The EU is a steadfast partner of Georgia in its pursuit of democratic development, providing unwavering support to strengthen civic participation, uphold the rule of law, protect human rights and gender equality, promote media literacy, and empower civil society organisations. Georgia’s status as an EU candidate country is a driver for the EU’s continued democratic engagement, with the nine steps defined by the European Commission’s 2023 enlargement report guiding this process.
Civic participation lies at the heart of a strong democracy. The EU actively supports Georgia’s electoral processes, and initiatives to enhance citizen engagement and electoral participation, as well as women’s political participation. The EU provides technical assistance to improve the transparency, integrity, and fairness of elections, including supporting independent election observation missions.
The EU is a consistent advocate for strengthening judicial independence, combating corruption, and ensuring accountability of state institutions in Georgia in order to enhance rule of law, as an essential pillar of democracy. The EU has provided financial and technical assistance to reform the judiciary, enhance anti-corruption mechanisms, and strengthen the capacities of law enforcement agencies. The EU also encourages dialogue and cooperation between the judiciary, the executive and civil society to ensure proper checks and balances.
The EU is a vocal champion of human rights in Georgia. The EU continues to support initiatives to combat discrimination, promote gender equality, and protect the rights of minorities and vulnerable groups. The EU provides legal and advocacy training to human rights defenders and will help the Georgian Government uphold its international human rights obligations.
The EU works actively with Georgia to foster a safe and secure society. This includes working with civil society to improve school safety, drug use prevention and rehabilitation, and to create more resilient and safer communities. The EU also works with other international organisations to strengthen the accountability and human rights approach of the security sector through better oversight, research and an increased focus on domestic and gender-based violence.
The EU is a strong supporter of media literacy, freedom and development in Georgia for an engaged and informed public. The EU has provided financial and technical assistance to independent media outlets, promotes media literacy campaigns, and supports initiatives to strengthen media freedom and pluralism to ensure freedom of expression. The EU continues to actively condemn and counter media interference and advocates for the protection and safety of journalists in Georgia.
Civil society plays a vital role in any democratic processes, and the EU is a steadfast supporter of civil society organisations (CSOs) in Georgia. The EU provides both funding and technical assistance to CSOs working on a wide range of issues, including human rights, civic education, and advocacy. In line with the nine steps, the EU actively promotes dialogue between CSOs and Government institutions to ensure that civil society voices are heard and considered in policy-making processes.