Statement regarding the International Anti-Corruption Day - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

Statement regarding the International Anti-Corruption Day

09 December, 2023

December 9 is the International Anti-Corruption Day. Georgia is known worldwide for its successful anti-corruption reforms,which it implemented years ago. As a result, low level corruption was eliminated. However, high-level corruption in Georgia has remained a challenge.

It is unfortunate that parallel to the implementation of specific anti-corruption reforms, it was not possible to establish an anti-corruption system that would effectively deal with elite corruption. Establishing a strong anti-corruption system is especially important for a country where more and more questions are being asked about state capture and kleptocracy.

This year, Georgia is awaiting the decision of the European Council regarding granting the EU membership candidate status. The need to carry out anti-corruption reforms in Georgia was emphasized both in the 12 Priorities named by the European Commission in June 2022, and in the 2023 EU enlargement report on Georgia.

Implementation of the recommendations prepared by the European Commission is necessary to start negotiations on membership with the European Union. We also believe that the implementation of these recommendations is the best way and opportunity for Georgia to take real steps against corruption.

Therefore, we call on the Georgian Government to take the following steps based on the requirements of the European Commission:

  • Build a track record of effective investigations into high-level alleged corruption cases.
  • Ensure the independence, impartiality and efficiency of the Anti-Corruption Bureau and implement related recommendations of the Venice Commission. In particular, asset declarations should be audited against the legitimate income and investigations should take place in case of unexplained differences.
  • Develop and adopt an anti-corruption strategy and action plan, ensuring it is comprehensively implemented through realistic timelines, adequate funding and monitoring mechanisms
  • Repeal the decision of February 2023 to withdraw from the OECD anti-corruption monitoring network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (OECD/CAN) and fully implement recommendations from the previous rounds.
  • Update and implement the action plan on de-oligarchization according to the recommendations of the Venice Commission so that political, judicial and economic spheres are freed from large-scale vested interests and their influence.
  • Adopt a broader reform of the judiciary, in line with Venice Commission recommendations. In particular, establish a system of extraordinary integrity checks, with the involvement of international experts with a decisive role in the process , for candidates and persons currently appointed to all leading positions in the judiciary, in particular the HCJ, the Supreme Court and court presidents.
  • Change the procedure for appointing the Prosecutor General to be elected by a qualified majority instead of a simple majority in the Parliament.

The implementation of these reforms, together with the electoral reform, will also be important for the holding of parliamentary elections in Georgia in 2024, especially since the conduct of these elections will be the subject of evaluation by our European partners in the context of Georgia's rapprochement with the European Union.