During the address at the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the member of Parliament of Ukraine, Serhii Soboliev said that it's impossible to realise how Europe and the European Union can be without such nations as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
“it's very important to understand that as well, as it's impossible to realise how Europe and the European Union can be without the free nations of the Western Balkans, including Kosovo. It's also impossible to realise how Europe and the European Union can be without such nations as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. This report has the excellent possibility to understand that now we are all in one boat: a boat of democracy, but this boat must be protected, and must be protected not only by economical methods, but by military methods as well”, - said Serhii Soboliev.
In addition, the member of the Social Democratic Party Titus Corlățean noted: “all the time the EU enlargement process was a huge asset for the European Union”.
“It was the case with the Central Eastern former communist countries; it is the case now with some of the Eastern partners, such as Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and I hope also Georgia before the end of the year. It should definitely be the case, but not only in making reference to a European perspective. We should use the proper words”, - said Titus Corlățean.
The senator of the French Senate, member of the Union Centrists group, Claude Kern also addressed to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He said that the European perspective of the Western Balkans should be strongly reaffirmed, without the difficulties associated with joining the European Union.
“The same goes for Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova – and perhaps, I hope, one day for Georgia. But the pre-accession phase is a crucial step if we are to avoid importing systemic problems into the European Union”, - said Claude Kern.
Remind you that the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is holding in Strasbourg from 10 to 14 October.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is due to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe by videoconference on Thursday.
There will also be addresses by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, as well as the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama.
Thomas Byrne, Ireland’s European Affairs Minister, will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers in the framework of the Irish Presidency of the Council of Europe.
The Organization’s Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić will hold the usual question time with PACE members.
Strasbourg, 6.12.2021 – Titus Corlăţean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE), co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of obligations and commitments by Georgia, will make a fact-finding visit to the country from 8 to 10 December 2021.
Discussions will mainly focus on the recent political developments, the October 2021 local elections, the reform of the judiciary, and the issue of minorities (ethnic and religious minorities, and the LGTBI)
In Tbilisi, Mr Corlăţean and M. Kern will have high-level meetings with representatives of the Georgian authorities, the Georgian delegation to PACE and the political factions in the Parliament.
The co-rapporteurs are also due to meet representatives of the judicial authorities, the Coalition for an independent and transparent judiciary, the Ethnic Minorities Council, the State Agency for Religious Issues, as well as representatives of the LGTBI community, the diplomatic community and NGOs.
PACE Georgia monitors welcome political agreement and call on all political forces to put national interest over those of their individual partiesThursday, 10 June 2021 12:46
Following a visit to Tbilisi from 1 to 3 June 2021, the co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of Georgia, Titus Corlăţean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE), have welcomed the political agreement mediated by European Council President Charles Michel that was signed by most political forces in Georgia.
“This agreement covers several important areas that we have been following closely in the context of the Assembly’s monitoring procedure. If implemented fully, and in good faith, this agreement could signify a considerable step forward in the country’s democratic consolidation. All political parties should therefore join efforts to implement this agreement, and those that have not done so should sign it without delay. Georgia is at a crossroads. We urge all political forces and stakeholders to place the national interest, and the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration project, above the interest and strategies of their parties and personalities,” underlined the two co-rapporteurs.
They emphasised the importance of having an impartial and genuinely independent judiciary that has the full trust of Georgian citizens. While welcoming the considerable progress made with reforming the judiciary, the rapporteurs called on the authorities to ensure that the agreed evaluation of the third and fourth waves of judicial reform is based on a truly inclusive process, with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders including civil society. The co-rapporteurs underlined that this evaluation process is also an important opportunity to implement the remaining unaddressed recommendations of the Venice Commission concerning the judiciary, especially as regards the High Council of Justice, whose functioning and low level of public trust remain an obstacle for a genuinely independent judiciary, and a very serious point of concern.
“In this respect we cannot stress enough the importance of a proper selection process for the soon-to-be-vacant non-judge positions on the High Council of Justice. We urge the Georgian parliament to ensure that these candidates are selected in an inclusive, transparent, consensual and merit-based selection process, and to ensure that these persons have support among the stakeholders and political forces that is as wide as possible. This is essential for their legitimacy and the public trust in this important judicial institution,” said the co-rapporteurs.
With regard to the selection of the Supreme Court Judges, the rapporteurs welcomed that practically all recommendations of the Venice Commission with regard to the selection process have now been adopted by the Georgian parliament. However, they regretted that the selection process begun prior to the adoption of these amendments was maintained and not restarted from the beginning, as recommended. “The onus is now on the High Council of Justice to ensure an inclusive, transparent and merit-based selection process in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission. The candidates should be selected by a broad consensus and have the full trust of the relevant stakeholders. This is essential for judicial independence. Corporatist self-interest should not be allowed to prevail in this respect,” underscored the co-rapporteurs.
