On 21 June 2022, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Lasha Darsalia held a farewell meeting with Severine Chappaz, the Head of the Delegation in Georgia of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Discussions focused on the issues relating to cooperation between Georgia and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The First Deputy Minister thanked the ICRC representative for the work done by the Committee in Georgia, for its humanitarian efforts, and especially for its assistance to the people living in the Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions.
For his part, the ICRC Representative in Georgia thanked the First Deputy Minister for the fruitful cooperation and outlined the ways to further intensify it.
At the end of the meeting, Lasha Darsalia wished Severine Chappaz success in his future endeavors.
MFA of Georgia
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"Dear Speaker of the Parliament! Dear Members of Parliament! Dear Members of Government! Mr. Mayor! Let me greet you all and media representatives. I am honored to present our Annual Performance Report, which has been submitted in writing prior to this meeting. I wish to speak in detail about the achievements that our country had in the past year. Naturally, I wish to start with our main achievement, which we all witnessed several days ago. Namely, the European Commission made a historic decision on June 17 by a much desired entry in an official document. I wish to remind everyone again that this entry was indeed a historic decision of the European Commission. First time ever, entry on our European Perspective. The European Commission clearly worded out its recommendation addressed to the European Council in a document for granting a European Perspective to Georgia to eventually let us accede to the European Union. It is a historic decision of the European Commission.
Secondly, what I wish to say is that our expectation was a candidacy status to be granted to Georgia, as Ukraine and Moldova did. It is understandable that we witnessed a different approach. I wish to explain it in detail for our people and honorable MPs.
Our team in the authorities did its best to address the heavy legacy what we witnessed when coming to power: dictatorship, authoritatian regime used to be practiced in real terms, whereby people were slautered, tortured, raped, while businesses and assets were foreclosed, families were smitten. After such a heavy legacy with no sign of democracy and no media freedom in the country, no independent judiciary existed before we came to power and the entire governing scheme and system was operating as a repressive system to suppress and destroy people and their livelihood. This was a legacy we witnessed when coming to power on October 1, 2012. I wish to remind everyone that the judiciary operated as a mere notary service and whatever instructions came from the prosecution the same court rulings would be issued by judges. It was the legacy you left us, honorable ones. As for media freedom, no opposition channel existed in the country back then.
I heard a complaint that we should talk with ordinary people about what we did during the past 10 years. Of course, we will once again remind them and our dear people what we have been doing during these 10 years. However, I wish to remind it to all within a context of EU integration. We need to remind our population and partners - foreign friends - that we truly inherited a most devastated legacy. Of course, we know it well that no sign of democracy existed in the country. No real, strong opposition channel existed in the media landscape of the country, but we hear the same people talking about media freedom. It is great merits to our planned and implemented reforms that any broadcasting company may be incorporated within 10 business days nowadays. With this indicator we are much ahead of others, including some of the EU member states.
Press Service of the Government Administration
On 22 June in Brussels, the EU and Georgia held the 15th round of the annual Human Rights Dialogue.
Participants exchanged views on the human rights situation in Georgia and on recent developments in the promotion and protection of democracy and human rights since the last dialogue in July 2021.
The Georgian delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Teimuraz Gianjalia, and the EU delegation was led by Richard Tibbels, from the European External Action Service. The EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore, also participated in the meeting.
The next EU-Georgia human rights dialogue is planned to take place in Tbilisi in 2023.
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On June 22, 2022, the Public Defender of Georgia sent an official letter to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, requesting the President and the Heads of the EU Member States to consider the aspirations of the Georgian people towards the European family, their fight and efforts in this process, and to grant Georgia a candidate status, in order to prevent that Georgia is separated from the common space it has shared with Ukraine and Moldova and misses this important opportunity.
See the letter of the Public Defender of Georgia to Charles Michel, President of the European Council
Your Excellency, I hereby extend the assurances of my highest consideration personally to you, as well as the President of the European Commission, and the Heads of State/Government of the 27 EU Member States. The EU has always been a firm supporter of Georgia in its European aspirations and the results of this support have been felt by many of us for decades. Let me express our utmost gratitude for this assistance. I remain convinced that the EU-Georgian cooperation will keep strengthening, while the progress that comes with the European integration will benefit the citizens of both the EU and Georgia who share the common values and are united in forging more humane, peaceful, and prosperous future.
I am addressing you today as the Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia, which is an independent constitutional body that supervises the protection of human rights and freedoms by public authorities in Georgia. The Ombudsman has over the decades been acting resolutely within its constitutional mandate and enjoys a wide support and trust from the members of the public as well as the international community at large.
During such critical times I feel obliged to address you ahead of the upcoming European Council meeting on 23 and 24 June 2022, which is expected to make a final decision about the membership applications from Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. As you are aware, on 17th of June 2022, the European Commission issued Opinions on Georgia’s, the Republic of Moldova’s and Ukraine’s application for the EU membership in which the Commission recommended granting European Perspective to all three states. Furthermore, while for Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova the Commission recommended granting a candidate status, with respect to Georgia the Commission has put forward a clear set of conditions to be met before the candidate status is granted. This risks separation of Georgia from the rest of the Associated Trio, even though it has been seen for many years as a frontrunner among the three and shares with them the threats coming from the Russian Federation.
This is an existential matter and moment for the whole nation, who have already made their conscious choice of European and Euro-Atlantic integration, embodied in the Constitution of Georgia. In Georgia the European integration is not only a foreign policy option, but a moral and cultural choice shared by a wider political spectrum and supported by the absolute majority of Georgians. Unprecedented number of demonstrators marching in Tbilisi on the 20th of June is a recent confirmation of this. The civil society led rally was held for the sole purpose of expressing unwavering support for Georgia’s EU integration, regardless of the political affiliation. Europe is a historic choice and aspiration of the Georgian people, for which all generations have made sacrifices. The idea of European perspective consolidates society and reduces polarization
Consequently, in the face of the most acute domestic and foreign policy challenges, it is crucial for us now that Georgia, together with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, is granted the EU candidate status with the precise conditions to be met within strict timelines. The European Commission has already outlined the most challenging issues to be addressed immediately by Georgia and let me confirm that the issues set out in the Opinion have been voiced by the civil society and majority of Georgians, as well as the Ombudsman for many years already.
It is for the reasons outlined above that I appeal to you today to consider granting the EU candidate status to Georgia. I firmly believe that the European integration is the only driving force for a progress in Georgia and the recommendations of the European Commission will act as a road map in this process. Let me assure you that the Public Defender will oversee this process and the Georgian people, civil society, and the media will be there to safeguard the fulfillment of these conditions.
Please accept, You Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration!
The Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia