Today is one of the most important days for Georgia on its European Union (EU) integration path as the country’s Association Agreement (AA) with the EU is fully and officially coming into force.
Georgia and the EU signed an AA on June 27, 2014 and today, July 1, the AA and its inclusive Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) deal fully entered into force.
From today all the provisions of the AA are functioning, which guaranteed Georgia’s political and economic integration with the EU.
The additional regulations which were introduced today were related to:
Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Georgia’s process of implementing political, trade-economic, social and legal standards in a European way was now irreversible.
Last month the EU Foreign Affairs Council announced its decision to end the procedures needed for ratification of the EU-Georgia AA deal. The Council said Georgia’s AA would fully come into force on the first day of July 2016.
Georgia started negotiating with the EU about its AA deal in July 2010, while negotiations regarding the economic part of the agreement – the DCFTA – started in December 2011.
During the negotiation process 14 plenary sessions were held to discuss the political section of the AA, six rounds of talks were about the DCFTA and around 100 video conferences were held.
Negotiations ended in July 2013 and the AA deal was initiated in November 2013 at the Vilnius Summit and signed on June 27, 2014 in Brussels.
All essential elements of the AA partially came into force on September 1, 2014. Before the document could be fully implemented, the national parliaments of all 28 EU member countries needed to ratify the agreement.
In December 2015 Belgium was the last – the 28th – EU member state to ratify Georgia’s AA deal.