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Council of Europe Congress: Statement by the Monitoring Committee on the situation in Georgia

The Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 2 July 2024, adopted the following statement:

“The Monitoring Committee reaffirms its full support to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders, while 20% of Georgian territory is occupied by Russia.

At the same time, the Monitoring Committee is deeply concerned by the tensions and increasing polarisation within Georgian society, fuelled by the adoption of legislation which does not align with European democratic norms and standards. This situation has already been the subject of critical opinions from the Venice Commission and statements by the Council of Europe Secretary General and by the Congress President and also led the EU to halt the accession procedure for Georgia. The Committee is also highly alarmed by the excessive use of force, violence and intimidation campaigns against demonstrators, members of parliament, journalists and civil society activists.

“It reaffirms its commitment to supporting Georgia’s democratic development. The polarisation of society and clear signs of democratic backsliding, which undermine democratic stability, compel all political forces in the country to engage in dialogue reflecting the European aspirations of Georgian people. The Monitoring Committee calls for such open and inclusive political dialogue to take place, as it is essential for creating an environment in which all citizens, regardless of their political views, can participate actively, freely, and equally in public life at all levels, with respect for democratic principles and human rights. It trusts that this dialogue will lead to a renewed commitment to consolidating democracy in Georgia.”

In the spirit of such a dialogue, members of the Monitoring Committee met with national and local representatives of the ruling party, of the opposition and of civil society.

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Tbilisi, Georgia 2 July 2024
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