“It will reveal whether we were able to reach a consensus in this parliament regarding Georgia’s future in Europe, so I implore you to consider your offspring, your country, the implementation of these 12 recommendations, what is at stake, and what is valuable to you politically and personally. Then, let’s make a decision,” the Speaker of the Parliament stated at the plenary session, where the issue of the procedure for electing the Public Defender was discussed.
Papuashvili talked about the working group, which was made up of eight political parties with representation in the highest legislative body of the country but where three parties were absent from its meetings.
“We proposed a parliamentary plan to implement 12 recommendations after the European Council’s decision was announced and it became clear that, similar to Ukraine and Moldova, there were still requirements that needed to be met for full candidacy status. I want to be clear that this is the Georgian Parliament’s work schedule. This is not a one-party plan. About 50 working meetings were held by the Parliament during this time, and five of the eight political factions represented attended. In regards to these working groups, I’d like to reiterate that the institutions of the Georgian Parliament, especially the working group, are portrayed to be eroding and becoming more akin to meetings without structure. This is a standard tool made available by the Georgian Parliament’s regulations, which are more inclusive than the committee session. The committee is a gathering and discussion of the Georgian Parliament’s members, and those present may or may not be given the opportunity to speak. The working group’s primary goal was to include external players, such as the civil sector and professional circles, who sat at the table and provided input on a variety of subjects, in addition to parliamentarians. It is regrettable that the three political parties did not take advantage of this chance to participate in parliamentary activities,” the Speaker stated.
Papuashvili once again called on the opponents to get involved in the work process.
“I don’t see why you have a problem with the working group considering that you attend committee and plenary meetings. Then it emerges that you categorize the legislative tools – some are more valid in your eyes than others, which is itself a flawed perspective on the Georgian Parliament as an institution,” Papuashvili remarked.
The Speaker made clarifications about the procedure for electing the Public Defender.
“We were all in agreement, I believe, and in the end, everything was decided by a hypothetical 10-day period. This strategy has been known for a few days. On September 1, the concept was presented and the project began. One week has gone since September 1 until today, September 8. We also conversed with one another, traded viewpoints on what is intended and what is not, discussed what will and won’t be in the order, and essentially summarized it. In my opinion, if there could be any substantive disagreement, nothing new would emerge in ten days. This brings to mind the controversy around the so-called covert surveillance, which we witnessed, regrettably, devolve into a pointless debate about whether the process was inclusive or not, the wording of the agreement, and the fact that no real problems had been identified for six months. Which right is deteriorating the most? 0 is the answer. It does not adhere to a certain European norm; however, whatever specific European standard? The answer is 0 again. The only explanation is that the procedure might have been somewhat different,” the Speaker noted.
Papuashvili believes, that the perceptions that influence politics must be confronted with facts.
“I want to make one thing abundantly clear: politics is not the place for someone who bases decisions on perceptions alone. Politics should avoid anyone who draws their own conclusions from impressions. The simple answer to the question of what would happen if we discussed it for more or less 5 days is that there are deadlines, and one of them is the risk that the implementation of the 12 points would be slowed down, which will slow Georgia’s process of joining the EU. We are aware of this issue and publicly discuss it in connection to particular political groups. We assume based on these risks. This is also a real worry we have, in part because of our civic duty. We’ll make sure that any procedures that we believe could be intentionally prolonged won’t be,” Papuashvili added.