“Georgia is at a crossroads on its path to European Integration,” said Claude Kern (France, ALDE) and Edite Estrela (Portugal, SOC), co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of Georgia, in a statement issued at the end of a three-day visit to the country (27-29 March 2023).
“Georgia is a European country. Many reforms have been implemented since it joined the Council of Europe, and good progress has been made,” they said. “At the same time, at this important moment for Georgia’s European integration prospects, the reform process clearly seems to be stalling.”
“We urge the Georgian authorities and all political forces to overcome their extreme animosity and polarisation, to set aside narrow party interests, and to jointly work with all stakeholders to implement the 12 priority areas for reform outlined by the European Commission in order for the country to obtain EU candidate status,” they added. These largely coincided with the priorities set out by Assembly in its most recent resolution, they pointed out.
Regarding former President Saakashvili, the co-rapporteurs – while not commenting on the legal aspects of his case – expressed concern about the controversy over his health situation. They urged the authorities and the former President’s family to agree on access for foreign doctors. “It is important to depoliticise his health condition and to ensure that all stakeholders can rely on neutral, reliable, and trusted information,” they said.