Do the 12 Recommendations of the EC Entail Replacing the Existing Government with the UNM?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Reading Time: 4 minutes


On November 1st, 2022, in the program of pro-Kremlin TV “Alt-Info”, the head of the Rustavi office of the “Conservative Movement”, Merab Gigan, spoke about the 12-point recommendation established by the European Commission for Georgia. According to Gigani, all 12 points envisage the change of the government and its replacement by the “United National Movement.”

Merab Gigani, Conservative Movement: “The 12-point agreement that has been signed, the change of government is written in it, in all parts. In each of the 12 points, from the first point to the 12th point, it is stated everywhere that this government should be replaced by the National Movement. The name “National Movement” already causes hatred among people, but there they named it “Girchi,” “Strategia Aghmashenebeli,” Elene Khoshtaria, who was making a fortune with Russian money… They will gather similar people, and use a completely different name, but the same enemies with the same ideology will be involved in all of this.”

alt inpho Do the 12 Recommendations of the EC Entail Replacing the Existing Government with the UNM?

The claim that the 12-point action plan of the European Commission implies a change of government and its replacement by the “United National Movement” is false. The recommendations by the European Commission envisage various issues, including depolarization, judicial reforms, ensuring media freedom and de-oligarchization, although the document does not mention the replacement of the government with another opposition party.

On June 17th, 2022, the European Commission recommended fulfilling 12 conditions for Georgia to receive the status of an EU candidate country. The conclusion prepared by the European Commission states that for Georgia to obtain the status of a candidate for the European Union, ending political polarization, carrying out judicial reform, de-oligarchization, strengthening the fight against organized crime and ensuring media freedom should become a priority. It should be noted that none of the 12 recommendations issued by the European Commission envisages the change of government and its replacement by the National Movement or other parties. However, the importance of the involvement of both opposition parties and civil society in the processes is emphasized in the recommendations.

The first point of the recommendations made by the European Commission envisages the reduction of political polarization. On July 1st, according to the chairman of “Georgian Dream”, Irakli Kobakhidze, a “polarization monitoring group” was being created, which would work “with the participation of all parliamentary parties, civil society representatives and international partners”. In order to reduce political polarization, the “Georgian Dream” offered a moratorium to the opposition, non-governmental organizations and the media.

The second point concerns the effective functioning of state institutions and parliamentary supervision, for which it was also planned to create a working group with the participation of representatives of all parliamentary parties and the civil sector at the Committee on Procedural Issues and Rules of the Parliament of Georgia. All parliamentary political parties are represented in the judicial system reform team, which should prepare the relevant draft law. Other recommendations also require the involvement of parliamentary parties, the opposition and civil society.

The complete list of recommendations is as follows:

  1. address the issue of political polarisation, through ensuring cooperation across political parties in the spirit of the April 19 agreement;
  2. guarantee the full functioning of all state institutions, strengthening their independent and effective accountability as well as their democratic oversight functions; further improve the electoral framework, addressing all shortcomings identified by OSCE/ODIHR and the Council of Europe/Venice Commission in these processes.
  3. adopt and implement a transparent and effective judicial reform strategy and action plan post-2021 based on a broad, inclusive and cross-party consultation process; ensure a judiciary that is fully and truly independent, accountable and impartial along the entire judicial institutional chain, also to safeguard the separation of powers; notably ensure the proper functioning and integrity of all judicial and prosecutorial institutions, in particular the Supreme Court and address any shortcomings identified including the nomination of judges at all levels and of the Prosecutor-General; undertake a thorough reform of the High Council of Justice and appoint the High Council’s remaining members. All these measures need to be fully in line with European standards and the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
  4. strengthen the independence of its Anti-Corruption Agency, bringing together all key anticorruption functions, in particular to rigorously address high-level corruption cases; equip the new Special Investigative Service and Personal Data Protection Service with resources commensurate to their mandates and ensure their institutional independence;
  5. implement the commitment to “de-oligarchisation” by eliminating the excessive influence of vested interests in economic, political, and public life;
  6. strengthen the fight against organised crime based on detailed threat assessments, notably by ensuring rigorous investigations, prosecutions and a credible track record of prosecutions and convictions; guarantee accountability and oversight of law enforcement agencies.
  7. undertake stronger efforts to guarantee a free, professional, pluralistic and independent media environment, notably by ensuring that criminal procedures brought against media owners fulfil the highest legal standards, and by launching impartial, effective and timely investigations in cases of threats against safety of journalists and other media professionals;
  8. move swiftly to strengthen the protection of human rights of vulnerable groups, including by bringing perpetrators and instigators of violence to justice more effectively;
  9. notably consolidate efforts to enhance gender equality and fight violence against women;
  10. ensure the involvement of civil society in decision-making processes at all levels;
  11. adopt legislation so that Georgian courts proactively take into account European Court of Human Rights judgments in their deliberations;
  12. ensure that an independent person is given preference in the process of nominating a new Public Defender (Ombudsperson) and that this process is conducted in a transparent manner; ensure the Office’s effective institutional independence.

On March 3rd, 2022, Georgia submitted an application to join the European Union; however, on June 17th, 2022, the European Commission did not grant Georgia EU candidate status. According to the conclusion of the European Commission, Georgia must fulfil 12 requirements to receive candidate status, for which Georgia was first given time until December 2022, and then the European Commission extended Georgia’s deadline and the evaluation of the implementation of the 12 recommendations until 2023.

In order to fulfil the recommendations established by the European Commission, “Georgian Dream” set up nine working groups in the Parliament. Four opposition parties: “For Georgia”, “Girchi”, “Citizens,” and “European Socialists” are involved in the work of these groups. In addition, “United National Movement”, “Lelo,” and “Strategia Agmashenebeli” are working independently on their own bills. On July 1st, “Georgian Dream” presented a plan for Georgia to implement the 12-point recommendations issued by the European Union.

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Topic: Politics
Violation: Disinformation



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