DRI: The European Commission’s first recommendation relating to political polarization is not being implemented

In the European Commission opinion on Georgia's application for membership of the European Union, political polarization was named as the main cause of political crisis in Georgia, meaning that ending political polarization was named as the first recommendation among the 12 recommendations of the European Commission.

The European Commission opinion made it clear that the joint work of political parties and civil society in various thematic working groups could be considered as a step taken to reduce polarization.

However, the Georgian Dream plan regarding the implementation of the first recommendation of the European Commission has missed the spirit and content of the recommendation of the European Commission from the very beginning. Instead of cooperating with the opposition on key issues to overcome political polarization, the Georgian Dream plan provided for the creation of a polarization monitoring group for permanent observation and study of politicians' statements, and preparation of a weekly report. If created, the activities of the monitoring group could have additionally become a basis for deepening polarization and restricting freedom of speech and expression. However, this part of the ruling party's plan has not been actually implemented.

Today, 6 months after the European Commission published its opinion on Georgia on June 17, it can be said that Georgian Dream and part of the opposition political parties have not taken effective steps to overcome polarization, and that political polarization remains the most important challenge in terms of implementation of the recommendations of the European Commission. For example, part of the parliamentary opposition did not participate in the working groups; Participation of civil society in the working groups was limited; The ruling political party ignored the draft law proposed by the opposition; Instead of agreeing on consensus versions, both the Government and the opposition presented alternative plans for the implementation of the European Commission recommendations.

The Democracy Research Institute considers that the election of the Public Defender, non-judge members of the High Council of Justice and the chairman and members of the Central Election Commission on the basis of consensus with the opposition was another opportunity to implement the first recommendation of the European Commission. However, polarization could not be overcome in this case either.

Therefore, at this stage, the first recommendation of the European Commission, which aims to solve political polarization between the parties, is not being implemented. The lack of progress in this direction is a serious obstacle to the European integration.