Titus Corlatean and Claude Kern, co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of obligations and commitments by Georgia, are making a fact-finding visit to the country from 17 to 18 September 2019.
Co-rapporteurs visit to monitor Georgia
By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, September 18
Discussions mainly focus on recent political developments, the independence of the judiciary, the judicial reform, the functioning of the High Council of Justice, and the organization of elections.
In Tbilisi, Corlatean and Kern are due to meet, in particular, the President of the Republic, the PM, the Speaker of the Parliament, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Internal Affairs, as well as the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality. Talks are also scheduled with various parliamentary committees, the political groups represented in Parliament, and the Georgian delegation to PACE.
The co-rapporteurs will also meet the Chair of the Central Election Commission, representatives of the judicial authorities, the Public Defender, and representatives of the diplomatic community and NGOs.
Within the framework of the visit, the Monitoring Committee will prepare yet another report on the conditions of democracy and human rights in Georgia and the situation in the occupied regions of the country.
Speaker of Parliament Talakvadze held a meeting with PACE Monitoring Committee rapporteurs on September 17.
The sides discussed ongoing reforms in Georgia. Talakvadze introduced to the speakers the essence of the electoral reform and the main arguments, as well as the process of public discussion. Consultations focused on justice and education reforms as well.
Special attention was paid to the agenda of the Parliament of Georgia and its special role in the democratic development of the country.
Kern and Corlatean praised the reform of institutional capacity-building of the country's highest legislature and emphasized that the mechanisms provided by the new regulations would significantly improve the legislative and oversight functions of parliament.
According to them, the government's accountability has increased dramatically and the role of the parliamentary opposition has been strengthened.
The importance of close cooperation with the Parliament of Georgia and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was also emphasized.
In addition, the talks focused on the situation in the occupied regions of Georgia. Kern and Corlatean reaffirmed unwavering support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Anri Okhanashvili, chairman of the legal issues committee together with Nino Goguadze and Guram Macharashvili, members of the same committee met with the PACE Monitoring Committee members.
Commenting on the meeting, Okhanashvili said: “The main topic of discussion was the process of election of judges to the Supreme Court, as we plan this process, how it is going on and at what stage it is now. We talked about changes related to the Law on State Inspectorate Service and the fourth wave of judicial reform”.
Members of Faction “European Georgia” and “National Movement Party” also held meetings with the members of the Monitoring Committee of the Pace.
“It is very important for us that the Monitoring Committee focuses on the acute problems and trends that exist in Georgia in general and especially in the pre-election period. Such meetings require awareness of international organizations to mitigate risks from a government that, due to its political breakdown, may take even more radical steps that are dangerous for our country, peace, and democracy,” commented Giga Bokeria, leader of the European Georgia after the meeting.
Within the framework of the visit, the meetings will continue on September 18 in the Parliament of Georgia. The visit to the High Council of Justice is scheduled for the same day.