Brussels, 28 May 2010
Four CoR members to monitor local elections in Georgia
Members of the Committee of the Regions will join their counterparts in the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities to monitor local elections in Georgia on 30 May 2010. Voters there will elect mayors and councillors in 64 municipalities, including five self-governing cities. For the first time, the mayor of Tbilisi will be directly elected.
On 27 and 28 May, the joint delegation will meet representatives of government and electoral bodies, including the speaker of the parliament, Davit Bakradze and the Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure, Davit Tkeshelalvili. Meetings are also scheduled with media and local NGO representatives. Discussions will be held with members of the OSCE/ODIHR delegation.
Four CoR members are among the delegation of locally-elected representatives – Teet Kallasvee, member of Haapsalu Town Council (EE/EPP), Sharon Taylor, member of Stevenage Borough Council (UK/PES), Jasmina Vidmar, member of Maribor City Council (SI/ALDE) and Uno Silberg, member of Kose Municipality Council (EE/EA) – joining ten members of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. Congress vice-president Günther Krug (DE, SOC) will head the delegation.
As part of its cooperation with the Congress, the CoR regularly participates in election monitoring at local and regional levels. Past joint missions have included elections in Serbia (2008) and in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2009), the aim being to bolster the integrity of the democratic process by bringing to light any irregularities and issuing recommendations to enable improvements. This work is aimed at fostering confidence in local and regional elected representatives and increases voter turnout.
This mission further cements the cooperation agreement signed by the CoR and the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Renewed in 2009, the agreement enables the two bodies to deepen European cooperation on local and regional democracy, devolution and self-governance in Europe.
Please click the following link for more information on the elections in Georgia.
Note to editors
A pre-election mission was carried out by the Congress at the beginning of May in Tbilisi and Rustavi to assess the situation in the country prior to the elections. Congress members met representatives of electoral commissions, government and parliament, as well as candidates from the ruling party and the opposition standing for the post of mayor of Tbilisi.
The delegation will present its findings at a press conference in Tbilisi scheduled for 11 a.m. on Monday 31 May (Hotel Ambasadori, 13 Shavteli St., Tbilisi).
The post-mission report will be the subject of a consultation process between the Congress and the CoR, following which the presidents of the two bodies will work together on the follow-up and implementation of its recommendations.
The mission's findings will feed into the own-initiative opinion on Local and regional government in Georgia and the development of cooperation between Georgia and the EU being drafted for the CoR by Jacek Protas, marshall of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie region (PL/EPP). The draft opinion is due to be discussed at the meeting of the CIVEX commission on 2 July, and adopted at the CoR's autumn plenary session.
Committee of the Regions members:
Visit the CoR's website: www.cor.europa.eu
The Committee of the Regions
The Committee of the Regions is the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. The mission of its 344 members from all 27 EU Member States is to involve regional and local authorities and the communities they represent in the EU's decision-making process and to inform them about EU policies. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council are obliged to consult the Committee in policy areas affecting regions and cities. It can appeal to the EU Court of Justice if its rights are infringed or it believes that an EU law violates the subsidiarity principle or fails to respect regional or local powers.
For more information, please contact:
Athénais Cazalis de Fondouce
Committee of the Regions of the EU
Tel.: +32 (0)2 282 2447
To read previous press releases, click here.