EURACTIV: ‘What is the Eastern Partnership and what it’s not’

David Zalkaliani [front, left] with on his back PM Mamuka Bakhtadze, with Johannes Hahn and Jean-Claude Juncker. Photo: Europe by Satellite., Jul 08, 2019, Tbilisi, Georgia

EURACTIV has published an exclusive op-ed written by Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani in its opinion section, in which Zalkaliani writes that Georgia intends to continue on its path to EU membership and wants to use all available opportunities and instruments to achieve this objective.

Zalkaliani submitted the op-ed ahead of the Batumi Conference “Georgia’s European Way” which will take stock of the past ten years of the Eastern Partnership and look at the way forward.

The ten-year anniversary and its celebrations at the Batumi international conference is a good opportunity to highlight political meaning and importance of Eastern Partnership from the perspective of Georgia… With the hindsight of ten years we can confidently say that the EaP was bold, visionary and political initiative. It brought all six partners closer to the EU in accordance to their individual preferences, ambitions and starting points”, wrote Zalkaliani.

Zalkaliani wrote that Georgia moved from being a country outside of the EU’s neighbourhood to being among the closest strategic partners and an associated state with the EU. 

He drew attention to the fact that Georgia enjoys free trade with the EU, visa-free movement and has access to numerous EU programmes and agencies.

Georgia intends to continue on this path and to use all the available opportunities and instruments with the aim of advancing on the path of membership by strengthening its institutions, by sharing values, by deepening sectoral and economic integration and by being ready when the EU is ready”, wrote Zalkaliani.

Zalkaliani wrote that more potential can be found in increasing connectivity, improving economic development, encouraging investments and creating a common economic, cultural and political space between us and the EU. 

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