Civil Society Institute (CSI), along with the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) and the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), on May 24th, presented a new 2021 country report for CSO Meter: A Compass to Conducive Environment and CSO Empowerment.
The CSO Meter is a monitoring tool used to assess the legislative and practical environment for CSOs, human rights defenders, and activists in Eastern European Partnership countries. The report covers 11 areas pertaining to enabling environment for CSOs and assigns quantitative scores under each area. The scores range from 1 to 7, where 1 signifies the lowest possible score (extremely unfavourable – authoritarian – environment) and 7 signifies the highest possible score (extremely favourable environment).
According to the 2021 CSO Meter report, the environment for CSOs, human rights defenders, and activists in Georgia was assessed with a score of 4.7 out of 7 (Legislation: 5.2, Practice 4.3).
Based on the 2021 CSO-Meter findings, Georgia ranked as a medium-risk country for CSOs.
The report highlighted that the most challenging of the 11 areas overviewed in the document, remains the right to privacy. “Georgian legislation encompasses basic guarantees against interference or attacks on privacy […] However, these guarantees are still fragile and the practical implementation of the state’s duty to respect the right to privacy shows worrying trends, with leaked documents illustrating the illegal surveillance of CSOs and associated individuals.”- states the report.
The right to privacy was rated 3.9 out of a maximum of 7 (Legislation: 4.6, Practice 3.1).
The state-CSO cooperation also has a lot of challenges in Georgia, which is particularly problematic for CSOs critical of the government. The Covid pandemic also created additional problems for state-CSO cooperation. As a result, Georgia received 4.0 points out of 7 in this field.
Georgia received the highest score of 6.1 in the area of freedom of association, which is mainly due to the ease of establishing and operating CSOs.
CSO-Meter is an annual report that periodically and continuously assesses the CSO environment in Eastern European Partnership countries, including Georgia. The report also evaluates the progress in implementing the previously issued recommendations for creating a conducive CSO environment.
This event is organised within the framework of the Action “CSO Meter: A Compass to Conducive Environment and CSO Empowerment”, implemented with the financial support of the European Union. The Project is implemented by the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law Stichting (ECNL) and its partners: Transparency International Anticorruption Center in Armenia; MG Consulting LLC in Azerbaijan; Civil Society Institute in Georgia; Promo-LEX Association in Moldova; and the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR).