NGO news

Tbilisi NGOs ask Brussels to specify reform criteria

by | Mar 3, 2016

The letter is addressed to Federica Mogherini. (EU Commission.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Eight non-governmental organizations in the Georgian capital ask the EU to specify exactly how to measure the reforms the country is carrying out after signing an association agreement with the EU in 2014.

The association agreement involves bringing Georgian legislation in line with about 300 EU legal acts.

NGOs also play a role in monitoring the reform process, as participants in the EU’s Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, a consultation mechanism between Brussels and NGOs in post-Soviet countries in Eastern Europe.

The eight organizations want clearer criteria for measuring progress.

The monitoring process of the agreement and agenda revealed that certain goals and obligations are too general, which makes the evaluation process complicated, the groups explain.

As the process of visa liberalization, which includes detailed monitoring of reforms, is coming to an end, it is necessary to create a new mechanism which can determine precisely and in detail what the future reforms will be, the letter states.

There should be negotiations between the foreign affair service of the EU, the government of Georgia and the EU delegation in Georgia about creating a detailed association agenda, and consultations should be held with civil society, politicians and other interested parties, it continues.

“We believe that a document of the association agenda, which Georgia and EU will agree on, has to be stipulated in details,” the letter addressed to EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini reads.

It is signed by Open Society Georgia Foundation, Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association, Transparency International Georgia, International Prison Reform, Article 42 of the Constitution and others.

Negotiations about the association agreement started in July, 2010, and negotiations about a free trade agreement, called DCFTA, started in December, 2011. Negotiations ended in July, 2013. The agreement was signed in Brussels on June 27, 2014, and came into force after Belgium as the last EU member country ratified it in the end of 2015.


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