THE PLENARY SESSION WEEK INCLUDES THE PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES, MINISTERIAL HOUR AND THE INTERPELLATION PROCEDURE
This week, the Parliament holds the Debates, Ministerial Hour and the Interpellation as the Speaker, Shalva Papuashvili stated at the Bureau. “We have a busy week with the Debates, Ministerial Hour and the Interpellation”.
According to him, after the political statements and consideration of the Bills on the May 24 plenary session, the floor will be given to the debates on “European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia”.
On May 25, the Parliament hears the Regional Development and Infrastructure Minister, Irakli Karseladze within the Ministerial Hour, and on May 27, pursuant to paragraph 5, Article 149 of the Rules of Procedure, the Prime Minister; Foreign Affairs Minister; Economic MInsiter; and the Justice Minister will answer the questions within the Interpellation.
THE SPEAKER SIGNED THE DRAFT CHANGES TO THE CRIMINAL CODE OF PRACTICE
“There are no legal or expediency arguments that can impede the enactment of the hereof Law and hence, I signed the Law”, - the Speaker, Shalva Papuashvili stated at the extraordinary briefing speaking about the process of the development of the Law and the Presidential veto.
He underlined that similar to Mme. Zourabichvili, who had no legal remarks concerning the Law, nor Venice Commission detected incompliance of the draft with the ECHR standards.
“As you may know, the President used her right of veto to the hereof Law on June 23, calling it a political veto and thus, underlining the fact of absence of the legal remarks towards it, however, she considered the adoption thereof as politically inexpedient due to the criticism by certain groups concerning the pace of the consideration of the hereof Law and the engagement of the parties concerned. Subsequently, the President addressed the Venice Commission appealing to provide their opinions regarding the Law. On August 26, the Venice Commission promulgated its opinions regarding the Law. Similarly to the Presidential veto, the Venice Commission failed to detect any contradictions to the European or international standards on human rights. At that, Venice Commission, based on their interviews with certain actors in Georgia, reiterated the opinion about the pace of the adoption of the Law and the engagement of the parties concerned. I hereby provide the perception, which has been unfortunately attempted to establish towards the hereof Law”, - he stated.
As the Speaker elucidated, the initiators have not required expedited consideration of the draft initiated on April 13, 2022, and hence, the draft has been under standard consideration procedure.
“Moreover, providing the particular interest to the Draft and based on the appeal of our partners, the consideration has been extended for 3 weeks. Eventually, the Parliament adopted the Law with the III reading in 2 months upon the initiation and providing the overcoming of veto, the Law has been adopted in 5 months, which has nothing in common with an expedited manner; All relevant state agencies, all NGOs concerned, and all international actors have been engaged in the initial consideration so in the overcoming of veto. The Draft has been under consideration not only in the Committees but at the Working Group meetings, including with the EU experts online. Every party enjoyed the opportunity and enough time to submit their contextual remarks concerning the incompliance of the Draft with any of the European or international human rights standards. You can find zero groups concerned capable of stating that despite their will to participate in the consideration, they lacked this opportunity, which has nothing in common with non-inclusiveness”.
The Speaker underlined that even 5 months after the initiation of the draft, no contextual remarks have been made that could put the compliance of the draft with any human rights standards under doubt. “On the contrary, the discussions with the local groups concerned or the international actors revealed that the hereof Law is in full compliance with the practice of the European Court of Human Rights. The consideration of the veto confirmed the absence of the answer to the reiterated question to specify the human rights standard that the hereof Law is in breach thereto”, - he noted.
The only opinion expressed concerns the expediency of the adoption of the Law, he added: “pursuant to Article 36 of the Constitution of Georgia, the Parliament is the supreme legislative body determining various directions of state politics, including the creation of the respective legal base in view of the higher efficiency of investigative actions. Hence, the issue of expediency of the adoption of the Laws is attributed to the exclusive competence of the Parliament. In sum, it took 5 months in the Parliament to discuss the hereof issue and on September 6, the Parliament ultimately confirmed its decision. Thus, there are no legal or expediency arguments that can impede the enactment of the hereof Law and hence, I signed the Law”.
X CONVOCATION PARLIAMENT OPENS AUTUMN SESSION WITH STATE ANTHEM
Georgia's national anthem was played as the tenth convocation of Parliament opened the autumn session. According to the administration of the Parliament of Georgia, Shalva Papuashvili, the Speaker of the Parliament, greeted the lawmakers at the start of the session.
