Venice Commission President Holds Meetings in Georgia

TBILISI - The Venice Commission delegation, led by President Gianni Buquicchio, arrived in Georgia on Friday on the invitation of Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze, who simultaneously chairs the State Constitutional Commission which is tasked to carry out constitutional amendments before April 30.

After the meeting with Kobakhidze, the president of the Venice Commission said that the Constitution of Georgia is in line with international standards, but needs to be improved. 

Buquicchio welcomed the readiness of the Parliament Chair to share the remarks and views of the Venice Commission during the implementation of the amendments to the Constitution of Georgia.

“We had some critical remarks when amendments were made to the Georgian Constitution in 2010. We do not impose anything on you, we just want you to improve the Constitution and bring it into full compliance with international standards," Buquicchio said.

Speaking at a news briefing after the meeting, Kobakhidze said that the sides discussed all details pertaining to the work of the Constitutional Commission and agreed on cooperation plans.

“All the recommendations of the Venice Commission will be carefully reviewed. Parliament will not adopt any constitutional amendment if it is negatively assessed by the Venice Commission”, said Kobakhidze. 

Prior to meeting the Parliament Speaker, the Venice delegation met with NGO representatives and constitutionalists. 

They also met ex-Parliament Speaker, Davit Usupashvili, who chaired the state constitutional commission before, and the representatives of parliamentary minority factions.

The Venice delegation was also hosted by the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, whose administration refused to take part in the work of the Constitutional Commission.

The presidential administration reports that, along with the issue of the Constitutional Commission, the sides discussed the so called “third wave” of judicial reforms, which were endorsed in December and have to be signed by the President by January 25.

“We appreciate the President’s role. He seems to be impartial and neutral and guarantees democracy in the country,” Buquicchio said.

BY Thea Morrsion

21 January 2017 16:12