The ETUC regrets that EU membership remains closed to Georgia.
Liina Carr, ETUC Confederal Secretary, speaking ahead of the EU-Georgia Association Council meeting this evening, said “The country has advanced much further in implementing the Association Agreement than other countries and Georgian people should not be held hostage to political games.
The ETUC and its affiliates are fully committed to Georgia becoming an EU candidate country. The association agreement with the European Union already brought important breakthroughs in re-establishment of labour market institutions. The labour code was reformed, health and safety legislation adopted, labour inspection re-launched, national level social dialogue got new perspectives.
“We are deeply concerned about the evolution of the political situation in Georgia and the fact it puts at risk further reforms as well as some of the achievements of recent years” added Liina Carr.
“Candidate status should be confirmed for Georgia as soon as possible. There is still a lot to be done before Georgia can actually join the EU and being an official candidate would give it a helpful boost.”
ETUC calls for priority to be given to improved maternity protection, social care systems to encourage women to join the labour market and tackle gender inequality in employment, adequate social protection including an unemployment benefit system, promotion of freedom of association and collective bargaining, minimum wages to be increased at national level and further reinforced by collective bargaining, and reinforced labour inspection to supervise and enforce health and safety standards and labour rights.