A recording of Alt-Info’s Alt-News programme was disseminated in social networks. In the second part of the programme, Ramaz Nozadze, Head of the Khashuri Office of the Conservative Movement (a political party founded by Alt-Info) joined the broadcast. Together with some other issues, Mr Nozadze also spoke about EU’s 12-point plan which was given to Georgia to obtain candidate status and voiced false information.
In the footage, Ramaz Nozadze says the following (from 1:29:38): “In regard to addressing the 12-point plan – and I will always underline that – there is an article, a passage in that plan in regard to same-sex marriage and it is about the group which always seeks to bring its own agenda into this country. If the government does its utmost and fulfils all recommendations from those 12 points, this one recommendation will remain unaddressed. This means that this specific recommendation was inserted into the 12 recommendations to make sure that the 12 recommendations are not addressed and in December, European Commission and Council of Europe members, MEPs and others will turn to our government and say that a specific recommendation was not addressed and, therefore, you cannot receive the status. Therefore, I’m saying once more – it is inexplicable for me that in order to join the economic union, why it is necessary to sacrifice your identity, your traditions, rules, habits which preserved you for so many centuries and brought you here today, reject those and be admitted into the economic union because of your body, not the economy, but your body.”
In fact, the European Commission’s 12 recommendations do not contain a requirement for the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
On 3 March 2023, Georgia submitted its EU membership application. On 7 March 2022, the Council of the European Union asked the European Commission to send its own opinion of the proposal. Leaders of and governments of the European Union supported this decision at an informal meeting at Versailles.
On 17 June 2022, the European Commission published its conclusion and recommendations. The European Commission addressed the Council of the European Union with a recommendation to grant a European perspective to Georgia and also recommended granting candidate status once the 12 priorities are addressed.
The European Commission’s 12 recommendations for Georgia are as follows:
1.Address the issue of political polarisation through ensuring cooperation across political parties in the spirit of the 19 April agreement.
2.Guarantee the full functioning of all state institutions, strengthening their independent and effective accountability as well as their democratic oversight functions; further improve the electoral framework, addressing all shortcomings identified by OSCE/ODIHR and the Council of Europe/Venice Commission in these processes.
3.Adopt and implement a transparent and effective judicial reform strategy and action plan post-2021 based on a broad, inclusive and cross-party consultation process; ensure a judiciary that is fully and truly independent, accountable and impartial along the entire judicial institutional chain, also to safeguard the separation of powers; notably ensure the proper functioning and integrity of all judicial and prosecutorial institutions, in particular the Supreme Court and address any shortcomings identified including the nomination of judges at all levels and of the Prosecutor-General; undertake a thorough reform of the High Council of Justice and appoint the High Council’s remaining members. All these measures need to be fully in line with European standards and the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
4.Strengthen the independence of its Anti-Corruption Agency bringing together all key anticorruption functions, in particular to rigorously address high-level corruption cases; equip the new Special Investigative Service and Personal Data Protection Service with resources commensurate to their mandates and ensure their institutional independence.
5.Implement the commitment to “de-oligarchisation” by eliminating the excessive influence of vested interests in economic, political and public life.
6.Strengthen the fight against organised crime based on detailed threat assessments, notably by ensuring rigorous investigations, prosecutions and a credible track record of prosecutions and convictions; guarantee accountability and oversight of law enforcement agencies.
7.Undertake stronger efforts to guarantee a free, professional, pluralistic and independent media environment, notably by ensuring that criminal procedures brought against media owners fulfil the highest legal standards and by launching impartial, effective and timely investigations in cases of threats against safety of journalists and other media professionals.
8.Move swiftly to strengthen the protection of human rights of vulnerable groups, including by bringing perpetrators and instigators of violence to justice more effectively.
9.Notably consolidate efforts to enhance gender equality and fight violence against women.
10.Ensure the involvement of civil society in decision-making processes at all levels.
11.Adopt legislation so that Georgian courts proactively take into account European Court of Human Rights judgments in their deliberations.
12.Ensure that an independent person is given preference in the process of nominating a new Public Defender (Ombudsperson) and that this process is conducted in a transparent manner; ensure the Office’s effective institutional independence.
The EU’s 12 recommendations speak about strengthening the protection of the human rights of vulnerable people which implies that the quality of the protection of different minority groups and representatives of vulnerable communities in Georgia should be improved. Protection of the rights of vulnerable groups is not simply the EU’s demand but is an internationally recognised standard of human rights which is also guaranteed by the Constitution of Georgia.
Generally, anti-Western and pro-Russian radical groups have busily cultivated pro-Kremlin propaganda for years, claiming that EU membership means the rejection of national identity, traditions and way of life. One of the major disinformation messages of this narrative is that the legalisation of same-sex marriage is a key requirement for EU membership. See FactCheck’s article about this issue for more details.
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