Kastriot Islami and Michael Jensen, co-rapporteurs from Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) are visiting Georgia on July 12-15 as part of regular fact-finding visits to monitor honoring of Council of Europe obligations by Georgia.
Michael Jensen, a lawmaker from Denmark, is a new co-rapporteur on Georgia, who has replaced long-time co-rapporteur on monitoring of Georgia’s obligations, Mátyás Eörsi.
During the visit monitors from PACE will meet with President Saakashvili, Parliamentary Chairman Davit Bakradze, Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili and other officials, as well as opposition, civil society and media representatives.
“Discussions should focus on the reform of the justice sector, human rights protection, decentralization and local self-government, media pluralism as well as the fight against corruption,” PACE said in a press release.
The previous similar fact-finding visit by co-rapporteurs (Mátyás Eörsi was still on the post at the time) took place in late March, 2010. In a report produced following the visit, the PACE monitors said that “the reforms and policies to further the modernisation and democratic development of Georgia, despite some set-backs, have continued unabated.”
“However, we would like to stress that democratic reforms should be developed on the basis of a wide political consensus and should not be imposed by the dominant political force,” co-rapporteurs said.
They have also said that they were concerned over government control over broadcast media and lack of transparency of ownership of broadcasters.