In the early minutes of March 31, after mediating an eight-hour meeting between the ruling Georgian Dream and the opposition parties, Christian Danielsson, EU Council President Charles Michel’s Personal Envoy to mediate Georgia’s crisis, said he was “sad to report that none of the political parties could agree to this solution in whole.”
Danielsson publicized the document he proposed the parties for agreement. While the Georgian Dream and the opposition leaders traded accusations afterward over the failure to strike the deal, it seems the parties largely agreed on the electoral reform, judicial reform, and parliamentary power-sharing points. They failed, however, as expected, to reach a consensus over the release of alleged political prisoners and the issue of future elections.
The opposition’s key demand for snap elections – fiercely rejected by the GD government – was not reflected in the public document. It referred, however, to the prospect for the release and dropping charges against Nika Melia, top opposition leader, by initiating amnesty for June 2019 unrest participants. This passage did not include the release of Giorgi Rurua, pro-opposition Mtavari Arkhi TV shareholder, whom the opposition also regards as a political prisoner.
Danielsson is now expected to update President Michel about the development in the coming days, while it remains unclear whether the EU mediation efforts will continue.
“This is a solution that requires political courage and responsibility,” stated the EU diplomat. Below are the main takeaways of the text Danielsson put forward, that the parties rejected to fully endorse.
Irakli Garibashvili: The ultimate wish and task of all of civilized Europe and Michel is for us the authorities to continue working in the Parliament together with the oppositionTuesday, 16 March 2021 11:35
The ultimate wish and task of all of civilized Europe and, in this case, of Mr. Michel is for us the authorities to continue working in the Parliament together with the opposition, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili told the press during his visit to Brussels.
A solution must be sought, though it cannot be at the expense of the state's interests, the Head of Government added.
"We had a very productive meeting with President Charles Michel. I would like to thank him once again for his direct mediatory engagement. His envoy is presently in Tbilisi, continuing negotiations with both the opposition and our party. The process continues. Tomorrow, we will have a chance to engage in dialogue. I would like to make one thing clear. We are called to find a solution, but it in nowise can happen at the expense of the state's interests. Of course, we are ready for a fair decision. It must be a compromise more or less acceptable to all. We have openly stated our position. I shared with Mr. Michel the position of our party and the Government, and he listened to our offers attentively. As you know, the opposition, over the past few days, has been especially destructive in its attempts to widen the gap instead of contributing to the process of dialogue. We have seen numerous attempts and provocations over the past few days. I hope that the opposition can continue constructive dialogue. The ultimate wish and task of all of civilized Europe and, in this case, of Mr. Michel is for us the authorities to continue working in the Parliament together with the opposition. And that is our ultimate task as well. Next few days will show how we will fulfil this task. I will abstain from disclosing our concrete positions, because there is no agreement yet and negotiations are still underway," Irakli Garibashvili said.
Press Service of the Government Administration
H.E. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia met with H.E. Charles Michel, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium in New York today.
Parties discussed democratic reforms implemented by Georgia towards its quest to European and Euro-Atlantic integration. While referring to the prospects of bilateral cooperation, special focus was made on the development of trade and economic relations. It was also noted that central role in this process is to be played by the associations of trade and industry, as well as individual private sector representatives. Upcoming visit of Belgian entrepreneurs to Georgia has been viewed as a step made forward towards this end. It is organized by Wallonia Export and Investments Agency and scheduled for November 2016.
Significance of the successful completion of the Visa Liberalization Process has been paid a special attention during the meeting. It was noted that Georgia has met all the criteria set in the Visa Liberalization Action Plan.
Prime Minister Kvirikashvili expressed gratitude to his colleague for the active engagement of the Kingdom of Belgium in the implementation of the Substantial Package of NATO.
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium reiterated commitment towards supporting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. Upon closure, Prime Minister of Georgia invited his Belgium colleague to Georgia.