Commissioner Várhelyi Meets Members of Parliament

Within the framework of his visit to Georgia, the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, met with Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili, representatives of Parliamentary factions and groups, as well as independent MPs as part of an expanded format on 15 November.

According to the Georgian Parliament’s press service, the sides discussed Georgia’s European perspective and its progress in implementing the 12 recommendations issued by the European Commission for the country to achieve candidate status.

Per the same information, Commissioner Várhelyi noted at the meeting that “Georgia has a great potential to become a long-term partner of the European Union in many directions, including energy security.”

“The European Commissioner expressed his willingness to further support Georgia on its way to joining the European Union and noted that after the implementation of the recommendations, he will actively work with the member states on the issue of granting Georgia candidate status,” the press release stated.

“This is an important visit at an important time,” Speaker Papuashvili said after the meeting, adding that the main message of Commissioner Várhelyi is that “today is not the time for complaining and whining.”

The Speaker also emphasized that today it is important to concentrate on the “common national tasks,” which are the implementation of the 12 recommendations.

On his part, Commissioner Várhelyi tweeted after the meeting, “We discussed the state of implementation of the 12 priorities. It was encouraging discussion that Parliament works hard on delivering on the priorities. The Georgian Parliament plays an essential role.”

Remarks from the Opposition

Following the meeting with the Commissioner, Akaki Minashvili, an MP of the United National Movement, stated that they discussed the judiciary, anti-corruption issues, and deoligarchization, as well as the “arrogant attitude” of the Georgian government, including in regard to the international community.

According to the MP, he raised the issue of transferring imprisoned ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili to a foreign country for medical treatment, as well as the release of imprisoned Mtavari Arkhi TV chief Nika Gvaramia.

“The message from Brussels, as well as the Commissioner’s statement that the 12 points should be implemented jointly, means in practice that the government should take into account broad consensus,” stated Ana Natsvlishvili, a Lelo for Georgia MP.

Khatuna Samnidze, a Republicans Party MP noted that they discussed difficulties that the Georgian Dream party has created on the way to the EU. “This is directly related to the very superficial implementation of the recommendations by the Georgian Dream,” she said, and named the draft laws initiated by GD in this regard, which “do not respond to the recommendations at all.” In that regard, she cited the law on deoligarchization and the proposal for an Anti-corruption Agency as examples.

Note: This article was updated on 17 November at 11:52 to reflect the comments of the opposition.

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


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