The Speaker introduced the activity plan of the incumbent Parliament prior to the new convocation. In line with the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure, the first Tuesday of September – September 6 is the date for the opening of autumn session with the Bureau and September 7 is the plenary session day. Meanwhile, the Parliament will proceed with the legislative changes within the spring session.
“On September 6, the Bureau will open the autumn session under the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure. On September 7 we will convene the plenary session. As to the post period, on September 8 we start the pre-election 1-month regime, envisaging the Parliament to stop activity unless the plenary session is convened by the Speaker or with the initiative of ¼ of MPs. We will further define the issue before September 4-5”.
He noted that the Parliament, as the state institution, will operate at full capacity. The Bureau discussed legislative initiatives submitted to the Committees for consideration including the draft on Local Fees, the draft on Tax Code and the draft on Social Aid.
The initiator, Dimitri Khundadze recalled the latter for redevelopment. The draft on Criminal Code specifying disposition and altering responsibility measures for illegal storage and acquisition of fire guns, explosives etc. is the initiative of the Government.
The agenda also includes the reports by the Committees on Sports and Youth Issues and on Education, Science and Culture on activity for 2015.
The President nominated the candidates to the members of the Supreme Court. The candidates will be considered by the Committees. The Bureau also discussed the list of issues not included into the spring session agenda.
The last spring sessions will be overloaded. Deriving from importance of the issues and the consideration period, plenary sessions will be held on June 22, 23 and 24 and will be closed on June 24 in line with the Rules of Procedure. The session week results will define necessity of extraordinary sessions.
The Speaker stated that the Code of Conduct for MPs has been developed and the draft delivered to MPs. The preceding Parliament developed the similar draft though it failed. “Now, within open government program and with support by international organizations, we can develop the Code of Conduct for MPs, which is a complex and interesting document and as it concerns MPs and ethics of MPs, I would like to let MPs study the draft before initiation. MPs can introduce their opinions to the working group as ethic norms have the meaning when it is at maximal extent based on consensus”.
He called on MPs to inform Guguli Magradze and Giorgi Kakhiani about their remarks or offers within a week. Minority MPs plan to continue boycott and the plenary will be held without them attending. As to the estimated agenda, it includes up to 50 issues for voting and the same amount for consideration and some for accelerated consideration. There are as well sundry documents for ratification.
The agenda also includes the organic law on Common Courts, related to the third wave of the judicial reform, though due to failure to achieve consensus on some articles, it can impede adoption of the draft with the III reading.
The Bureau discussed new initiatives and decided to start consideration. The initiatives include the drafts on: Red Cross Society of Georgia; Criminal Code of Practice, changing the regulations on jury, the draft on Civil Security, defining firemen-rescuer social provision guarantees.
MPs will consider and adopt the Code of Conduct in Pre-Election Period, authored by Victor Dolidze. The document is signed by all Faction Chairs except UNM. The draft envisages the Parliament declaring that the conduct rules and ethical standards shall be observed and that the political parties shall act in line with the Constitution, legislation, Election Code and democratic governance principles, the Parliament recognizes concrete rights and freedom of political parties and calls on the parties to refuse hostility and violence. The Parliament recognizes importance of depoliticization of public services and inadmissibility of usage of administrative resources for the elections. The Parliament calls on media to protect equal treatment principles to political subjects and underlines the role of the Court on electoral disputes.
As the Speaker stated, agreement on Election Conduct rules is timely and important and it is a good example of cooperation. It would be preferable if UNM stops boycott and participates in consideration of this issue along with non-parliamentary parties. The author of the Code thanked the colleagues for cooperation, the Speaker, the President and the Prime Minister. The plenary week starts on June 22 at 13hoo following the Bureau at 12h30.
The Parliament and the Business and Economic Center organized the Public Discussion on “RIA” in coordination with the Governmental Administration within the USAID project “Governance for Development”. The Speaker addressed the attendees.
“I am glad that this issue is gradually becoming one of the directions of state policy from narrow conversations and I am particularly glad that the Government assumed the leading role in this direction. At the first glance, the Parliament shall be the number one agency responsible for the legislative processes, regulations and their quality but in fact, in order to make one or another issue the part of the public policy countrywide, it needs the Governmental attention and due attitude. The Parliament is not exclusively responsible on these issues and thus, I hail the concrete steps made by the Government recently”.
All convocations want the adopted laws to be effective and productive, though often it is based on personal imaginations, political attitude and serendipity. “We shall admit reality that often, all these issues are based on our personal imaginations, our political attitude, political conjuncture and intuitions than the objective, measurable, estimable and lengthy process”. “Politics” in Georgian expresses two various concepts often confused. “We more often look at the public life from the political view than from the view of “policy” and often, our laws, regulations and resolutions are marked with this sign – that it is the political decision and less corresponds to the tasks of this sphere and the tasks of the ultimate goal. All these issues were in the agenda of our Parliament. I hope we move forward but the pace is not enough”.
