“Georgia holds the first or second positions among the Eastern Partnership countries in every single component.”
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On 24 March 2015, on air on Rustavi 2, the Parliamentary Majority MP, Eka Beselia, elaborated upon the achievements of the new government. She stated: “Georgia holds the first or second positions among the Eastern Partnership countries in every single component.” According to her, these components include: open governance, democratic elections, freedom of the media and human rights protection standards.

FactCheck took interest in Ms Beselia’s statement and verified its accuracy.

The Eastern Partnership is an initiative of the European Union aimed at its six neighbouring countries (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus). The initiative was enacted at the Eastern Partnership Summit on 7 May 2009 with the adoption of a joint declaration. The Eastern Partnership is based upon the commitment to the following general principles: rule of law, good governance and respect of human rights, respect and protection of minorities, market economy and sustainable development.

The European Integration Index for the Eastern Partnership Countries (EAP) is used for assessing the annual progress of the Eastern Partnership countries in terms of European integration. The Index determines the ratings of each member country.

The EAP Index has three main characteristics:

  • Shows detailed standards for assessing sustainable democracies.
  • Assesses all six of the given countries by over 800 different questions and indicators.
  • Using annual progress reports, it complements and strengthens the efforts of the European Union aimed towards the existence of democratic institutions.

The EAP Index assesses the countries based upon the following criteria: elections, freedom of the media, human rights, independent court system, public administration quality, fight against corruption and accountability.

The EAP Index 2014 Report includes the period from January 2013 to June 2014 and reflects the progress in the field of democratic standards in the Eastern Partnership member countries. According to the Report, the indicators of the Eastern Partnership countries look like this:

 

Indicator

Moldova

Georgia

Ukraine

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Belarus

Elections

0.83

0.80

0.52

0.46

0.06

0.15

Freedom of the Media

0.67

0.67

0.60

0.56

0.23

0.19

Human Rights

0.74

0.70

0.73

0.58

0.47

0.15

Independent Court System

0.83

0.88

0.47

0.73

0.27

0.24

Public Administration Quality

0.75

0.58

0.60

0.62

0.44

0.45

Fight against Corruption

0.73

0.81

0.60

0.68

0.22

0.42

Accountability

0.81

0.67

0.75

0.64

0.37

0.30

Overall

0.77

0.73

0.61

0.61

0.30

0.27

 

As the table above reflects, Georgia holds the first place among the Eastern Partnership countries in the fight against corruption and the independent court system. It also shares the first place in the freedom of media with Moldova. In the elections component, Georgia holds the second place, following Moldova, with 80 points. In terms of human rights, Georgia holds the third place, following both Moldova and Ukraine. It also holds the third place in accountability. In the public administration quality component, Georgia holds the fourth place. With the average number of points, Georgia holds the second place, following Moldova, with 73 points.

 

Conclusion

The latest report reflecting the ratings of the Eastern Partnership countries was published in 2014 and includes the period from January 2013 to June 2014. Among the Eastern Partnership countries, Georgia holds the first place in three out of six components. It holds the third place in two components, the second place in one component and the fourth place also in one component.

Hence, FactCheck concludes that Eka Beselia’s statement: “Georgia holds the first or second positions among the Eastern Partnership countries in every single component,” is HALF TRUE.

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