Public Defender's Meetings in European Parliament

On November 24-26, 2015, Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili, Deputy Public Defender Natia Katsitadze, Public Defender's Parliamentary Secretary Ekaterine Popkhadze and Head of the Department of Equality Maka Stevenson paid an official visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Meetings were held with European Parliament Vice-Presidents Ulrike Lunacek andMirceaPascu, as well as the Head of the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee, Karim Sajjad, and members of various political groups of the European Parliament.

The Public Defender met with foreign policy and diplomatic advisers to the President of the European Parliament. A joint meeting was held with representatives of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the EU Foreign Policy Directorate.

The Public Defender briefed the Members of the European Parliament of this year’s state of human rights in Georgia, as well as the activities and reports of the Public Defender's Office.

Implementation of the visa liberalization action plan by Georgia, efforts for elimination of discrimination, challenges in this area and the necessity for strengthening the Public Defender as an equality body, were discussed at the meetings.

The Public Defender stressed the importance of creation of independent investigative mechanism and labor inspection; underlined shortcomings in the judicial system, especially the promotion/appointment of judges and ineffectiveness of the existing mechanism of launching disciplinary responsibilities against judges. The Public Defender introduced his assessment of the reforms in Georgia’s prosecutor’s office and the planned activities in this area. He also talked about violation of human rights in the occupied territories and restriction of the right to education in the Gali district.

During the visit, the Public Defender attended the debates on Georgia at the plenary session of the European Parliament on November 25.

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