Seven leading MEPs said on April 1 that the European Parliament will call for “consequences in terms of EU financial assistance, including both a suspension of further disbursements of and an increase in conditionality linked to EU Macro-Financial Assistance and budget support programmes” to Georgia.
The Georgian media cited EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell as saying today that the MEPs’ messages shall be perceived seriously, noting that the signatories are leading lawmakers with a significant role EU-Georgia relations.
However, the starkly worded missive still led to mixed interpretations and responses by the ruling Georgian Dream and the opposition parties.
Below is a compilation of some of the remarks made by Georgian politicians.
Ruling Party Reactions
Giorgi (Gia) Volski, First Vice-Speaker of the Parliament: “It is a very negative result that the agreement could not be reached, we reiterate that we were ready to sign every provision [only] with minor adjustments. … I do not think that the statement of six, seven or eight MEPs can have any influence on the strategic direction that is important not only for Georgia but for every state of the European Union.”
Kakha Kuchava, Vice-Speaker of the Parliament: “We were ready for the agreement to have been reached in the end, exactly because we recognized our share of responsibility. However, to strike a deal you need consent from both sides…
This is not a position of the European Union. This is an opinion of seven, quite influential MEPs on what could follow [the disagreement]… We are ready not only to take further steps but to work until the end together with EU bodies to reach the cooperation [with the opposition] that they expect from us.”
Khatia Dekanoidze, United National Movement party: “This is an alarming message… It says that EU-Georgia relations are at stake – this should be significant for me, for us and for every citizen. The full responsibility lies of course with the government. Talks have begun about possibly suspending technical assistance and all investments provided through financial assignments for democratic development and rule of law.”
Sergo Chikhladze, Strategy Aghmashenebeli party: “They [MEPs] hold both sides accountable, but more responsibility lies with the government and this is [said] clearly in the message… What’s more regretful, concerning and harmful for the country than financial sanctions is the phrase directly written – revising the future of EU-Georgia relations.”
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