The Committee discussed the optional Protocol on Right of the Citizens to participate in the Activity of the Local Authority introduced by the Deputy Regional Minister, Mzia Giorgobiani.
Civic engagement in decision-making by the local authorities is paramount for democracy and municipal development. Since 2004, Georgia is the party to the European Charter of Local Self-Government.
The preamble of the Charter underlines that the right of the citizens to participate in public administration is the fundamental principle of democracy. However, the Charter fails to provide direct engagement of the citizens and thus, in November, 2009 the Charter was supplemented with the protocol on Right of the Citizens to Participate in the Activity of the Local Authority binding for the signatory states to allow every citizen be engaged in self-government activity.
“Georgia signed the Charter in 2002, and ratified in 2004. Providing the decentralization and self-governance reform in Georgia, adoption of this instrument is paramount. Despite that legislation of Georgia and the Municipal Code recognize this fundamental obligation under the Article 11, as well as the guarantees of the citizens’ participation, we shall as well join the countries ratifying the Utrecht Protocol. I believe the Municipal Code shall be supplemented with civic participation and we shall as well facilitate to civic engagement in various decision-making. It will be guaranteed under the record in the Municipal Code, though we also want to introduce new initiatives”, - the reporter noted.
The Committee approved the document.
“In 2018, the EU Integration Committee approved the recommendation of Zaza Gabunia to ratify the protocol. I hail that the Municipal Code adopted in 2014 is based on this fundamental principle taking the European Charter and Optional Protocol into account”, - Tamar Khulordava noted.