Joint address to Georgian Government of Georgian Institute of European Values (GIEV) and Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)

Leading Georgian NGOs Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI) and Georgian Institute of European Values (GEIV) fear pending amendments to the Law on Self-Government and Law on Tbilisi might be a serious drawback from European standards. The two draft amendment packages submitted to Parliament by the Government on October 30 contains clauses which might be in considerable conflict with norms and provisions of the European Charter on Local Self-Governance. 

In light of the perspective of initiation of an Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union at the forthcoming summit of the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, which includes a chapter on local democracy, we urge the government of Georgia to avoid taking any considerable steps on this matter.

Before discussing the to drafts in Parliament it would also be necessary to forward them for expert opinion to relevant institutions of the Council of Europe and take into account their recommendations. Georgia has a long standing cooperation with this organization and many of its laws, including on self-governance have undergone multiple layers of expertise in Strasbourg. It is also necessary to subject the two drafts to public discussions necessity of which is also underscored by the European Charter. 

This is particularly important bearing in mind that the local elections are scheduled rather soon – May of next year. Thus We do hope that the Government of Georgia will take all our recommendations into account.