Oliver Varhelyi, the EU commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement, on Tuesday recognised the “active work” of the Georgian government on fulfilling the conditions outlined by the European Union for granting the country the membership candidate status.
Speaking at a joint briefing with Georgian prime minister Irakli Garibashvili in Tbilisi, the EU official said in the “coming weeks and months” Georgia would have to “make a big effort to show that it is ready to become a candidate for European Union membership”, emphasising the outcome would only happen through united efforts of all players “inside and outside” the country.
The commissioner also pointed out he was happy to see the steps being taken in the country for the objective, including “important decisions” and proposals being prepared in the Georgian parliament.
He added the bloc was already seeing positive changes in the direction of reforming the judicial system and progress in combating corruption, noting Transparency International’s remarks on the country’s “positive practice” in the latter objective and its position compared to other European countries in the work.
Varhelyi also told the press conference the country needed to “work a lot” in order to create a fully independent anti-corruption agency and implement a bill on deoligarchisation, while also intensifying its fight against organised crime. The EU official added the faster the country fulfilled the EU priorities, the sooner its citizens would see the “benefits” stemming from the bloc’s membership candidate status.