Georgian President: Next generations will not forgive us if we lose our chance to join Europe
Georgian President’s Independence Day address
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili spoke at an event dedicated to the Independence Day of Georgia and said that “next generations will not forgive us for having a real chance to join Europe, but not using it”. According to the President, Georhia cannot properly continue the legacy of a fair trial, which is a shame.
Salome Zurabishvili emphasized and formulated four common values, which included everything that “is the key to our European future today”:
“1) A fair trial, which goes back to the centuries-old history of Georgia and is based on the monuments of Georgian law: this is the customary law of antiquity, the Book of All Human Errors of the 13th century, the laws of the 14th-century King George the Magnificent and Vakhtang’s collection of laws. A unique collection of legal monuments. The history of Georgian law would have adorned many European countries, and it is a pity that today we cannot properly continue this legacy.
2) The cornerstone of Georgian culture was considered to be the defining European values - tolerance and diversity. Even today, we and Europe are obliged to continue this tradition.
3) Christianity in Europe and Georgia equally instructed us to recognize a person as the center of the world and, therefore, to respect and protect all their rights. And when I say man, I say woman. On the way to Europe, this is also on the agenda.
4) Finally, balancing power to avoid the temptation of authoritarianism. The first sketch of Queen Tamara is associated with the division and balancing of the executive and legislative branches of power in the form of a “tent” and “hall”, which is considered one of the foundations of Georgian parliamentarism”.
According to the President, May 26 is not only a day of a revival of the past, not an ordinary holiday but also a day of reflection:
“A day when we should think about our country and ask ourselves if we are doing everything for its future, well-being of its people, its independence and freedom. This question should be asked by everyone, every citizen, every child in this country”.
Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia became independent 104 years ago. In 1918, the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic was proclaimed for the first time, which soon broke up into three states. Initially, on May 26, 1918, the Democratic Republic of Georgia was proclaimed, and on May 28, 1918 – the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the Republic of Armenia.
“From now on, the people of Georgia are the bearer of sovereign rights, and Georgia is a full-fledged independent state”, says the Act of Independence of Georgia, adopted by the National Council on May 26, 1918, at 5:10.
Thus, the first Georgian republic was created, based on the principles of freedom and democracy, which lasted only three years. On February 25, 1921, the Red Army invaded Georgia and it became a part of the Soviet Empire.
These three years, full of short but great achievements and mistakes, are very important pages in the history of Georgia. However, this period is still little studied and leaves many questions unanswered.