Governmental changes initiated by the GoG on 14 November 2017, that were announced on 13 November 2017, present a high public interest, as their implementation will have a strong impact on the performance of the Government and execution of its functions and duties and protection of fundamental human rights.
CENN believes such decisions, especially considering the historical context (an intensive EU integration process and introduction of democratic values against the background of complicated social and economic conditions) requires an in-depth analysis and extensive discussion involving all layers of Government, civil society, the EU, and the diplomatic corps, which are supporting important reforms and programs in the country.
Based on CENN’s preliminary assessment, the GoG’s announcement risks decisions being made in haste, without justification and public participation, in a non-transparent manner. This has the potential to hamper the democratic development of the country and harm the international image of Georgia as a partner country. The primary area of concern is the abolishment/reorganization of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia (MoENRP).
Based on the above stated, CENN urges the GoG to:
– Present to the public strong justifications for the necessity of the announced changes (abolishment/reorganization of MoENRP);
– Prepare and present for public discussions a detailed handover and implementation plan of the MoENRP’s responsibilities (including the obligations under the EU–Georgia Association Agreement and other international agreements), functions, current programs, and policy documents to the respective agencies;
– Determine a reasonable timeframe for the public (including international society) to conduct detailed analyses of the presented plan and provide feedback for its improvement;
– Develop and present to Parliament the set of announced changes only based on the plan coordinated via the proposed participatory process.
Consideration of the above recommendations will ensure that the GoG guarantees the protection of state and public interests, proper planning of changes and effective execution of respective responsibilities by government agencies. In addition, CENN commits itself to cooperate in the development and implementation of any alternative processes conducted in a participatory way.