MEP: “good news” EU Commission head put Georgia on “same level” with Ukraine, Moldova

Nacho Sánchez Amor, a member of the European parliament, called on all political parties in Georgia to work together for Georgia’s membership candidate status. Photo: Vincent Doornick, 14 Sep 2022 - 16:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Nacho Sánchez Amor, a member of the European parliament, on Wednesday said it was “good news” to see the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, put Georgia “on the same level as Ukraine and Moldova” in her recent address to the parliament.

The MEP was referring to a speech by von der Leyen on Wednesday that told citizens in countries of the Western Balkans as well as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia “you are part of our family, your future is in our Union, and our Union is not complete without you”. 

Von der Leyen’s words were a “positive signal” ahead of the forthcoming decision of the European Council on Georgia’s membership candidate status, Sánchez Amor said, after the body granted the country the European perspective and gave it several months to meet 12-point conditions for obtaining the status.

Slamming the Council for not granting Georgia a membership candidate status like Ukraine and Moldova, the European parliamentarian stressed “I said at the time and I still think that putting Georgia on a different level, unlike Ukraine and Moldova, was not a wise decision, because instead of contributing to peace and depolarisation [on the domestic political environment], the opposite [has] happened”. 

In his comments, the MEP called on “all political players” in the country not to “waste time on arguing or minor issues” and work together for the country’s European integration. 

“What we expect from Georgia is to overcome the polarisation that paralyses progress. What we would recommend to any political power in the country is to sit together and talk about the agenda that concerns the meeting of conditions [for EU membership candidacy]”, he noted.

This recommendation applies to both the government and the opposition, any political party and the civil sector.  What we expect from Georgia, as a country and a society, is the ability to overcome polarisation, because it is an obstacle to any type of progress", Sánchez Amor added. 

Shortly after unveiling the strategy for the fulfilment of the EU conditions in June, the ruling Georgian Dream party invited the opposition and all interested parties to become involved in the work of several parliamentary working groups for obtaining the membership candidacy.

However, the largest opposition group, the United National Movement, two other parties and several opposition MPs have refused to participate in the process and instead launched a parallel working group, receiving backlash from domestic and foreign politicians and MEPs.