EU’s decision on Georgia’s candidacy will “reveal attitude to country’s struggle” - Parliament Speaker

Shalva Papuashvili said the status would also be a “message to Russia”. Photo: Shalva Papuashvili’s Facebook, 28 Sep 2023 - 12:39, Tbilisi,Georgia

Shalva Papuashvili, the Georgian Parliament Speaker, on Thursday said the European Union “should not repeat its mistake” of failing to grant Georgia its membership candidate status in 2022 and make a positive decision on the status in December, a move he claimed would reveal the bloc’s “attitude to the long struggle of the Georgian people” for the country to regain its place in the “European family”. 

Attending the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament in Dublin, the official also stressed the bloc’s positive decision on the status would be a “message to Russia”, and urged the EU to consider the aspects with “high responsibility” before making its decision. 

By its very nature, the status is a small step for the EU, but it is a big step for us. Therefore, it is important for EU member states to fully understand this responsibility", Papuashvili said.

Highlighting the efforts - including “physical struggle” - of the country’s citizens for European integration, the official stressed he would use the Council of Europe’s high-level event to explain to EU officials that “the mistake made last year by the bloc should not be repeated”. 

Papuashvili noted during the Conference he would brief his colleagues from the EU about his Government's efforts to meet the candidacy conditions, and would also give a speech on Ukraine and the “problem of disinformation”. 

The Conference is bringing together speakers and presidents of parliament from the 46 member states of the CoE and many partner, observer and neighbouring countries, as well as the heads of several interparliamentary assemblies between Thursday and Friday.