He spoke about the steps in this direction and noted that the drafts have been developed, envisaging the explanatory note to be more detailed and improved. In terms of definition of the criterion and standards for estimation of impact of legislative regulations, the Parliament cooperates with international organizations and business organizations, though now it is time for system approach. “It is time to establish the standards necessary at least for our EU integration. It is already intolerable and inadmissible that sometimes, the draft is developed in a week but it needs 1-1,5 months to become a law. The law taking 2 months is often initially defected. Starting from such issues to the criterion for our final decisions, what we know about the expected impact of the laws”.
The Speaker spoke about profit tax reforms and noted that MPs had the questions about the Estonian model of the draft as it was not in details introduced. “Only a little nuance is absent for this good deed – solution of any detail in any other law and if it is not solved, then the desire cannot be realized. So, it is necessary to asap establish this methodology in our routine. The rules of mandatory behavior, set by the state and purposed to have due and positive impact, and estimation of this impact is the necessary component of our activity”. All MPs cannot have these skills and they will need expert assistance. MPs, in view of due treatment of the law, shall cooperate with NGOs and experts. “We shall jointly work to property treat the law. Estimation of real impact of the law and adoption of respective changes are necessary. I would like to once more assure you that the Government and the Parliament are very serious to this issue. It is the case when all political wills are gathered. I am sure that the Parliament will be active till expiration of the term and we will delegate the progress to the next Parliament”.
After the speech by the Speaker, The expert on Estimation of Impact of Regulations introduced the recommendations on the national frame of estimation of impact of regulations.
The EU Attaché to Georgia spoke about EU recommendations. The recommendations on the national frame have been developed to facilitate the Government, within USAID G4G project and engagement of the expert, on the basis of OECD and EU RIA standards and guidelines, taking the international best practice into account.
The CEO of BEC, Natia Katsiashvili resumed the public discussion. “I hail that as on the legislative so on the executive level the commitment was expressed to asap, using our available resources and human capital of the country, establish the frame for estimation of impact of regulations and then, simultaneously with enhancement of capacities, implement methodological improvement thereof. The consultations with the business sector are improved. I am glad that business sector is actively involved. Unanimity on this issue and donor assistance gives us hope that this process will be established next spring and we will witness the first systems of estimation in the Parliament”.
The discussion aimed at consideration of RIA system establishment in Georgia and related problems with involvement of interest groups, MPs and executive authorities, agreement on system institutionalization main principles and facilitation to informed participation of MPs in development of respective drafts.
According to the Former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, the candidacy of the future Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia is unknown yet. This statement was made by the Former Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili on the meeting with representatives of press and online media. Journalist asked him who will be the next chairman of the parliament if Georgian Dream wins. Ivanishvili answered that the issue of majoritarians is only now has been discussing in the party.
“The list should be strengthened after that. We should not talk about this right now,”-the Former Prime Minister said.
Savchenko, Ukraine’s newest lawmaker, stepped into parliament and into the spotlight of national politics on May 31, less than a week after being released from nearly two years of captivity in Russia. During her first day in the parliament, Savchenko talked about other Ukrainian prisoners, smoked a lot, sang the national anthem at the parliament tribune, encouraged her colleagues to vote, and struggled to use the lawmakers’ voting terminal for the first time.
“I’m back. I won’t let you forget about all those Ukrainians who died for Ukraine during EuroMaidan Revolution, and are continuing to die in the Donbas,” Savchenko said during her first speech in parliament. “They’re standing in their graves, and will only lie down when we get the Ukraine they fought and died for,” added Savchenko. Nadiya Savchenko (R) and her colleague from Batkivshchyna faction hang white and red banner with the portraits of more than 30 Ukrainian prisoners, and a slogan reading “Freedom to the prisoners of the Kremlin!” (Volodymyr Petrov)
She then sang Ukraine’s national anthem and took down the banner reading “Free Nadiya Savchenko” that had hung on the Rada’s rostrum for more than a year.
“I’m changing the banner and hanging another, with the faces of the guys who are still suffering in Russian prisons, so that you can look in their eyes and know that you have no right to leave them in captivity,” Savchenko said.
She then hung a white and red banner with the portraits of more than 30 Ukrainian prisoners, and a slogan reading “Freedom to the prisoners of the Kremlin!”
The Bureau discussed upcoming plenary dates, organizational issues and the agenda. In view of agenda consideration, the Parliament will work on days-off. As the Speaker elucidated, there are unconsidered draft on Constitutional Changes, besides MPs shall hear the reports by the accountable organizations.
