Refusal of EU Assistance is an Open Declaration of Georgia's Deviation from the Euro-Atlantic Course
The signatory organizations express concern over the statement of the Prime Minister of Georgia that the government is "refraining" from receiving 75 million Euros of EU assistance. This is an unequivocal refusal to implement reforms in the judiciary and an open declaration of Georgia's deviation from the Euro-Atlantic course.
According to Prime Minister Gharibashvili, the European Union was lending the money to Georgia, and the government "has started reducing its foreign debt and will no longer need to receive the money." The 75 million Euros are the second half of the €150 million EU assistance to be disbursed by the end of 2021. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it serves for strengthening public financial management, improving governance, fighting corruption, supporting the business environment, and implementing important reforms. However, in order to receive the money, the Georgian government needs to remain dedicated to its commitments to the European Union and ensure the implementation of the reforms envisaged in the April 19 agreement. This, in turn, is a precondition for Georgia's European integration. Georgia has already received the first half of EU assistance in November 2020.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, notified the Prime Minister about the possible loss of aid without carrying out the reforms during an informal meeting on 23 August in Kyiv. According to the President of the European Council, "it is time for Georgia to show its commitment to the agreements, especially with regard to reforms."
Prime Minister Gharibashvili's statement today, after the Georgian Dream annulled the April 19 agreement, directly indicates that the ruling party is once again refusing to fulfill its commitments to the European Union, including judicial reform, thus significantly undermining the country's democratic development and international reputation, and poses a significant threat to Euro-Atlantic integration.
Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
Transparency International – Georgia (TI)
Institute for Democracy and Safe Development (IDSD)
Human Rights Center (HRC)
Georgia's Reforms Associates (GRASS)
Union of Meskhetian Democrats