EU Parliament President congratulates ratification of EU-Georgia deal

Schulz believed the AA was “nothing less than a historic moment” in the relationship between the EU and Georgia., 19 Dec 2014 - 11:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

European Parliament President Martin Schulz has "warmly welcomed” the ratification of the Association Agreement (AA) between the European Union (EU) and Georgia and said it was the result of the efforts of Georgian authorities within the Eastern Partnership program.

Members of European Parliament backed the AA by 490 votes in favour to 76 against, with 57 abstentions today, December 18.

Schulz believed the AA was "nothing less than a historic moment” in the relationship between the EU and Georgia.

"The European Parliament is confident this agreement will be a stepping stone to further reforms to create a democratic society characterised by pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity, equality and human rights,” Schulz said in a press statement on Thursday.

"It is now essential for Georgia to fully implement the agreement and to demonstrate its firm commitment to the shared values and principles of the European Union. Upholding the rule of law and pursing further reforms to the judiciary are of particular importance.”

Schulz expressed confidence that the conclusion of the agreement was supported by an overwhelming majority of European Parliament members, who were aware of the continuing efforts of Georgian authorities as the country embarked on a major reform process.

The European Parliament Commissioner believed European Parliament remained a dedicated partner and friend of the Republic of Georgia and looked forward to furthering fruitful cooperation.

So far 12 EU member states have ratified AA deals between Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine with the EU. These countries are Denmark, Sweden, Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Slovakia, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria.

EU association deals need to be ratified by all 28 EU member countries before they can be fully implemented.

The AA deals were signed by Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova and EU representatives in Brussels on June 27.