EU accuses Georgia of 'democratic deficit'

EU accuses Georgia of 'democratic deficit'

The European Parliament will continue to examine the issue of liberalizing the visa regime with Georgia this year in October, MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski said after a meeting with President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

MEP noted that the main topic of the meeting was to discuss the "democratic deficit" in Georgia. "We spoke about political prisoners, persecution of the media, the pressure on the Constitutional Court and deputies. We agreed that according to European democratic standards Georgia should prevent such actions,'' Georgia Online reports.

Georgian President Margvelashvili told that the republic has been intended to join the 'European family' for a long time. "One of the reasons why we want it is that according to our culture we are Europeans," the head of state said.

Recall that at the end of May, the European Union proposed Georgia and Ukraine the suspension mechanism of the visa-free regime with third states. The key purpose is to prevent a new migration crisis in the event of a rapid increase in the number of illegal immigrants. The EU leadership has come to the conclusion about the necessity to launch a new mechanism, and then take any further steps to liberalize a visa regime with other countries. Sources in diplomatic circles reported on June 2nd that yesterday Brussels decided to postpone the issue of visa liberalization with Georgia. In particular, European leaders from France and Germany were against the visa-free regime.

Georgian political analyst, Ramaz Sakvarelidze, said in an interview with a 'Vestnik Kavkaza' correspondent that the statements by representatives of the EU about 'democratic deficit' in Georgia show double standards in Brussels.

"West is looking for a reason to abandon liberalization. In general Western organizations that check the level of media freedom and freedom of speech just point to the improvement of the situation in these two areas. As for the fact that officials of the former regime are in custody, it is not difficult to find even in the West where the matter of arrests of former leaders is often discussed,'' he told.

According to the expert, the West's unwillingness to introduce visa liberalization with Georgia at the present moment is clear: Europe is experiencing a serious problem with migrants. This very argument was mentioned two days earlier.

The expert also recalled that a similar situation in relations between the EU and Turkey. "I think that European countries express shortsightedness not only in respect of Georgia, but also in relation to Turkey and many other things,'' Ramaz Sakvarelidze concluded.

The political scientist, President of Independent Experts Club, Josef Tsiskarishvili, said that the leaders of Germany and France who were against visa-free regime between Georgia and the European Union, said nothing about the state of democracy in Georgia. They meant tens of thousands problems of those people who were expelled from their homes in the Middle East.

"But for some reason Ministers of Interior and Justice of the states appeared only now after the decision to liberalize the visa regime with Georgia. Certainly, the Georgian population was not informed about the procedure details, respectively, the expectation that visa-free regime with the European countries will be in June has already sunk into oblivion,'' the expert said.