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New Security Council to Operate under Prime Minister

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The Parliament of Georgia is deliberating on the Government-sponsored amendments to the law on the National Security Policy Planning and Coordination, which will establish a new National Security Council under prime ministerial leadership.

The amendments bill was tabled on December 17, a day after the President-led National Security Council ceased functioning following entry into force of the new constitution.

  • The President-led National Security Council was established in 1996. Its powers were significantly curtailed by the November 2013 changes to the constitution; the NSC was effectively sidelined by the State Security and Crisis Management Council, which was established in December 2013 and was chaired by the Prime Minister;
  • The State Security and Crisis Management Council was abolished in December 2017 in PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s structural reform plan.

The eight-member advisory body will be chaired by the Prime Minister. The rest of the permanent members include: defense, interior, foreign and finance ministers, heads of state security and intelligence services, and chief of the armed forces.

The explanatory note accompanying the draft proposal reads that the Council will be responsible for national security policy planning and coordination, as well as for advising the Prime Minister on decisions affecting national security and state interests.

According to the document, one of the National Security Council members will serve as its Secretary. The Council will also have its permanent staff, which will be part of the Government administration and will have “a politically-neutral” chief of staff.

The amendments bill has already passed two parliamentary committees, and will be put to the plenary vote tentatively in February, 2019.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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