Georgia is urged to re-join the OECD/ACN process in alignment with the European Commission's recommendation - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

Georgia is urged to re-join the OECD/ACN process in alignment with the European Commission's recommendation

18 March, 2024

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released the 5th Round Monitoring reports for Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine, developed by the Anti-Corruption Network (OECD/ACN).

Georgia is the only country to decline participation in the OECD/ACN 5th Monitoring round, which aimed to evaluate the country's anti-corruption efforts in the following areas: anti-corruption policy, independence of the judiciary, independence of public prosecution service, enforcement of corruption offences, specialized anti-corruption institutions, business integrity, integrity in public procurement, whistleblower protection, conflict of interest and asset declarations.

The government's efforts to hinder the OECD/ACN process date back to 2021 during the preparation of the 5th Pilot Round report. Due to the unfavourable evaluation of anti-corruption reforms, particularly in the independent judiciary and prosecution service, the government attempted to prevent the public release of the report. In 2023, Georgia's government officially withdrew its participation in the monitoring round for the first time in 20 years.

Following the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, there was anticipation that Georgia would re-enter the process, but the country has yet to do so. Evaluating the country's anti-corruption landscape and pinpointing challenges should be particularly useful for the Anti-Corruption Bureau, given its responsibility for developing policy documents. For the fourth consecutive year, Georgia lacks a national Anti-corruption Strategy and Action Plan, signifying a stagnation in the country's anti-corruption efforts at the national level.

"Georgia, once a regional leader in anti-corruption reforms, withdrew its participation from the 5th round of monitoring. The OECD calls upon Georgia to reconsider this decision and re-join the peer review programme to pursue its fight against corruption," – the OECD stated.

The OECD also calls on participant countries to lift unjustified restrictions on civic space, protect civil society organisations from threats and persecution and ensure their participation in joint anti-corruption endeavours.

More importantly, the European Commission also calls Georgia to return to the OECD/ACN process as part of the country’s EU integration path. The Commission urges the Government of Georgia to repeal its decision to withdraw from the OECD/ACN process and fully implement recommendations from the previous rounds, as emphasized in its November 2023 enlargement report. The signatory organizations once again call on the Georgian government to fulfil the European Commission recommendation, to resume participation in the OECD/ACN process, and refrain from impeding Georgia's EU integration process.

Transparency International Georgia (TI)

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)

Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)

Governance Monitoring Center (GMC)