Implementation of EU-Georgia Association Agenda 2017-2020 Assessment by Civil Society

13 Feb, 2019
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This report brings together monitoring by leading Georgian civil society organizations working together with the support of the Open Society Georgia Foundation to analyze Georgia’s progress in implementing the short-term priorities indicated in the 2017-2020 Association Agenda.

The report comprises six sections covering 1) Rule of Law (including Justice Sector and Law Enforcement); 2) Anti-corruption, public administrative reform, and public service; 3) Equal Treatment, 4) Children’s rights (all under 2.2, AA); 5) Trade Union Rights and Core Labour Standards and Employment, Social Policy and Equal Opportunities (under 2.2. and 2.6, AA); 6) Environment and Climate Change (under 2.7, AA).

The findings of this monitoring exercise indicate that while the government has made efforts under priorities in all thematic areas monitored, overall progress is uneven. Reforms are often limited to formalistic changes, which have not resulted in changes in practice. For example, laws and action plans have been adopted (justice, environment, anti-corruption) yet implementation has fallen behind in reforming key institutions (justice). Legislative reforms have been delayed across different sectors. Reforms that have been implemented have not been done with appropriate consultation/due diligence (environment) or have lacked adequate scope to be meaningful (labour rights, law enforcement). Uneven progress is also evident within sectors, with substantial efforts made under specific priorities against a backdrop of institutional and cultural resistance (anti-corruption, equal treatment). State institutions are hampered by poor capacity and lack of investment and whole areas of work remain neglected (children’s rights).

Implementing the Association Agenda (AA) is of critical importance to Georgia’s progress in transforming its society and coming closer to the EU. The involvement of civil society experts in providing an independent assessment of progress is also key and the views of civil society should be taken into account by the EU and the government of Georgia.

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