EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee Supports Association Process and Stresses Importance of Rule of Law, Democracy and Freedom of Media in Georgia (03/11/2015)
The first EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee meeting was concluded successfully on 3 November 2015 in Tbilisi with the adoption of a Final Statement and Recommendations, stressing support for the Association process between Georgia and the EU.
Established as a body to provide democratic scrutiny over implementation of the Association Agreement, the first committee session included six European Parliament members (MEPs) and fellow Georgian parliamentarians. Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani and EU Ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman also participated in the session.
The Final Statement and Recommendations adopted after the session addressed a variety of areas relevant to Georgia, such as EU-Georgia relations, modernisation and democratic reforms, the situation of IDPs, and the peaceful settlement of the conflict situation. The statement also makes note of institutional developments in Georgia, condemning violence against all political parties, and stressing the key role of civil society.
During the Committee sessions, the Rustavi 2 case was also discussed. "The rule of law and freedom of expression are important for any democracy. It would not be right for a MEP to make any comments in this regard, the process continues, and are we going to wait until it finishes, "said MEP Sajjad Karim
This was echoed by EU Ambassador Janos Herman, who noted that ''Efforts to consolidate the independence of the judiciary, promote open and pluralistic media have become essential components of the country's success. We expect these efforts to continue.''
The EP delegation was led by Dr Sajjad KARIM (ECR, UK); Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Co-President Heidi Hautala (Greens, FI) and M. Andrejs Mammikins (S&D, LV), standing rapporteur on Georgia from the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs will also join this mission, alongside fellow MEPs Valentinas Mazuronis (ALDE, LT), Claire Moody (S&D, UK), Agnieszka Kozlowska-Rajewicz (EPP, PL) and M. Kosma Zlotowski (ECR, PL).