Remarks by EU Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Julien Crampes on the notification by the Georgian Government to refrain from requesting the payment of EUR 75 million EU macro-financial assistance
The Government of Georgia notified the European Union of its decision to refrain from requesting EUR 75 million in EU macro-financial assistance. This amount was due to be disbursed before 30 September 2021, should Georgia have been in compliance with the mutually agreed commitments taken by its Government in September 2020, when signing the conditions for this assistance program. The macro-financial assistance, EUR 150 million in total out of which half has been disbursed, was aimed at assisting Georgia and its citizens in addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds were intended to be available for the benefit of the Georgian people.
The European Union takes note of the reasoning provided by the Georgian Government on their decision not to ask the rest of the EU macro-financial assistance. While we respect the decision of Georgian authorities, at the same time, we note that Georgia failed to sufficiently address the condition for this macro-financial assistance, and notably, to increase the independence, accountability and quality of the judicial system.
In particular, the selection for Supreme Court judges proceeded in the absence of legislative changes needed to ensure full compliance with all recommendations made by the Venice Commission. The process also failed to guarantee equal treatment of all candidates. Several further legal changes aimed at increasing transparency of the court system have not been adopted.
The justice-related conditions of the macro-financial assistance were also commitments taken by Georgian political parties when signing the 19 April 2021 Agreement, mediated by the European Union.
The EU calls on the Georgian authorities to uphold their reform commitments, including in the justice sector, in the interest of Georgian citizens and of the future of EU-Georgia relations. The EU will continue to closely monitor the situation.
The EU underlines that while it remains fully committed to support Georgia’s reforms in line with the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, the EU’s assistance to Georgia remains conditional on progress on key reforms.