18 June 2024,   22:50
Government of Georgia publishes action plan for fulfillment of EC’s newly-defined 9 steps

The Government of Georgia published the action plan for the fulfillment of the European Commission’s newly-defined 9 steps.

European Commission’s newly-defined 9 steps:

1. Fight disinformation and foreign information manipulation and interference against the EU and its values;
2. Improve Georgia’s alignment with the EU’s common foreign and security policy;
3. Further address the issue of political polarization, including through more inclusive legislative work with opposition parties in Parliament, notably on legislation related to Georgia’s European integration;
4. Ensure a free, fair and competitive electoral process, notably in 2024, and fully address OSCE/ODIHR recommendations. Finalize electoral reforms, including ensuring adequate representation of the electorate, well in advance of election day;
5. Further improve the implementation of parliamentary oversight notably of the security services. Ensure institutional independence and impartiality of key institutions, notably the Election Administration, the National Bank, and the Communications Commission;
6. Complete and implement a holistic and effective judicial reform, including a comprehensive reform of the High Council of Justice and the Prosecutor’s Office, fully implementing Venice Commission recommendations and following a transparent and inclusive process;
7. Further address the effectiveness and ensure the institutional independence and impartiality of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Special Investigative Service and he Personal Data Protection Service. Address Venice Commission recommendations related to these bodies, in an inclusive process. Establish a strong track record in investigating – corruption and organized crime cases;
8. Improve the current action plan to implement a multi-sectorial, systemic approach to deoligarchization, in line with Venice Commission recommendations and following a transparent and inclusive process involving opposition parties and civil society;
9. Improve the protection of human rights including by implementing an ambitious human rights strategy and ensuring freedom of assembly and expression. Launch impartial, effective and timely investigations in cases of threats against safety of vulnerable groups, media professionals and civil society activists, and bring organizers and perpetrators of violence to justice. Consult and engage with civil society, allowing for their meaningful involvement in legislative and policymaking processes and ensure they can operate freely.

The Government outlines actions to be implemented:

– Develop the Action Plan for the Communication Campaign of the Government of Georgia in order to promote the EU and its values.
– Implementation of the Action Plan
– Improve alignment rates with the EU’s positions under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
– Based on applicable practice, continue active cooperation with the relevant structures of the EU in order to prevent against Georgia’s territory being used for circumventing EU sanctions, including continuous regular reporting from the Finance Ministry of Georgia to the relevant agencies of the European Commission (FISMA, DG TAXUD), the US, and the UK, through the existing communication channels, concerning the compatibility of customs operations with sanctions against sanctioned and sensitive customs codes.
– Engaging all parliamentary political parties in working formats related to European integration and other fundamental reforms. Continuous cooperation with civil society (within the framework of the memorandum with the Georgian National Platform) on matters pertaining to the Georgia EU Agenda.
– Invite a long-term OSCE/ODIHR observation mission to the 2024 elections.
– Create working formats for effective cooperation between the relevant agencies of the Government and observation organizations.
– Adopt amendments concerning party/election financing in the Election Code (prohibiting donations from legal entities to political parties, reducing the annual expenditure ceiling as percentage of GDP).
– Promote regular dialogue with all parliamentary political parties and NGOs to improve the practice of oversight.
– Replenish the composition of the Parliament’s Trust Group.
– Create a working format for matters of judiciary and prosecutorial reforms, with participation from all parliamentary political parties and NGOs,
– Update the relevant legislative amendment.
– Adopt the relevant legislative amendment.
– Initiate legislative amendments in order to implement the Venice Commission’s recommendations to be published on December 15.
– Hold meetings with all parliamentary parties and NGOs to discuss the annual reports of these institutions.
– Approve the deoligarchization plan after consultations with parliamentary political parties and NGOs. (Note: On November 22, 2023, within the framework of the Memorandum of Cooperation, the Parliament presented and discussed the action plan at the 3rd Joint Conference held together with the Georgian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum).
– Hold meetings with parliamentary political parties and NGOs in order to ensure the effective monitoring of the implementation of the deoligarchization plan.
– A joint meeting of civil society, international organizations, and state institutions. At the meeting, the Draft 2024-2026 National Human Rights Action Plant will be discussed.
– Approve the Draft 2024-2026 National Human Rights Action Plant after consultations with parliamentary political parties and NGOs;
– Hold meetings with civil society organizations concerning ongoing investigations. Submit comprehensive information about investigations to the European Commission.
– Hold regular meetings with NGOs in order to promote their engagement in law- and policymaking processes.