Georgia “deserves EU candidacy”, says PM in “key message” at CoE Summit

  • Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili will address the fourth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe in Reykjavik. Photo: Government press office, 17 May 2023 - 11:28, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Wednesday said his country’s “key message” at the ongoing Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe in Reykjavik was that it “deserved” to receive the European Union membership candidate status by the end of this year. 

In comments ahead of his address at a session bringing together top officials from 46 CoE member states, Garibashvili stressed the European integration was the choice of the country’s population. 

Consequently, my message will be once again that our country should receive the well-deserved status, because it will be a message from Europe to our population, our people, our country. And we do not expect any other decision”, Garibashvili said.

The PM claimed approving the status for Georgia was “expected” if the country’s European partners “really wanted” to put an end to a polarised political environment in the country, ensure peace and stability and a continued path toward Europe.

He also acknowledged that “however, we must work hard, of course, to convince our European friends that there simply is no alternative [to granting Georgia the status]”.

Welcoming the Summit as “far-reaching”, the PM said he would also speak about the country’s “successful reforms and challenges”, both in his address and in bilateral meetings, along with discussing challenges Europe faced on the backdrop of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.