CSOs letter to Federica Mogherini - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

CSOs letter to Federica Mogherini

02 March, 2016


March 2, 2016                                                                                                                         Tbilisi, Georgia

H.E Federica Mogherini 

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and
Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission

Dear High Representative Mogherini,

We are writing to address you regarding the forthcoming negotiations between the European Union and Georgia on a new Association Agenda. We are members of the informal coalition of civil society organizations supported by Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF). The informal coalition was established in 2014 to increase government accountability by monitoring the implementation of the EUGeorgia Association Agreement. The coalition’s efforts have included producing monitoring reports and policy briefs and engaging with the Government of Georgia and EU institutions to promote Georgia’s EU integration process.

We appreciate the continuous support of the European Union to Georgia and its European integration process. Over the past few years, Georgia has made significant progress in all areas covered by the Association Agreement and remains committed to its European choice. 

The EU has repeatedly highlighted the important role that Georgian civil society plays in promoting the country’s European agenda, pushing for reforms and holding the government accountable. What we have encountered in our efforts is that the Association Agreement and initial Association Agenda set broad objectives and commitments in the areas of political and rule of law reform, allowing for ambiguity in the implementation process. Given that the powerful incentives and detailed monitoring of the visa liberations process are coming to an end, a new tool will be needed to define a clear blueprint for reforms. We believe that an ambitious and detailed Association Agenda could serve as that tool.

As the EU and Georgia deepen their relations and approach the negotiations on a new Association Agenda, we argue that the European External Action Service, the EU Delegation to Georgia and the Government of Georgia should:

  • Negotiate a more ambitious and detailed Association Agenda, including clear benchmarks and measurable indicators of progress in reforms;
  • Allow for meaningful consultations with civil society, political actors and other interested parties on the draft Association Agenda.

Creating a detailed Association Agenda that includes clear and measurable objectives would allow civil society organizations to meaningfully monitor reforms, provide input to the government and the EU and keep track of progress or lack thereof. In addition, drafting the Association Agenda through an inclusive process would help to ensure the buy-in of and continued cooperation among the government, civil society and society at large in the reform process and their commitment to contribute to its success. 

We stand ready to participate in such consultations and share our expertise in the respective areas. 
Yours sincerely,

Keti Khutsishvili, Executive Director of Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF) 
Ana Natsvlishvili, Chairwoman of Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) 
Eka Gigauri, Executive Director of Transparency International Georgia
Tsira Chanturia, South Caucasus Regional Director of Penal Reform International 
Nino Elbakidze, Executive Director of Article 42 of the Constitution 
Babutsa Pataraia, Executive Director of Union Sapari 
Ana Abashidze, Chairperson of Partnership for Human Rights
Kornely Kakachia, Director of Georgian Institute of Politics