On February 12-13, European Parliament hosted the 9th meeting of EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee (PAC) in Strasbourg. The Committee failed to adopt a joint statement, which later triggered ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition to trade accusations.
Civil.ge offers a compilation of assessments on this issue.
Ruling party assessments
Archil Talakvadze, Parliament Speaker: “The issue of adopting the statement will not change Georgia’s European choice and European path; we continue our cooperation with friends and partners… As for the opposition, we will face them in the [parliamentary] elections… We see that a part of the opposition with zero or low support is carrying out election campaign abroad… With reference to the European Parliament, you all know that the European People’s Party was the National Movement’s ally in 2012 and even earlier… It is a political process, the European Parliament is a political body and naturally, political divergence is normal there; it should not trigger any additional tension.”
Mamuka Mdinaradze, leader of the parliamentary majority: “Such resolutions and declarations have always been a matter of agreement. [They] could not forgive the ruling party delegation that unfounded critic concerning Ugulava’s case, as well as June 20 case was not included in the pertinent declaration. The United National Movement [opposition party] did its best to convince its partners not to support the declaration. This was a mere sabotage against their own country, rather than against Georgian Dream. Failure to agree on this document will actually change nothing and the Association Agreement will be continued when it comes to enforcement … it is a subversive act carried out by both branches of the National Movement.”
David Zalkaliani, Foreign Minister: “This is not the first case; the same precedent took place in 2013 and you all know well how EU-Georgia relations developed since 2013, among them visa liberalization, enlarged association as well as establishment of new formats. So, dynamics of relations with the EU did not slow down in 2013 and we all remember how opponents were trying to resist granting of visa liberalization to Georgia in such formats.”
Tina Bokuchava, National Movement: “It is all clear for our international partners who [actually] puts at risk Georgia’s relations with the EU as well as with other strategic partners, like the United States. That is why they began to openly talk about the need to change the government peacefully in order to ensure that a normal, democratic, pro-Western coalition group comes to power.”
Otar Kakhidze, European Georgia: “The results of the voting procedure are known. They gave these texts to MEPs and told them to adopt the declaration without any amendments, as if everything were okay in the country. Of course, MEPs gave a response to this impudence and for the first time in the history of Georgia-EU, the joint declaration was voted down. It is impossible to constantly deceive someone. Ivanishvili’s efforts to mislead our western partners have come to an end. They know the truth and they stand side by side with the Georgian democracy, Georgian society.”
Tamar Chugoshvili, independent lawmaker: “[Failure to adopt the statement] does not pose a threat to the Association Agreement, but it shows the attitudes that western structures have towards us… We have damaged the country’s reputation so much that nothing surprises any longer.”
Khatuna Samnidze, Republican Party: “All of our western partners emphasize that political persecution takes place in the country; today we hear about the attacks against opposition, as if it were opposition’s fault that the document had been voted down. In fact, Georgian Dream’s responsible for the political crisis in the country and [because of] that we receive critical assessments from our western partners on an hourly basis.”