Address Of Civil Society Organizations And Media Representatives To ​Charles Michel, President Of The European Council


Today, July 19, 2021, in the Batumi International Conference, Civil Society organizations and Media representatives address Charles Michel, President of the European Council:

Dear President Michel,

We are grateful for your engagement and continuous efforts that you personally and the European Union Ambassador have provided in support of the rule of law and fundamental freedoms in Georgia.

As we wholeheartedly welcome the spirit of Batumi International Conference of deepening and enhancing existing relations between the EU and Eastern Partnership countries of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, we, the undersigned civil society organizations and media outlets see your efforts even more important against the backdrop of recent developments in Georgia.

The ruling party’s failure to implement the EU and the US-mediated April 19 agreement is likely to further undermine the public’s confidence in the judiciary and has already led to harsh criticism by Georgia’s international partners. Despite repeated calls to pause nominations until the adoption of meaningful judicial reforms, the ruling Georgian Dream party approved six Supreme Court judges, ignoring the criticism of local civil society groups, but also that of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

The lack of political will to undertake meaningful changes is also true for electoral reforms in the country. Despite the resignation of the Central Election Commission Chair, the independence of the election administration remains problematic. Because of the high significance of the upcoming municipal elections, and the likelihood of serious flaws in them, intense scrutiny by international and domestic stakeholders is warranted.

The unchecked homophobic violence earlier this month was a major setback, undermining fundamental freedoms in the country and questioning Georgia’s democratic aspirations. The Georgian government failed to protect or condoned violence against its citizens by far-right groups, tacitly or openly supported by representatives of the Orthodox Church. The Tbilisi Pride march was canceled after participants and journalists were violently attacked by far-right mobs, amidst inadequate police protection. The pogroms on the media and LGBTQI community have led to the physical injuries of dozens of journalists and media workers, the death of a cameraman Lekso Lashkarava, and deep societal trauma. However, it should also be noted that the Georgian media and civil society demonstrated unprecedented solidarity and a commitment to the freedom of expression and equality in the country. Although police arrested several perpetrators, the organizers of the pogroms remain at large. The ruling party continues attacks on the media and boycotts critical media outlets, flouting Georgia’s obligations on freedom of expression and information.

Now more than ever, Georgia’s international partners should stand united in support of democracy and fundamental freedoms in the country. We urge you to continue your close engagement with Georgia’s leadership and speak publicly against democratic setbacks and work with Georgia’s civil society to ensure the country’s progress on the path to Euro-Atlantic integration.


Alliance of Broadcasters – AB

Institute for Development of Freedom of Information – IDFI

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy – ISFED

Transparency International – Georgia

Georgian Young Lawyers Association – GYLA

Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics

Georgian Democracy Initiative – GDI

Georgian Association of Small and Medium Telecommunication Operators

Rights Georgia

Open Society Foundation

Georgian Regional Media Association – GRMA

Liberal Academy Tbilisi

Media Development Fund

Media Rights

Media Club

TV Network

Civil Society Institute (CSI)

Democratic Research Institute (DRI)

Human Rights Center (HRC)

Shame Movement

Social Justice Center


Partnership for human rights

Pen Center

Media and Communication Educational and Research Center

Independent Journalists’ House

Green Sector

Mtavari arkhi



TV Kavkasia

Media Holding Hereti

Newspaper Batumelebi


Indigo Media



Media Holding Kronika


Investigative Journalists’ Team “iFact”

Internews Georgia


Media Group Rustavi

Kutaisi Today

Radio old town

News Agency Expressnews

TV akhali

TV Odishi

Kutaisi Post

Institute of Democracy

TV 25