Venice Commission always sides with incumbent government in Georgia

Summary

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, who were always professional, used to arrive back when Saakashvili was president and voice their concerns, although it was obvious that they first and foremost placed emphasis on statements which were in the authorities’ interests. This continued after the Georgian Dream came to power… This Commission shuns conclusions or acutely critical assessments that would go against any incumbent authorities’ grain.

Disproof

Pro-Russian disinformation narrative seeking to undermine the standing of International institutions, and the Council of Europe in particular.

In 2002-2019, the Venice Commission has made numerous scathingly critical assessments about the Georgian authorities’ legislative activities. The March 2004 Venice Commission’s Opinion on the Draft Amendments to the Constitution of Georgia stated that the proposed changes did not correspond to the government model and described the proposed president’s chairmanship of the Supreme Council of Justice “extremely problematic.”

The March 2009 Opinion on Four Constitutional Laws amending the Constitution stated that Office of the Prosecutor General, “which was formerly established on the constitutional plane, no longer has any constitutional recognition.”

The March 2013 Opinion on the Provisions relating to Political Prisoners in the Amnesty Law pointed out that the proposed law “failed to comply” with “fundamental principles of the rule of law.”

The June 2017 Opinion on the draft revised Constitution was also critical, stressing that the electoral system encouraged inequality among election candidates and that the presidential election system favoured the ruling party’s candidate.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 145
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: Georgian
  • Country: EU, Georgia
  • Keywords: Council of Europe
  • Outlet: Rezonansi
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Georgia does not benefit from free trade agreement with EU

The signing in September 2014 of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU has not benefited Georgia, which remains reliant on the post-Soviet market for its exports. Exports to the DCFTA countries have not increased.

Disproof

According to DCFTA.gov.ge, a website run by the Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and dedicated to the agreement-related developments, export from Georgia to the EU in 2018 increased by 11.5% compared to 2017 and accounted for 21.7% of the country’s total exports. Agricultural exports increased by 6% from 2017, and industrial exports by 13%.

The overview on the website of the Georgian edition of the Forbes magazine states that in January-June 2018, Georgia’s exports to the EU exceeded exports to Russia by 80%. In the same period, Georgian exports to the EU grew by 21%, to Russia – by 10%. From 2004 to 2018, Georgia consistently exported more to the EU than to Russia. In 2007-2017, 3.5 times more products ($3.6 billion more) were exported to the EU than to Russia.

US Special Representative Kurt Volker rules in Ukraine

In addition to the 4 oligarchs in Ukraine, there is also a fifth – US Special Representative Kurt Volker, who does what he wants, and who actually rules the country.

Disproof

On 7 July 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appointed Ambassador Kurt Volker as the special representative for Ukraine. He took the responsibility for advancing US. efforts to achieve the objectives set out in the Minsk agreements, Kurt Volker has no other responsibilities.

In his video message at the Kyiv Security Forum, Kurt Volker said: “We welcome the Ukrainian people to successfully conduct the first round of presidential elections.  We wish you success in holding the second round of presidential elections, as well as parliamentary elections in the fall."  He also added that the United States does not support any of the presidential candidates in Ukraine, but advocates respect for the principles.

The European Parliament is a façade structure to corrupt national elites

The European Parliament is mostly a façade structure. It consists of several hundreds of comfortable chairs and provides pensions for politicians, it is a tool to corrupt national elites.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative questioning the EU institutions' legitimacy and powers.

The European Parliament is the EU's only directly-elected EU institution. Since 1979, it is elected by EU voters every 5 years. The last elections were in May 2014.

The European Parliament is one of the to EU law-making bodies. It has constitutional-type and ratification powers. It passes EU laws, together with the Council of the EU, based on European Commission proposals. It has budgetary powers, scrutiny over the executive, it hears citizens’ petitions, and appoints the European Ombudsman. A detailed overview of the European Parliament’s role in the European decision-making process can be consulted here.