Legutko: Situation in Georgia is not healthy

ECR Vice-President Ryszard Legutko has hosted a hearing in the European Parliament, Brussels, entitled “Georgia on the path to the EU”.

ECR Vice-President Ryszard Legutko has hosted a hearing in the European Parliament, Brussels, entitled “Georgia on the path to the EU”.

Attended by Members of the European Parliament, journalists and representatives of wider civil society, it provided an insight into the current situation in Georgia from representatives of the ruling coalition and opposition parties, as well as independent experts closely following political developments there.

With the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius and the likely instigation of the Association Agreement and DCFTA Procedures, the hearing was an important event.

Mr Legutko said: “We have the dedication of the vast majority of Georgian people to Western political solutions, including the rule of law. That cannot be underestimated.”

Also present at the hearing was ECR President Martin Callanan, who linked the importance of November in modern Georgian history.

“10 years ago in November 2003, the Soviet-era leadership in Georgia came to an end. Since then, the change in Georgia has been profound.

“In Vilnius, November 2013, we expect Georgia together with the other Eastern Partnership partners will initial the Association Agreement along with a deep comprehensive trade agreement, one of the most advanced tools that the EU has to offer in order to encourage profound reforms and transformation in partnership countries.”

He also emphasised that “the EU is doing its best to bring the country closer and to provide all necessary assistance”.

However, Mr. Legutko pointed out that one cannot ignore the current circumstances in Georgia, especially the arrest of several UNM politicians.

“The situation is not healthy by any standards. It will tarnish the image of Georgia – that is not something that will help you in all your political aspirations.”

“The marginalising of the opposition is quite evident,” said Anna Fotyga, former Foreign Affairs Minister.

“Here, in this chamber, I appeal to the government of Prime Minister B. Iwanishvili to have consideration to provisions of democratic standards within Europe, within EU and to free Vano Merabishvili.”

The case of former Prime Minister V. Merabishvili was also raised by MP Małgorzata Gosiewska, who wrote a letter to the Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General of Georgia protesting against the precautionary measures used in the case of the former Prime Minister.

“Complete isolation from the outside world, absolute and complete prohibition for his contact with family (even by phone) can be acknowledged as too far reaching form of repression towards a suspect,” said Gosiewska.

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