EU Releases Association Implementation Report on Georgia

A new Association Implementation Report on Georgia, released by the European External Action Service on February 9, highlighted that “Georgia has remained committed to the implementation, obligations and undertakings of the Association Agreement, despite COVID-19 related challenges.”

The document stated that Georgia broadly continued alignment to the EU acquis as well as to European standards in the area of human rights, noted, however, that “a demonstrated reform commitment as regards democracy consolidation and reform of the judiciary will be crucial to further advance on its European path.”

The report underscored that “implementation of the fourth wave of judicial reforms and in general upholding the highest standards of ethics and integrity in the judiciary will remain essential throughout 2021.”

It asserted that “challenges remain with regard to the independence of the judiciary, legal certainty and ongoing investigations of certain major businesses, which have an impact on the business environment.”

According to the document, “it will be important that the selection procedure for Supreme Court judges is brought into line with European standards as soon as possible and that no further Supreme Court judges are appointed on the basis of the current legal framework.”

In this context, the report also highlighted that “further reform” of the High Council of Justice, the body overseeing judiciary in Georgia, “will remain a priority.”

Regarding October 31, 2020, parliamentary elections, subsequent political impasse and the electoral reform in general, the document asserted that “despite overall competitive elections, a number of shortcomings have undermined the trust in the process.”

“This demonstrates the need for further democratic consolidation, including by addressing the final recommendations of OSCE/ODIHR, through an inclusive dialogue and ahead of the October 2021 local elections,” it went on, adding that in the short-term, the ruling and opposition parties should achieve inclusive political agreement to enable work in Parliament to advance the important reform agenda.

The Association Implementation report also stressed that “setting up an ambitious anti-corruption agenda could help regain momentum in the fight against corruption, notably high-level corruption.”

The document also called for addressing “the continued high number of unfounded asylum applications” in close cooperation with the Commission and EU Member States.

The report also said, “structural reforms remain crucial as they make Georgia’s economy less vulnerable to external developments.”

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


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