Gov’t has ensured “all possible progress” for EU integration - PM

Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili told Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on Monday that the current Government had ensured “all possible progress” for the country’s EU integration. Photo: Government press office, 30 Jan 2023 - 17:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Government has ensured “all possible” progress for the country’s European integration over the past decade, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on Monday at his joint briefing with visiting Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer. 

The Government press office cited the PM as pointing to the 2014 signing of the Association Agreement, as well as agreements for a free trade deal and visa-free travel, with the European Union.

He also pointed to last year’s granting of a European perspective to Georgia by the bloc and its provision of priorities for eventually granting the membership candidate status to the country.

Expressing gratitude to the Austrian Government and Chancellor for their “firm support” for his country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and its EU integration aspirations, the Government head stressed the “majority” of the 12 conditions for the candidate status had been “fulfilled”. 

He said several bills related to the implementation of the requested reforms had been forwarded to the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe for feedback, noting the “complete fulfilment” of the conditions also required the engagement of domestic opposition parties. 

For instance, the implementation of the first condition - the depolarisation of the current Georgian political environment - will not be possible without the opposition’s involvement”, the PM said, and noted his office was “always ready” for a “constructive dialogue” with the opposition.

Georgia applied for EU membership in March 2022, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February.