The co-rapporteurs also expressed their concern at the recent controversial amendments to the Law on Administrative Offences. They underscored that this Law is a highly deficient Soviet-era code, whose provisions raise questions about proportionality and respect for due process, and several of which have been declared unconstitutional by Georgia’s Constitutional Court. The rapporteurs therefore reiterated their recommendation that a completely new Law on Administrative Offences be drafted, in close consultation with the Venice Commission to ensure that it fully adheres to the highest international standards and norms. They welcomed the clearly expressed political will of the authorities to draft such a new law and expressed their hope that the new parliament would now start the drafting process without delay.
The co-rapporteurs noted the increased importance and attention given to the forthcoming local elections in Georgia as a result of the Michel Agreement. They urged all political forces to ensure that these elections are conducted in a genuinely democratic manner, in line with both the letter and the spirit of the electoral legislation, as well as international standards for democratic elections. The co-rapporteurs welcomed the overall inclusive and consensual manner in which the amendments to the Electoral Code set out in the Michel Agreement were drafted by the parliamentary working group. They called on all political forces to fully implement all recommendations in the forthcoming Venice Commission opinion on these amendments, and to wait with their adoption until after this opinion has been received. Lastly, they expressed their hope that, despite the heightened national political interest in these elections, their relevance for the strengthening of local government and democracy would not be overlooked.
The rapporteurs expressed their deep concern about the humanitarian and human rights situation in the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, including from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. They welcomed the efforts of the Georgian authorities to alleviate this situation and deeply regretted that such efforts were hindered by restrictions imposed by the de facto “authorities” on freedom of movement for civilians and representatives of international organisations between these regions and the rest of the country. In the interest of the populations concerned, the co-rapporteurs therefore reiterated their call on the de facto “authorities”, and the Russian Federation as the country exercising effective control, to lift these restrictions without delay.
The co-rapporteurs intend to visit Georgia again following the local elections, with a view to presenting their report on Georgia’s honouring of its Council of Europe obligations and commitments to the Parliamentary Assembly in the spring of 2022.
The PACE monitoring co-rapporteurs for Georgia, Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE), have expressed their concern at developments in Tbilisi.
“While no-one should be above the law, the police raid on the UNM Headquarters and the arrest of opposition leader Nika Melia have unnecessarily escalated tensions between the opposition and the ruling majority and deepened the political crisis in the country,” they said.
“Georgia’s democratic development needs restraint, dialogue and compromise, not escalation and confrontation,” said the two co-rapporteurs.
They called on all political forces to refrain from any actions that could further escalate tension, and to return to the negotiating table in order to find a political and mutually acceptable solution to resolve the ongoing crisis.
Strasbourg, 29.06.2020 - The co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of Georgia, Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE), have welcomed the adoption today by the Georgian Parliament of the Constitutional amendments to implement the new election system for the 2020 elections that was agreed between the ruling majority and opposition in March this year, with the support of international mediators.
“The Assembly has consistently called for the introduction of a proportional election system in Georgia. That will now be the case as from the 2024 elections. In addition, as a result of the adoption of these Constitutional amendments, the system for the next elections in 2020 will now also be far more proportional than was previously the case, which potentially could allow for a more pluralist and representative parliament. We strongly welcome this,” said the co-rapporteurs.
At the same time, the co-rapporteurs regretted that the political agreement had not resulted in a less tense and polarised political environment. “We call on all sides to seek co-operation over confrontation and to constructively pursue the implementation of the remainder of the 8 March political agreement. In addition, we call on all stakeholders to refrain from any statements and actions that could increase tensions and polarisation or otherwise negatively affect the environment needed for the conduct of genuinely democratic elections.”
“As we have said, the political agreement, and the election system resulting from it, offer a window of opportunity to Georgia. We implore all stakeholders to fully take that opportunity in the best interest of Georgia,” emphasised the co-rapporteurs.
The co-rapporteurs intend to visit the country in November with a view to finalising their report on Georgia, which they will present to the Assembly during its January 2021 part-session.
/Strasbourg/ The co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for the monitoring of Georgia, Titus Corlăţean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE), have welcomed the agreement between the Georgian ruling majority and opposition on the election system to be used for the 2020 parliamentary elections, as well as their pledge to refrain from politicising the electoral process and the judiciary.
“This is an important agreement that can help to de-escalate political tensions and contribute to the democratic consolidation of the country. it is now important that the agreement is fully implemented, both in its letter and in its spirit. We look forward to discussing the agreement and its implementation with all stakeholders during our visit this week,” said the co-rapporteurs.
PACE co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Georgia, Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden, ALDE) and Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC), have condemned the ongoing “borderisation” of the administrative boundary line with South Ossetia by the Russian Federation.
“These illegal actions by the Russian Federation undermine stability in the region and split families and people. We call upon the Russian authorities to cease these actions and to allow free movement of people across the administrative boundary lines with South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” said the co-rapporteurs following a recent visit to Tbilisi.
“We wish to reiterate our strong support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and call upon the Russian Federation to fully respect its membership obligations and accession commitments to the Council of Europe in this regard, as outlined in several Assembly resolutions on the consequences of the war between Russia and Georgia,” added the co-rapporteurs.