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Press release: MEPs urge PM not to bury Georgia’s European dream

Members of the European Parliament have sent an open letter to the Georgian Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, in which they warn him that the worsening situation of democratic standards in Georgia is closing the door to closer integration with the European Union. 23 Members from different Member States of the European Union listed the following examples of the backslide of Georgian democracy: pressure on parliamentarians and local legislators, consistent and declared pressure on the judiciary, intentional proposals to change the legal basis of the Georgian Public Broadcaster, inflammatory rhetoric and the use of mobs to quell political opponents.

Among the signatories of the open letter are MEPs Vytautas Landsbergis, former Lithuanian Head of State, Elmar Brok, Chair of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Jerzy Buzek, former President of the European Parliament and former Prime Minister of Poland, and Eduard Kukan, former Slovak Foreign Minister.

Gunnar Hökmark MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for Enlargement and Eastern Neighbourhood Policy, said: ”It is important that the Georgian government takes note of our message if it wants to proceed with the EU perspective.”

Krzysztof Lisek MEP, European Parliament Rapporteur for Georgia, commented: ”I am sad to see that Georgia, governed by Prime Minister Ivanishvili, is moving away from the European democratic standards and that progress achieved in the last decade since the Rose Revolution is being distorted. The damage to Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations could be permanent and the Prime Minister risks leaving a legacy of burying the European dream of his own nation.”

Vytautas Landsbergis MEP, one of the initiators of the letter, said: ”We are witnessing the continuous destruction of EU-Georgia relations. I am afraid that the aim to intentionally compromise Georgia as an EU partner is being masterminded by something other than the current Prime Minister Ivanishvili. Of course, his own ambitions and fears may be exploited as well, which was reflected in his unfortunate open address to President Saakashvili”.

For further information:
Per Heister, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-496-645530
Marek Hannibal, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-475-753048

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 270 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.