“Next week there are several days-off. We shall consider these days upon scheduling the plenary sessions. As you remember, we used to resume consideration of the reports on autumn in preceding years. Now, we have no this opportunity. The Parliament shall not accomplish activity without hearing of annual reports of accountable bodies”.
He spoke about May 26 Sunday plenary session when lots of events are scheduled due to Independence Day and the Parliament of Georgia expects various delegations. So far, 5 Speakers have confirmed visit to Georgia. “Taking into account that September will be dedicated to pre-election campaign, the Parliament shall intensively work in May and June”.
The plenary schedule will be précised after the Speaker will meet various political groups for consultations. “We may hold joint meeting and plan the plenary schedule. It is clear that we need additional days and besides, to compensate the days when we have not opportunity to leave for Kutaisi, we shall plan this month”.
As to the next week Bureau, it will be held on May 10 at 13h00.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of German to Georgia, H.E. Bettina Cadenbachheld the meetings in Kutaisi Parliament with Faction Chairs. She heard the domestic and foreign policy priorities, processes in the Parliament and pre-election preparations.
The Chair of Free Democrats Faction, Irakli Chikovani introduced the views of his political group and spoke about 2016 Parliamentary. The parties touched upon the reforms.
The Chair of National Forum Faction estimated the meeting as productive and interesting. Malkhaz Vakhtangishvili stated that the Faction will hold additional meetings on the hereof issues to further specify the projects asked by Mrs. Cadenbach, including the Georgian and Ossetian joint sports project.
The Ambassador expressed interest and called the fact as unprecedented. She will introduce this issue – Ossetians participating in sports competitions under the Georgian Flat to the peace-keeping international missions.
At the meeting with the Chair of Georgian Dream Faction, Giorgi Volski, the parties discussed ongoing processes in the Parliament and agenda issues. “We considered the part of Georgia-German relations and the issues, concerning foreign and domestic policy. We touched upon current challenges and foreign priorities”, - G. Volski stated.
The Parliamentary Interns traditionally participate in annual Green Action. They planted the trees within the Action organized by Tbilisi Ecology and Greening City Service. Youth planted ash-trees, asps and mulberry near Iveria Mother of God Cathedral under construction on Makhata Mountain in view to improve ecologic situation and create the windbreaks.
“I think that this day is symbolic. Yesterday, it was April 9, so every April 10 we plan trees as symbols of new lives, new statehood as the trees are associated with lives. So, I hail such activities”, - the Intern of the Regional Policy and Self-Government Committee, Giorgi Popiashvili stated.
“It is the pleasure of all the interns to join this action and I think that involvement of youth is particularly important. I am glad that we contributed our mite in our future and ecologic state or our city”, - the intern of EU Integration Committee, Elena Basanova stated.
Participation of interns in greening action is a tradition. Such activities are one of the events the interns implement within their internship.
The other participants of the action were the Head of HR Department, Marine Asatiani and the Intern Coordinator, Guliko Ratiani.
On 19 March 2016, Georgia for the eights time joined Earth Hour, the global movement for climate action, which celebrates the tenth edition of its signature lights off event in the world. At 8:30 PM, landmarks and public buildings all over the country symbolically went dark for an hour followed by the street actions and rallies in support of greener and safer future of the planet.
The Earth Hour sites in Tbilisi included Narikala Fortress, Peace Bridge, TV Tower, Presidential Palace, Parliament, Government Chancellery, City Hall, Youth Palace, UN House, government offices and main avenues.
Hundreds of Earth Hour supporters, including for the citizens, Government officials, representatives of civil society, international organizations and embassies, came to the Round Garden in front of the UN House for a traditional lights-off celebration with live music, candles and the Shadow Theatre show.
Gigla Agulashvili, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia; Shombi Sharp, UNDP Resident Representative a.i.; Nana Janashia, Executive Director of CENN; and Giorgi Sanadiradze, Head of WWF Caucasus, addressed the participants of the Earth Hour event.
The presenters – the well-known blogger, artist and musician, Zura Balanchivadze, and teenage TV anchor, Gigo Shiukashvili, talked about green life-style and our joint responsibility for protecting the planet.
Youth eco club members made the Earth Hour symbol 60+ with candles to show that climate action needs to go beyond just one hour.
Earth Hour in Tbilisi was organised by the United Nations in Georgia, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, Tbilisi City Hall, Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN) and WWF Caucasus.
Born in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in over 170 countries and territories to take tangible climate action.
Last year, more than 10 thousand of iconic landmarks were switched off all over the globe. +378 Million twits and +36.5 Million Facebook posts followed the Earth Hour events.