Civic IDEA published another report “Virus of Urgency”
The cases discussed above represent clear examples that the pandemic has hit the world economy on a global scale and almost every country has suffered signicant damages in this regard, although actions of governments were aimed not only at strengthening health systems but also at maintaining economic stability, which cannot be said about Georgia. According to the data from September 2020, the national currency of Georgia depreciated by 4.35 Tetri against the US dollar and the value of one dollar reached 3.3332 GEL. And in relation to the Euro, the exchange rate depreciated by 5.2 Tetri and the value of one Euro became 3.88 GEL.
The big picture allows for the government’s decisions to be carefully evaluated. Today, it is clear that the measures taken by the Government were catastrophic for the Georgian economy that was unstable even before the pandemic. Instead of a short-term model and a concrete action plan with minimal restrictions of rights that should have been offered by the Executive and the Parliament the Georgian society instead was granted strict restrictions announced by the Government. Despite the systematic removal of restrictions, citizens have lost their sense of stability because the government could at any time impose the same or harsher restrictions under a new ordinance. In addition to all this, is the fact that due to the forthcoming elections or, more generally, due to the lack of the medium to long-term plans the Georgian Executive refuses to hold a public debate in the Parliament. This sort of attitude intensies a feeling of confusion and hopelessness in society.
As we can see, both in the South Caucasus and in the Eastern European countries there are numerous facts of a “temptation” for a power grab. It is quite a difcult challenge to create a strong constitutional regime under a state of emergency as it is always in danger of being politically inuenced. Even the EU member states could not be safe from it, as we have seen in Polish and Hungarian examples. Accordingly, it is necessary to develop a mechanism that will better protect the principle of separation of powers and the interest of exercising civil rights even within a state of emergency. Otherwise, the state will be entirely dependent on the goodwill of politicians, which could lead the economic and social development of the country to a certain catastrophe. Unless the appropriate precautionary steps are taken, the emergency measures, as is their nature, will continue to exist for longer than necessary. According to the Venice Commission, the most serious human rights violations take place in the state of emergency situations. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe stated that
„The need for security often leads governments to adopt exceptional measures. These must be truly exceptional, as no State has the right to disregard the principle of the rule of law, even in extreme situations. At all events, there must be statutory guarantees preventing any misuse of exceptional measures“. Once the pandemic is over, states will face new challenges in both, socio-economic and democratic development because no one knows how easily governments will relinquish their increased powers under a state of emergency. Countries with weak democratic traditions and fragile institutions are particularly at risk.
“Fighting the pandemic with a “locked-in” attitude may create a “less open, less free, and less prosperous world.”angarishi-5-eng