As recent electoral cycles in Georgia revealed, democratisation and electoral processes proved to be vulnerable to hate speech and its negative impact on electoral environment. On 12 July 2022, representatives from political parties, including parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition, discussed challenges and possible solutions related to combating hate speech in elections at the workshop - ‘Combating Hate Speech in Electoral Processes’.
Representatives of various political groups, including young leaders, deepened their knowledge of the Council of Europe legal and policy instruments, as well as domestic legal framework and practices related to issues of hate speech and incitement to hatred in electoral processes.
Political party representatives agreed that polarisation and instances of use of hate speech during electoral processes remains challenge for domestic electoral practices and causes destruction of a healthy and competitive electoral environment. Further efforts are to be made in favor of regulatory or non-regulatory options to decrease instances of hate speech during electoral campaigns. Participants also agreed that in a dayly life individual party activists can contribute to changing political-cultural behaviour aimed at improving electoral environment - free of hate speech and polarisation.
The workshop was organised within the framework of the Council of Europe Project "Supporting Transparency, Inclusiveness and Integrity of Electoral Practice and Process in Georgia".