Presentation of Monitoring Report of the EU Association Agreement

16 Jun, 2015

On June 16, Open Society Georgia Foundation together with partner non-governmental organizations presented the monitoring report of the EU Association Agreement. 

The presentation was opened by Vano Chkhikvadze – Manager of EU Integration Program of the Open Society Georgia Foundation, David Bakradze – State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and Janos Herman – EU Ambassador to Georgia.

Monitoring reports have been prepared by non-governmental organizations: Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Penal Reform International, Transparency International Georgia, Union “Sapari”, Article 42 of the Constitution and Partnership for Human Rights.

The report is on the rule of law and the reform of the Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia; fight against corruption; inhuman treatment and torture; protection of rights of children, women and employed citizens.

Georgian NGOs have presented the report on May 18, in Riga.

A brief overview of the results of the monitoring according to the fields:

Reform of the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office – Author Ana Natsvlishvili

Prosecutor’s Office shall be transformed into an independent, effective and accountable body in order to promote the progress of the reform of the justice system in Georgia and guarantee the establishment of democracy and European integration. Currently a clear discrepancy can be observed between the commitments under the Association Agreement and activities defined by the Action Plan, which indicates that the government does not want to understand or do not recognize the context of the issue.

Early marriage – Ana Abashidze, Anna Arganashvili.

The document concerns the gross and systematic violations of a child, particularly against girls, who are facing domestic violence in which the government intervention is not relevant. Results of the review emphasizes that Georgia fails to comply with the requirements of the EU Association Agreement as the issues related to early marriage, severe and systemic violation of children’s rights still remain unresolved.

Establishment of Labour Inspection – Nino Elbakidze

The document concerns the existing mechanism of labour inspection and other additional mechanisms that are essential for providing supervision over relationship between the employer and the employee. The government should establish an independent labour inspection, which would have the authority to monitor the implementation of labour laws and violations, as well as to prevent, impose sanctions and give recommendations regarding Labour Policies. Georgia should have a separate legislative act, which will regulate the labour inspection.

Fight Against Torture – Tsira Chanturia

The document underlines the urgent need for the establishment of an independent mechanism for investigating allegations of torture through estimating shortcomings of the existing mechanism with a focus on international requirements that should be met by Georgia in order to fulfil the Association Agenda. The proposed mechanism should be independent at institutional, individual and practical level. Due to the fact that only a small number of investigations have been carried out in recent years, current and past complaints on torture and inhuman, degrading treatment or torture threats should be investigated through this mechanism. Parliament should appoint the heads of the mechanism, which will be accountable to the Parliament. The investigative body should be equipped with all the necessary financial and human resources. It should be supported and monitored by civil society and the European Union, as well as other international organizations. Eventually its operation should be transparent and accountable to the citizens of Georgia.

Monitoring of Property Declaration – Irakli Urushadze

Although a transparent electronic asset declaration system for public officials is already introduced in Georgia, there is no verification mechanism. Civil Service Bureau, the body responsible for the acceptance of declaration, is not entitled to verify their content. Existing practice indicates that the absence of verification system made it possible for many public officials (including members of the Parliament) to indicate incomplete and / or inaccurate information in their property declarations and to conceal their connections with private sector organizations. Certainly, when the public is not fully informed about the private interests of public officials, there is an increasing risk of corruption and conflict of interest in public service.

See the policy briefs here.