Georgian delegate’s first appearance at EU Parliament Speakers Conference

This is the first time EU Eastern Partnership Program member states are allowed attend the EU Speakers Conference., 07 Apr 2014 - 16:23, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Chairman of Georgia’s Parliament Davit Usupashvili is rewriting history by participating in the Conference of Speakers of European Union (EU) Parliaments held in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

This is the first time EU Eastern Partnership Program member states are allowed attend the Conference.

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine, regional security and justice issues and the situation facing European Union's Eastern Partnership program members as they attempted to move closer to Europe were the topics discussed at the Conference.

Georgia’s Parliament Speaker delivered a speech to the Conference guests, and emphasized that Europe was Georgia’s choice and Georgia was Europe.

We welcome the EU's decision to speed up the signing of an Association Agreement. This process should be completed in July. It is important to act quickly. It is biggest challenge of this time, Usupashvili said.
Georgia does not want to enter Europe but return to Europe. Georgia’s culture, civilization and nation's history has been written and developed in European civilization. The fact that during the last century we were not members of the EU, it does not mean we should regain a place in Europe but it means that we should return to a place that we deserve, which is a part of Europe, he said.

In Vilnius, Georgia’s Parliament Speaker held face-to-face meetings with various heads of Parliament of EU member states.

Within the Conference, Usupashvili also met with the President of the Italian Senate Pietro Grasso. In July, Italy will become the EU Presidency State. Grasso hoped Georgia will sign the Free Trade document with Europe when Italy claims EU Presidency. Furthermore, the Italian Parliament’s Speaker is expected to visit Georgia this July.

Meanwhile, Usupashvili has also met with the Marshal of the Polish Senate Ewa Kopacz. Polish officials expressed their support to the Georgian Government as the country embarked on its EU integration path.

This is not our first meeting with Georgia’s Government, we already met with Georgia’s President, Kopacz said.
[A] very important issue is singing the Association Agreement with the EU as soon as possible. As a representative of the Polish Government I would express our support to Georgia.
Economic reforms are very important. Also, soon Georgia has local government elections and involving polish advisers in the process would be favorable. I offered support to Georgia in the development of small business, Kopacz said.

The Vilnius Conference will continue tomorrow.