MEP: EU Needs to Reconsider Relations with Georgian Gov’t

“The EU will need to reconsider its relations with the Georgian Government” after the Georgian Dream quit the EU-brokered April 19 deal with the opposition, said Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, a lead Member of the European Parliament’s Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group for Georgia.

According to the MEP, the Georgian Dream’s decision “benefited the Kremlin,” and that “after trust is breached” parties cannot go back to business as usual.

MEP von Cramon delivered her press remarks today in Tbilisi after holding a series of meetings with the Georgian opposition parties. She said the ruling party’s “unexpected” and “harmful decision for Georgian interests” prompted her to cancel meetings in the Parliament of Georgia.

Noting that “this is not the first time Georgian Dream breaks its promise,” the MEP asserted that withdrawing from the EU-mediated agreement “irreparably breaches trust and renders Georgian Dream unreliable.” She said the Georgian Dream’s excuses for quitting the agreement are “unpersuasive and unserious” and that the GD had already defied the landmark deal in regards to the Supreme Court appointments.

MEP von Cramon-Taubadel also criticized the Georgian Dream for its handling of homophobic violence against journalists in Tbilisi on July 5. “Georgian Dream’s statements that failed to properly condemn the impunity or even emboldened the perpetrators are a very dangerous sign of backsliding democracy.”

She highlighted that protecting media, even in politically polarized countries as Georgia, is “a fundamental EU value” and that diversity, cherished by the European Union “means protecting everyone and everything – culture, traditions, religion but also minorities.”

Georgia, with all its diversity and regard to the fundamental values of all human beings, is welcome and respected in the EU. “After Georgian Dream’s decision to ‘annul’ the April 19th agreement, Georgia is farther from the EU than it was 3 months ago.”

Concluding her statement, the European lawmaker also slammed the United National Movement, the largest opposition group, for “unconstructive actions and refusal to sign the Agreement gave Georgian Dream a convenient pretext.”

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