Parliament official expects “decisive step” from EU to encourage Georgia to “move forward” on European path

In her speech at the 12th meeting of the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee in Brussels, Botchorishvili noted the country’s 2014 Association Agreement with the EU remained an “important tool” in the process of its European integration. Photo: Parliament of Georgia, 08 Jun 2023 - 14:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

Maka Botchorishvili, the Chair of the European Integration Committee of the Georgian Parliament, on Thursday expressed her expectation that the European Union would take a “decisive step” this year based on ”fair” assessments and grant its membership candidate status to Georgia, encouraging the country to “move forward” on its European path together with other candidate countries. 

In her speech at the 12th meeting of the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee in Brussels, Botchorishvili noted the country’s 2014 Association Agreement with the EU remained an “important tool” in the process of its European integration.

The Parliament official stressed the progress achieved by the country on its European path was “undeniable”, and added “successful” reforms had transformed Georgia into an “attractive destination in many ways” and had brought the country closer to European standards.


The European Commission report, published in February this year, also acknowledged the significant progress achieved by Georgia in the process of European integration. 

As EU membership is our longstanding constitutional goal, supported by more than 80 percent of Georgian citizens, Georgia aspires to seize every opportunity to move forward and take its place within the European family”, Botchorishvili said.

“The European Council’s decision to grant a European perspective to Georgia is an important step towards implementation of our European dream.

 We committed ourselves to fulfilling the 12 recommendations put forward by the European Union, and today we can affirm that most of them are already fully addressed.

 Nevertheless, last year’s decision not to grant candidate status to Georgia left space for uncertainty and speculations.

This is neither necessary nor useful to securing our European future”, she continued.

The Georgian official highlighted the “very complex” geopolitical environment, with European security being challenged by Russian aggression in Ukraine, pointing out that “it is clear that ensuring security and unity remains an important priority for the European Union”.

It is also obvious that guaranteeing European security requires that peace and stability be achieved and sustained in the EU’s neighbourhood.

 Russia’s unjustified war of aggression in Ukraine created additional vulnerabilities in our region.

 We have to remember that 20 percent of Georgia’s territory remains occupied by Russia, and we still face illegal Russian military presence in two Georgian regions.

 This is a reality that places Georgia in a unique situation in Europe”, she noted. 

The Parliament Committee Chair also stressed Georgia’s specific circumstances by saying there was “no other state” that had to deal with the related security risks without being protected by umbrellas of a “collective security” and “economic solidarity”, while also facing occupation and illegal military presence of a neighbouring state on its territory.

Besides that fragile and vulnerable security environment, Georgia expresses solidarity and unwavering support for the Ukrainian people, who are fighting for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of their country.

 We do our best to demonstrate support for collective actions and efforts in support of Ukraine and strictly follow implementation of our policy of ensuring that circumvention of EU sanctions does not happen through Georgia”, the official told MEPs.

Botchorishvili also reviewed the resolutions adopted by the European Parliament last year concerning the political developments in Georgia, by saying they “obviously played a negative role in EU-Georgia relations and contributed to creation of misleading perceptions about Georgia”.

We have never shied away from discussing any pressing issue with members of the European Parliament, and spared no effort to have direct communications and respond to any concerns and provide clarifications where needed.

 Nevertheless, documents adopted last year by the European Parliament contained very serious inaccuracies that helped only those who are interested in creating a gap between the European Union and Georgia.

This is not a goal we wish to achieve”, she said.

The Parliament official stressed that throughout the years Georgia had proved to be a “reliable” partner for the EU.

Georgia’s efforts to contribute to global peace and security side by side with our strategic partners should not be forgotten.

 Heroic Georgian soldiers stood with NATO forces in Afghanistan until the very end of the operation, and served in EU missions in Central Africa and Mali following political decisions of the Georgian Government. And at the same time, we have always been grateful for efforts made by the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia. We see the EU as the only security guarantee in place since 2008 [the year of the Russia-Georgia war that started the ongoing Russian occupation]”, Botchorishvili continued.

In her address, the official also pointed out the “sincere commitment” of the Georgian Government to the process of European integration had translated into reformed institutions”, progress in “every field of social life”, and “increased standards” for protecting human rights and ensuring the rule of law.

But we cannot achieve anything alone, without trust-based partnership and cooperation with the EU and its institutions, including the European Parliament. 

We need you as friends, contributing to a positive dynamic in the process of Georgia’s European integration and realising how pressing the momentum is today and how important it is to create irreversible grounds for Georgia’s integration into the EU”, she concluded.