State Minister discusses Europe’s benefits from Association Agreement

Alex Petriashvili discussed the benefits of signing the AA between Georgia and the EU for both sides. Photo by N. Alavidze, 25 Jun 2014 - 19:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia can help pioneer a new, stronger, and healthier relationship between the countries of the region and the EU, believes Georgian State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili.

He voiced his thoughts online in a European web edition of

Petriashvili discussed the benefits of signing the Association Agreement (AA) between Georgia and the European Union (EU) for both sides.

"The Agreement will send a clear message to other countries in the region that no matter the external pressure, the EU will reward progress on democracy and human rights,” he wrote.

The Minister noted the Agreement would benefit Georgia politically and economically.

"The harmonisation of standards and removal of tariffs by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) will further boost economic growth, [which is] estimated to reach as high as six percent in 2014,” Petriashvili wrote.

"In addition, Georgia has heavily invested in regional transport infrastructure alongside strategic sectors for sustainable growth including energy, education and innovation.”

As for benefits the EU would see, Petriashvili highlighted the role Georgia could play in enhancing Europe’s energy security.

"With three existing pipelines connecting Europe with Central Asia, and a fourth under construction, Georgia is the only independent and reliable gateway to transport Caspian energy to Europe,” he noted.

"Georgia’s EU integration, which ensures the country’s long term security and independence, will also help guarantee a secure and stable source of energy for Europe through Georgia. Aside from the Association Agreement, Georgia’s accession to the European Energy Community, currently under negotiation, will further strengthen this bond,” the Minister wrote.

Petriashvili stressed the Georgia-EU trade deal would also be beneficial for Georgia’s neighbours, including Russia.

"It is Georgia’s ambition to work with the EU and all stakeholders in the region to optimise the benefits of cooperation, exchange, and gradual integration for all parties,” he wrote.

"As we implement the Association Agreement over the coming months and years, Georgia can help pioneer a new, stronger, and healthier relationship between the countries of the region and the EU.

"In consolidating its ties with Georgia, the European Union can rely on an increasingly strong partner in a region full of challenges and opportunities,” he wrote.