EPP’s Political Assembly in Copenhagen, Denmark.

European Georgia applied for membership in January 2017, shortly after its split from the United National Movement, which ran the country from 2003 to 2012.

According to the EPP statute, the Political Assembly, on the proposal of the Presidency, may grant the observer member status to parties close to the EPP, from (i) European Union Member States, (ii) states which have applied for European Union membership as well as from (iii) European states that are members of the Council of Europe.

The European Georgia will be the second EPP observer member from Georgia; the UNM was incorporated as observer member in September 2008. (

CoE’s Buquicchio disappointed by Georgian stalemate on new constitution

The head of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio, is disappointed by the lack of progress on Georgia’s constitutional reform.

The Commission President took to Twitter on Monday to react to a lack of agreement between the government and the opposition about holding the next round of negotiations in Strasbourg on September 6.

Buquicchio also expressed dismay at the government’s decision to postpone the introduction of a proportional election system by four years to 2024.

“The postponement of the introduction of the proportional system to 2024, as well as the repeated failure of the Georgian parties to reach consensus on the revised Constitution through negotiations is disappointing,” Buquicchio wrote.

In June, the Venice Commission issued a draft opinion on the revised constitution, which was favorable to the Georgian authorities.

But the document seems more critical after the parties failed to reach consensus, as does Buquicchio’s statement which urged Tbilisi to take into onboard the advice of the Council of Europe’s experts.

“We encourage the Georgian Parliament, before finally adopting the revised draft, to make changes in the light of this opinion and of the dialogue with all Georgian political parties,” the statement reads.

The Venice Commission’s recommendations are frequently interpreted differently by the various actors in Georgian politics.

Opposition groups resist all the changes they think will concentrate more power with the ruling party, the Georgian Dream. In late June, Buquicchio described the stalemate as a ‘crisis’.

Meanwhile, the speaker of parliament says that the new version of the Constitution will be adopted during the fall session in spite of the opposition’s objections. The ruling GD can do this because it controls a large enough majority. (DF watch)

Adjara government asks Turkey for assistance in Shavnabada fire liquidation works

Smoke has increased on the Shavnabada Mountain in Khulo, in the Adjara region. As reported by the head of the Adjaran Government, Zurab Pataradze, they have already asked Turkey to help them fight the fire.

Four fires have reportedly been observed on the mountain.

As later reported, Georgian and Turkish helicopters will engage in anti-fire efforts.

500 firefighters are working in Khulo to extinguish the fire. (IPN)