Appeal to the Prime Minister of Georgia

On January 29, 2016, a letter of 22 non-governmental organizations on Georgia’s accession to European Energy Community, initiated by World Experience for Georgia (WEG), was submitted to the office of Prime Minister of Georgia. The letter appeals for acceleration of the process of EC membership negotiations, establishing the safeguards against further diverging from the requirements of the EU legislation in energy sector and organizing an in-depth open discussion of the accession process and reforms in energy sector.

Public support and involvement in this process are essential for Georgia’s European integration, energy security, and democratic development.

Appeal to the Prime Minister of Georgia on Georgia’s accession to Energy Community

Mr. Prime Minister

Negotiations on Georgia’s membership in Energy Community (EC) have started in February 2014 and were expected to be concluded by October of the same year by Georgia becoming a full member of the EC. However, despite the achieved progress on derogations from the EU and other compromises from both sides, the agreement is not still not concluded and the process is being delayed for unclear reasons.

The first address of the Prime Minister in the Parliament on December 30, 2015, has cast the doubt about the accuracy of informing the highest levels of government about the significance of EC. Namely that EC membership is not an obligation under Association Agreement, but rather a mechanism for implementation of these obligations and designed to help in reforming the dangerous for energy security environment and meanwhile allowing application of some exceptions (derogations) from EU legislation to important transit projects and market segments.  This opportunity is open till September of 2016, while if not used, the country will still have to implement the same reforms under EU-Georgia Association Agreement, but at stricter terms and in more complicated conditions.

The existing environment in the energy sector, based on ambiguous legislation, non-transparent ad hoc decisions and the practice of “memorandums” is not compliant to modern standards. It allows the space for corruption and political leverages which are extremely dangerous for the sovereignty and pro-western development of the country.  Delaying the EC membership means preserving this dangerous environment, moving further away from European way and endangering the implementation of Association Agreement.

In order not to miss the opportunity of country’s western, democratic development, we kindly request that you take the urgent measures to:

1. Organize a public discussion, with the participation of interested non-governmental organizations and the Government representatives for in-depth analysis Energy Community membership issue;

2. Speed up the negottiatiion process as much as possible, to agree on the main unresolved issues by March 2016; in order to really achieve a goal of becoming the member of EC in September, as it was announced in the parliamentary speech;

3. In the meantime, to establish the governmental, parliamentary and public control over the new agreements and memorandas in energy sector for their compliance with the requirements of EU Georgia Association Agreement.

We believe, these are extremely important steps needed to ensure country’s energy security and EU integration perspectives.

Supporters

1. World Experience for Georgas (WEG)
2. Energy Efficiency Center Georgia EECG
3. Open Society Georgia Foundation OSGF
4. Green Alternative
5. Liberal Academy
6. Georgian Business Chamber
7. Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS)
8. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
9. Georgia’s Reform’s Association (GRASS)
10. Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters
11. Center of Development and Democracy (CDD)
12. Europe Foundation
13. Civil council
14. “Qartlosi”
15. Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters
16. Georgian Trade Unions Confederation
17. Genius Loci
18. Public Advocate
19. Assosiation “Peacufull and Business Caucasus”
20. International Center for Research Training and Innovation ICARTI
21. Association “Consent”
22. Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)
23. Community Development Assosiation
24. Goergian Association “ Women in Business” (GAWB)
25. European Studies for Innovative Development of Georgia (ESIDG)