European Parliament aims to ratify EU-Georgia deal on Dec 18

So far the EU-Georgia deal has been ratified by 10 EU countries: Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Slovakia, Estonia, Hungary, Sweden and Croatia., 17 Dec 2014 - 13:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili believes "tangible results” of the country’s Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union (EU) will bring immediate benefits to Georgians, and in the long term will promote "broader regional peace, democracy, exchange and prosperity”.

A day before European Parliament (EP) is expected to vote and ratify the EU-Georgia AA, Garibashvili sent a letter to EP members where he expressed his gratitude for the EU’s support "at this crucial point in the history of our nation and of the wider European region”.

The EP is holding debates regarding Georgia today and tomorrow EP members will vote to ratify the EU-Georgia deal.

Georgia’s official delegation are expected to attend tomorrow's official ratification ceremony in Strasbourg, France. The delegation will include the country’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Parliament of Georgia Tedo Japaridze and chairman of the European Integration Committee of the Parliament of Georgia Victor Dolidze. 

Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili was also expected to attend the ratification process but he could not travel to France due to health-related issues. 

On December 18 the EP will adopt a resolution in connection with Georgia based on the recommendations delivered by the Georgian Government and reports prepared by EP members. Officials in Tbilisi believed the document would reflect the "progress Georgia achieved during the past years”.

Meanwhile in his letter to the EP, Garibashvili wrote the Eastern Partnership Initiative had faced many challenges but in Georgia it was a "great success” and the EU could be proud of this.

"Despite enormous pressure Georgia has held steady to its European integration path,” Garibashvili said.

"Over the last two years, the Parliament of Georgia has passed bill after bill reforming every sector of our polity and economy, with the aim of entrenching democracy, ensuring the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. In bringing Georgia closer to European standards, we have encountered many challenges along the way and our journey is by no means over but we are firmly set on the right path.”

The PM believed the AA provided critical framework for Georgia’s continued reform process and the prospect of further European integration was a goal which the people of Georgia and the country’s leaders were determined to fight for and achieve.

"As we implement the Agreement and align with European standards, trade and investment flows are growing rapidly,” Garibashvili said.

"Further institutional reforms and capacity building increase the stability of our country which is a strategically-located business hub and critical energy transit route. We are and wish to remain a reliable ally for the EU and NATO in a volatile region, contributing to regional and international security.”

Georgia celebrated EU-Georgia AA deal with a special concert in Tbilisi's centre on June 27, 2014. Photo by N. Alavidze /

Georgia signed the EU Association deal on June 27, 2014. The document must be ratified by all 28 EU member states and the EP before it can fully come into force.

"The full entry into force of the Association Agreement will signal the determination of the EU and of Georgia to promote and defend our shared values and deliver on our commitments. The tangible results of association, from free trade to visa-free travel, will bring immediate benefits to our people while in the longer term promoting broader regional peace, democracy, exchange and prosperity,” the Georgian PM said.

So far the EU-Georgia deal has been ratified by 10 EU countries: Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Slovakia, Estonia, Hungary, Sweden and Croatia.