Today, we extend our warmest congratulations to the people of Georgia and celebrate, together, the 100th anniversary of Georgia’s first Constitution.
The 1921 Constitution was a remarkable achievement, enshrining a proud legal tradition in support of a progressive and modern Georgian state. Most of all, it demonstrated the high democratic aspirations of the Georgian people.
Georgia’s first Constitution firmly placed this country within the wider European family of values, cherishing the principles of democratic governance, the respect for human rights, the upholding of the rule of law and the defence of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and printed media.
In many respects, this Constitution was ahead of its time. It introduced universal suffrage for a proportional system of elections to be enjoyed by men and women equally. It abolished capital punishment and it provided for political asylum and the protection of national minorities. It even codified socio-economic rights and a strict framework for the conduct of justice. This commitment to a progressive democracy has set important benchmarks for the modern Georgian state – benchmarks that remain highly relevant to this day.
Georgia’s ambition to build a thriving, inclusive, pluralistic democracy is anchored in this historical Constitution. As we solemnly mark this day together, we recall our deep partnership and reaffirm the European Union’s commitment to supporting Georgia on its path towards a strong democracy.