Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Commissioner Stefan Fule Response to Georgian National Platform

Brussels, 23.04.2012

Dear all,
Thank you for your letter of 12 March regarding the preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia in October this year. As you are aware the EU is closely monitoring developments in Georgia leading up to the elections. 1 sincerely appreciate your input and reflections in this regard.

Firstly, let me congratulate you for using the potential of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum National Platform in the campaign "This Affects You Too". My firm belief is that strong civil society action is required in order to transform and modernize societies and to build deep democracy. That is also one reason why the EU fully recognizes the importance of the strengthening of the Civil Society Forum and its national platforms in the Eastern Partnership countries. To me, your activities and the way you have managed to coordinate yourselves (including the very useful website you have launched) prove that the approach we have chosen is the right one and that our neighbourhood will benefit from your engagement.

Secondly, on the specific issues you raise, I can report that we are indeed attaching special attention to the Organic Law on Political Unions of Citizens and have asked for clarifications from the Government of Georgia on the potential negative consequences of this law on freedom of expression and freedom of association and the activities of civil society. I am encouraged to hear that the Parliament of Georgia has stepped up consultations with the civil society in this regard. On the issue of election monitoring, my understanding is that OSCE/ODIHR have received a request from the Government of Georgia and that an assessment mission is being planned.

I can assure you that the upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia will remain a high priority on our agenda and I hope to be able to meet with you all in Georgia before the elections to be updated directly on the situation and hear more about your activities.

Yours sincerely,

Stefan Fule

Project funded by the European UnionEU