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PACE Autumn Session 2014:

PACE Autumn Session 2014: “The functioning of democratic institutions in Georgia” -report highlights the repatriation process of the Meskhetian Turks

The Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) has submitted and presented a report on “The functioning of democratic institutions in Georgia” during the Parliamentary Assembly on October 1 (autumn session 2014).  The report’s co-rapporteurs are Mr Michael Aastrup Jensen from Denmark (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) and Mr Boriss Cilevics from Latvia (Socialist Group). Georgia’s obligation to repatriate the deported Meskhetian Turks, a commitment undertaken at accession to the Council of Europe, is one of the main topics of the report. 

The Monitoring Committee confirms its commitment to follow closely the implementation of Georgia’s obligations. The Committee calls upon the Georgian authorities to develop a comprehensive repatriation strategy and recommends the removal of any barriers to repatriation that may exist in countries of origin within the Council of Europe framework.  The report states a total number of  5841 eligible applications  for repatriation – concerning 9 350 individuals – that have been received by the Georgian authorities. Approximately 1500 repatriate statuses have been granted. However, only very few persons have actually repatriated until now. The co-rapporteurs underline that the repatriation programme seems to have been mostly focused on providing repatriate status, and not on facilitating the actual repatriation itself.

FUEN member-organisation VATAN, the International Society of the Meskhetian Turks, is conducting a series of meetings with PACE officials from 29 September – 03 October 2014 in order to share their vision about a viable repatriation strategy.