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From early this year, the European Union voiced its expectation that the introduction of extensive amendments to the Constitution of Georgia would strengthen democracy and the rule of law, based on wide-ranging and inclusive consultations. We welcomed the commitment of the Georgian Parliament to consult the Venice Commission and fully incorporate its recommendations.
The Delegation of the European Union concurs with the Venice Commission's opinion, released yesterday, which positively assesses the constitutional reform, stressing that it will complete the evolution towards a parliamentary system.
Nevertheless, we note that the Venice Commission regrets the postponement of the introduction of the proportional electoral system. It also formulates several specific recommendations concerning freedom of religion and in the area of the judiciary.
Regarding the process of political consultations between the parliamentary majority, opposition forces and other participants, the Delegation of the European Union regrets that a valuable opportunity has not been properly seized to build broader consensus around the amendments to the Constitution.
In light of the Venice Commission's opinion, we are confident that the parliamentary majority will keep to its commitment to allow electoral blocks and apply a three percent threshold for the 2020 parliamentary elections, as well as to abolish the bonus for the winning party, when fully introducing proportional parliamentary elections in 2024. The Delegation of the European Union encourages all relevant political actors to work together further to complete the adoption of the new Constitution.