Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Tuesday said the European Council’s June decision on granting Georgia a European perspective instead of the European Union membership candidate status had been “political” and “not based on merit”, with the Government head adding his team nevertheless believed the country would receive the latter “very soon”.
In his remarks at the presentation of the 2022 report on the Government’s work, Garibashvili said “all the good things, all the progress” achieved over the past 10 years on the country’s path of European integration had been the merit of the ruling Georgian Dream party.
The head of the Government also stressed the Council’s granting of the European perspective to the country in 2022 had been “difficult to imagine before”.
I would like to touch on the main event of the year, which is the decision of the European Union on granting Georgia a European perspective - [something] that was difficult to imagine before. This war [in Ukraine] accelerated the processes - we understand this well. We expected to receive the [EU membership] candidate status, although we understand very well that it was only a political decision, [and] not a decision based on merit, that Georgia did not receive the status at this stage”, Garibashvili said.
“However, we believe that our country will receive this status very soon. The reason for saying this is the successful reforms that we have carried out. The 12 recommendations [outlined by the EU for granting the status to Georgia] [...] have been thoroughly implemented with the involvement of the Parliament and the ruling team. Now we are waiting for the decision of our European counterparts”, he added.
On June 24, the European Council granted the membership candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, and said it would be ready to grant the same status to Georgia once the outstanding priorities outlined by the European Commission would be addressed by the Georgian Government.