TBILISI, DFWatch–When Georgia finally signs the Association Agreement with the EU by the end of June, it will be the prime minister who does the signing, not the president.
Exactly who will sign the agreement – president or prime minister – has been a subject of discussion the last few days. During the previous government, the president had more power and authority than the prime minister, and he would sign such documents.
But after last year’s presidential election, a set of constitutional amendments came into force, and now the PM has all the power, while the president’s power and authority has been reigned in.
Minister for Euro Atlantic Integration Alexi Petriashvili on Thursday explained that the prime minister is head of the executive government. He said it is the government which has conducted negotiations and achieved results; that is why the head of government must sign the EU treaty.
He continued saying that the president no longer determines Georgia’s foreign policy; that is the government’s responsibility now.
However, in its current form, the Constitution, passage 73, reads that the Georgian president conducts negotiations with other states and international organizations after agreeing with the government and signs international agreements and treaties.
Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze also thinks it will be ‘logical’ if the PM signs the document, but she also said that it doesn’t matter who signs it; the important thing is that Georgia signs the document.
Gharibashvili said the government hasn’t discussed who will sign the document yet, he or the president.
“The important thing is that we get to this point. It is not necessary to discuss the details,” he told journalists.
Philip Dimitrov, the EU’s Ambassador to Georgia, on Thursday explained that the Constitution must determine who signs the agreement.
But also Dimitrov stressed that the important thing is to sign the document, not who does the signing.
The European Council decided to speed up the signing of treaties with Georgia and Moldova, which it said will be done ‘no later than June 2014.’