Georgia celebrates signing Association Agreement with EU

Georgians celebrate signing AA with EU at Europe Square in Tbilisi. Photo by N.Alavidze/, 28 Jun 2014 - 02:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Thousands of Georgians and well-wishers of other nations are gathering at Europe Square in Tbilisi tonight to celebrate Georgia signing the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union (EU).

Europe Square, which lies in the heart of Tbilisi, was full of people carrying EU and Georgian flags to mark the occasion. The theme behind the celebration concert was built as the concept of establishing a bridge between Europe and Georgia. 

People watching the concert from the wall of the ancient Metekhi Church in downtown Tbilisi. Photo by N. Alavidze/

The outdoor concert started at 8.30pm and featured performances from the Georgian National Ballet and folk ensembles as well as internationally renowned Georgian opera singers Nino Surguladze, Paata Burtchuladze, Anita Ratchvelishvili and Lado Ataneli.

Katie Melua made a special appearance from London and performed a special song written especially for this occasion. Georgian singers Nino Katamadze and Niaz Diasamidze participated in the second, less official part of the concert.

President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili and Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II joined the concert and addressed the nation.

"We will be proud of today for many years to come,” said Prime Minister Garibashvili in his address.

"This is a victory which belongs to our great predecessors. This is a dream that has come true. I want to congratulate you and say that Georgian people, with their unique character and great culture, are moving towards joining the European Union,” said Garibashvili who attended the concert with his wife.

President Margvelashvili congratulated the nation on signing the Association Agreement, as well as the people of Ukraine and Moldova who also signed the document today.

"I want to thank our Parliament for their work on achieving this. I want to thank the Government for their fight to achieve this. Their work is really priceless and we have to praise it," President Margvelashvili said.

"Once again, I want to tell you that I love you very much and will be with you all the way towards our next victory," he said.

When Parliament Speaker Usupashvili spoke to the crowd, he said: "We, a small country and our people, are not concerned by the fact that we are joining a much larger union than our country."

"We are not concerned, since 13 of Europe’s 28 members have a smaller territory than ours and nine have a smaller population than us, but these people managed to find peace in a united EU and so can we," Usupashvili said.

At the end of the ceremony, the Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia blessed everyone who was involved in helping Georgia achieve today’s result. He said signing the agreement was a challenge and a "real opportunity” if people were willing.

The celebration concert was broadcast live by the Georgian National Broadcaster and watched by a large audience all over the country. The evening ended with fantastic fireworks display that lit up the night sky.

Fireworks over Tbilisi, Photo from Twitter by Otto Kobakhidze.