Nearly 170 NGOs issued a joint statement, appealing to the European Commission to recommend to the European Council that Georgia be granted the EU candidate status. “Despite the ongoing challenges that Georgia must address, as you deliver your fair assessment of progress on the 12 priorities, we strongly urge you to recommend to the European Council that they grant Georgia the status of a candidate EU member country in December 2023,” – reads the statement.
Fifty opposition MPs issued a joint statement to NATO and EU member states calling for a firm and unified stance against Russia’s ongoing occupation and the establishment of a permanent Russian naval base in Ochamchire port. This comes after the ruling party refused to support a joint parliamentary resolution, prompting the opposition to seek international support through a joint statement of their own.
PEN America, an internationally acclaimed US-based NGO, published a new report, “Taming Culture in Georgia,” documenting the Georgian government’s drive under the Culture Minister, Tea Tsulukiani, to curb freedom of expression and take control of the country’s cultural sectors. The report suggests that silencing artists and writers signals the country’s movement towards authoritarianism, further urging the international community of serious risk of Georgia’s further democratic backsliding.
USAID published a report on Georgia’s Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index 2022, shedding light on the complex dynamics of Georgian civil society work and its challenges. According to the USAID report, in 2022, the Georgian civil society sector’s combined sustainability score stood at 4.0, the same as in 2021 and previous years since 2014. The CSO Sustainability Index uses a seven-point scale, with 1 representing the highest and seven the lowest level of sustainability.
The former coach of the Russian freestyle wrestling teams, Dzhambolat Tedeyev, erected the bronze statue of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the village of Tsorbisi in the occupied Tskhinvali region. During the opening ceremony, Tedeyev addressed the youth from the North Ossetia region of Russia and the occupied Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia with a speech about Vladimir Putin and the 2008 events.