THE BUDGET AND FINANCE COMMITTEE DISCUSSED WITH THE II READING THE DRAFT CUSTOMS CODE AND THE DRAFT TAX CODE
The Committee discussed the Draft Customs Code and the Draft Tax Code with the II reading and accelerated manner.
As the Deputy Finance Minister, Mamuka Baratashvili stated, the Bill extends the validity of certain norms to 2023.
The technical and editorial changes are to be introduced to the Tax Code. The Committee approved the Drafts.
Parliament of Georgia
Committee for European Union of the German Bundestag visits Tbilisi
A delegation from the committee for European Union affairs of the German Bundestag will visit Georgia from May 2nd to 5th, 2023. Members of the delegation are: Christian Petry (SPD, Head of delegation), Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU/CSU), Michael Sacher (BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN), Thomas Hacker (FDP) and Dr. Harald Weyel (AfD).
During the visit, meetings are planned with the Minister of Justice, H.E. Rati Bregadze, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, H.E. Levan Davitashvili, and Deputy Foreign Minister, H.E. Teimuraz Janjalia.
Furthermore, the delegation will hold talks with the Speaker of the Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili and the chairmen of several committees of the Georgian Parliament.
The program is completed by exchanges with representatives of civil society, the media, business and cultural institutions.
As Georgia submitted an application for membership to the European Union in March 2022 and has had the prospect of joining the EU since June 2022, the talks will concern necessary reforms and the structure of relations and cooperation between Georgia and the EU.
Against the background of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the focus will also be on coordinating questions of foreign and security policy, as well as on the regional effects of the war and geopolitical aspects.
MEETING OF SHALVA PAPUASHVILI WITH THE SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ICELAND
The Speaker, H.E. Shalva Papuashvili held a meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Iceland (Althingi), Birgir Ármannsson.
The parties hailed the recent intensification of Georgia-Iceland relations and highlighted the significance of high-level visits for further extension of the bilateral links. In this light, it was emphasized that Georgia is hosting the President of Iceland, Guðni Jóhannesson in the autumn of 2023.
Speaker Papuashvili overviewed the progress of Georgia at the NATO integration path and upheld democratic reforms. As he underlined, Georgia attaches particular value to the opportunity to participate in the NATO Summit scheduled in July and expressed his hope for the support of Iceland in this regard.
The parties touched upon the Russian war in Ukraine and its consequences for Georgia.
Speaker Ármannsson expressed the support of his country to the NATO integration of Georgia and shared the experience of Iceland in the relations with the EU as a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). The parties agreed on further intensification of parliamentary ties.
The meeting was held within the framework of the official visit of Speaker Papuashvili to the Czech Republic, where Mr. Papuashvili and the Chair of the EU Integration Committee, Maka Botchorishvili participate in the Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments (EUSC).
PARLIAMENT DELIBERATING RATIFICATION OF MARITIME LABOR CONVENTION
The Parliament discussed the Maritime Labor Convention presented by the government for ratification and the package of legislative amendments arising from it.
The ratification agreement, according to Guram Guramishvili, the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, aims to improve the living circumstances of Georgian mariners and to safeguard their social and labor rights.
The proposed law outlines the requirements for sailors working aboard ships conducting commercial operations while flying the Georgian national flag. The services working in the maritime industry, as well as the uniform requirements and guidelines for the shipowner's employment of Georgian citizens as seafarers on a vessel flying under any flag.
"The adoption of the draft law will help protect the labor rights of Georgian sailors and increase the authority of the state flag of Georgia”, - Guram Guramishvili noted.
As the speaker stated, the legislative changes will be based on the commitments provided by the EUAA.
President of Georgia delivers her annual report in parliament
“With the incomprehensible steps taken in recent years, the government is confronting the country’s foreign objective, the people’s mandate, by inviting Gavrilov, you raised doubts and questions for the first time,” said Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili when delivering her annual report in the parliament.
According to Zourabichvili, the Georgian government gradually transformed.
“Instead of strengthening state institutions, being the cornerstone of democracy, the one-party system and its influence get stronger. Laws adopted in an expedited manner (on covert recordings, abolishment of state inspector, changes in the rule for appointment of judges and foreign agents bill) serve your power’s prolongation instead of serving democracy strengthening and citizens’ welfare. The court reform, vital for the country’s future, is at a deadlock,” President said.
Salome Zourabichvili went on to say that the ruling party members speak in unison, and those having different viewpoints, tend to quit the party.
“The party influence is evident in the government and parliament. The party turned into a decision-making space. The party chairman announces his standpoint on all political issues in advance, and the decision-making process is vague, not to mention open discussions.
You are the government confronting the country’s foreign goal, the people’s mandate. By inviting Gavrilov (Russian MP) in 2019, you raised doubts and questions for the first time, though the actual transformation began in 2021 when the Georgian Dream former Chairman Bidzina Ivanishvili quit politics,” she said.
President also recalled the annulling of the document drafted with the engagement of the European Council President and rejection of the EU loan.
“You have never stopped the anti-European rhetoric, blaming and insulting our partners. All this finally came to the extent that we expelled the former EU ambassador from the country with reprimands and accusations,” Zourabichvili stated.
PARLIAMENT ELECTING LEVAN IOSELIANI AS PUBLIC DEFENDER OF GEORGIA
The Parliament endorsed the candidacy of Levan Ioseliani for the post of the Public Defender of Georgia with 96 votes.
According to the Rules of Procedure, the voting was held without discussion. The Speaker, H.E. Shalva Papuashvili congratulated Levan Ioseliani on his election as Public Defender and wished him fruitful work.
Levan Ioseliani addressed the MPs.
"It is a significant day in my life because, at this time of great difficulty for our country, I was given a great duty. I want to convey my gratitude to everyone who placed their trust in me for this opportunity", - Levan Ioseliani noted.