Foreign Policy

Parliament Chairman: Georgian Constitution will Have Chapter on European Integration

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A new chapter will be added to the constitution of Georgia, which will concern Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, reports Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Irakli Kobakhidze.

“The constitution will have one more, 11th chapter which will include only one article in regards to Georgia’s European and European Integration.

In regards to foreign policy, the ruling party and the majority of political spectre [of Georgia] has formed its own position. The most important priority is the integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures, which was seen on the resolution adopted by Parliament last year and it will also be included in the 79th article of 11th chapter of the Constitution of Georgia”, stated Irakli Kobakhidze after the meeting of the constitutional commission.

The issue has previously been on the agenda. In 2014, the United National Movement proposed to have Euro-Atlantic aspirations blueprinted in the constitution. At a time, the civil society (Up to 20 non-governmental organizations, including the Georgian Association for Reforms (GRASS)) were supporting the initiative. The initial reaction of the ruling coalition to the initiative of the political opposition was negative and many opposed it.

For a segment of the majority explicitly prohibiting potential foreign policy directions appeared to be unacceptable. For example, Georgian Dream MP Nukri Kantaria claimed that some people “may not be in favor of the pro-Western course, instead favoring a pro-Russian course.” Another Georgian Dream MP and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Zurab Abashidze, contended that even though the Georgian Dream coalition supports Georgia’s integration into Euro-Atlantic structures, this does not mean that any force wanting to join the CIS must be punished for that desire or that this must be prohibited.

Another segment of the majority believed that this amendment to the constitution will further deteriorate relations with Russia and complicate future negotiations with this country. It should be said, however, many believed that this amendment would have the opposite effect; it would be a signal that Georgia does not intend to deviate from its chosen course towards the EU or NATO.

In the 2008 referendum, 77 percent of Georgia’s population voted for integration into NATO.

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