EU granting Georgia membership status would be “just recognition” of country’s merits - PM

PM Irakli Garibashvili said in his Independence Day message his office was “sparing no efforts” for the country’s EU candidacy. Photo: Government press office, 26 May 2023 - 16:20, Tbilisi,Georgia

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Friday said a “just recognition” of Georgia’s “merits” would see the European Union grant the country its membership candidate status by the end of this year, in what he said would be a “historic step” that would help end the polarisation of the domestic political scene.

In his address for Georgia’s Independence Day in Tbilisi, the PM hailed the country’s “impressive progress” on its European integration path under the current Government, and pledged his office would “spare no efforts” to obtain the status. 

He stressed the Georgian Dream authorities had ensured “key achievements” for the country’s EU integration over the past decade by signing the Association Agreement, free trade and visa-free travel deals with the bloc and obtaining a European perspective last year, in the aftermath of Georgia’s formal application for EU membership in March. 

Welcoming the European Council’s decision in June to grant Georgia a European perspective as a “historic move”, the PM said his office and Georgian citizens were expecting the “only right and just” decision by the bloc on the candidate status. 

A just recognition of our merits by Europe would be the historic step [of granting it the status] that would help end the polarised political environment in the country, strengthen peace and stability, and [ensure] further progress of our country”, the PM said. 

The bloc is scheduled to decide on whether to grant Georgia the status in December.