Legal approximation, oversight and public outreach – three areas of parliamentary engagement in the implementation of the Association Agreement with the European Union.
On April 15, 2019, Georgia’s Parliament Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze, and Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration, Tamar Khulordava, presented an Action Plan today which outlines key parliamentary activities in 2019-2020 directed at the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement.
Organised with the assistance of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the event brought together Georgian law-makers and representatives of the civil society, diplomatic missions and international organizations.
“Implementation of the Association Agreement is a complex task which requires coordinated efforts of the government branches and active involvement of the public,” said Tamar Khulordava, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration. “The new Action Plan sets a framework of the Parliament’s work in bringing the national legislation closer to European standards, enhancing oversight and ensuring effective public outreach.”
Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, noted the increased role of the Parliament in the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement.
“The European Union acknowledges Georgia’s good progress in the implementation of the country’s commitments under the Association Agreement,” Ambassador Hartzell said. “The Parliament of Georgia, as a key institution in this parliamentary democracy, plays an indispensable role in overseeing the implementation process and ensuring further democratic and other reforms.”
“The Association Agreement sets an ambitious agenda and a tight timeline for all of Georgia’s branches of government,” said Louisa Vinton, UNDP Head in Georgia. “That is why it is so important to have a detailed action plan to guide parliamentary work over the next two years. Now Parliament has clarity on what needs to be done, by whom and by when, so that Georgia can derive maximum benefit from this landmark agreement.”
The Parliament’s Action Plan 2019-2020 on the Implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement has been developed based on the findings of a baseline study supported by the EU and UNDP in 2017. The Action Plan was adopted by the Parliament Bureau on 19 March 2019 aiming to streamline parliamentary activities and foster a strategic and uniform approach to the process across all involved committees. Three strategic goals described in the Action Plan refer to law-making and legislative approximation, oversight of the implementation of the Association Agreement and effective public outreach and communication.
The EU-Georgia Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, entered into force in July 2016 striving for political association and economic integration between the EU and Georgia. As part of the legal approximation, national legislation must be harmonized with 346 Directives, 213 Regulations, 57 Decisions and 31 Recommendations to meet EU standards. Under the terms of the agreement, almost half of these commitments need to be fulfilled by the end of 2020.