"We are commencing the autumn session, and I want to start by wishing you everyone a productive session. We have a full schedule, so it's crucial that you all participate fully in the work and that we complete this meeting with as many decisions that will be beneficial as possible.
At the same time, I'd like to extend a greeting and best wishes for a fruitful and engaging session to the parliamentary media. We wish to work with you since comprehensive coverage of the Parliament's actions is highly essential to us", - Shalva Papuashvili addressed to his colleagues and journalists.
The Parliament convenes twice a year, in the spring and autumn sessions. The first Tuesday in September marks the beginning of the autumn session, which ends on the third Friday in December.
WORKING MEETING OF MEMBERS OF OPPOSITION PARTIES WITH CIVIL SECTOR
According to the administration of the Parliament of Georgia, members of the faction "National Movement - Strength is in Unity" and political groups "Lelo - Partnership for Georgia" and "Reforms Group", as well as independent MPs, held a working meeting with representatives of non-governmental organizations regarding EC’s 12 recommendations.
The parties discussed the legislative measures required for the execution of the aforementioned suggestions and gave their perspectives on each one.
"We began the implementation phase of EC’s recommendations in close collaboration with the civil sector. In all twelve directions, we summarized the current state of affairs. We talked about 4-5 themes that are being created as legislative initiatives as well as 7-8 specific draft laws. It was discovered that extra meetings are required in a number of sectors. We continue to believe that in order to accomplish this crucial phase, Georgia's forces must be united as a whole. There are a couple of issues that we have also identified where we might back a political product developed with input from members of the ruling team. The most important thing is that we begin the autumn session with serious thoughts and ideas related to this specific issue. The government's ideas and problems are welcome for discussion. Because Europe anticipates us to have solidified and agreed-upon positions, we are prone to seeking consensus", - David Usupashvili, Chairman of the political group "Lelo - Partnership for Georgia” stated.
"The work procedure is actually coming to a close. Only four topics — justice, de-oligarchization, electoral reforms, and media-related issues — will be the subject of additional civil sector perspectives next week. The final text will therefore be made available to the public following the gathering of these four working groups. By the middle of September, we anticipate submitting those legislative packages to the Parliament that have not yet been registered", - Giorgi Vashadze, a member of the political group "Reforms Group" stated.
He also thanked his opposition colleagues and representatives of the civil sector for their active cooperation in the working groups and noted that this is exactly the process that Georgia needs to get the status of the European Union.
"We will uphold a document that we can call - "Mechanism for rapid accession to EU candidate status". This will be a document that we will sign with its legislative amendments", - Giorgi Vashadze added.
MEETING OF NIKOLOZ SAMKHARADZE WITH THE NEWLY APPOINTED AMBASSADOR OF CHINA
The Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Nikoloz Samkharadze held an introductory meeting with the newly appointed Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Zhou Qian.
According to the administration of the Parliament of Georgia, the parties overviewed the bilateral relations and discussed the cooperation agenda. The emphasis was made on cooperation in the trade-economic, tourism and educational spheres.
N. Samkharadze informed the Ambassador about the grave situation in the occupied regions of Georgia, elucidated the impact of the Russian aggression in Ukraine on Georgia and overviewed the situation in the Black Sea region.
The parties touched upon the recent developments in Taiwan and affirmed the unwavering support to the territorial integrity of Georgia and China and loyalty to the fundamental principles of international law in this regard.
GIVI MIKANADZE PARTICIPATED IN THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE EUROPEAN SCHOOL SUMMER CAMP
The member of the Sports and Youth Issues Committee assigned for the youth sphere, Givi Mikanadze participated in the opening ceremony of the European School Summer Camp in Ikalto organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, LEPL Youth Agency and the EU.
The Summer Camp will host 100 persons of the age of 14-18 from 6 EaP member states (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia).
The opening ceremony of the 2-week Camp was as well attended by the Deputy Sports Minister, Irakli Giviashvili, Deputy Mayor of Telavi, Pikria Ushitashvili and the representatives of the EU Mission to Georgia and various agencies. G. Mikanadze addressed the youth eligible for the first enrollment and underlined the state policy prioritizing the promotion of the youth.
He stressed the importance of inter-cultural dialogue, links and further cooperation and welcomed the initiative of the Ministry and the Youth Agency to facilitate the organization of similar camps and pledged political support.