Georgian PM slams EU’s “unfair rejection” of 2022 candidacy, says Gov’t expects “rational, merit-based” 2023 decision

  • He claimed his Government had taken “all actions” to meet the EU candidacy conditions, and added the process of implementing the necessary reforms was still in progress. Photo via Government Administration

Agenda.ge, 12 Oct 2023 - 18:20, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday slammed the European Union’s “unfair rejection” of the membership candidate status for his country last year, and stressed his Government was expecting a “just, rational” and “merit-based” decision on the status later this year. 

In his press briefing with the visiting Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orbán in the country’s eastern city of Telavi, the head of the Georgian Government claimed the bloc’s repeat denial of the status in December would be “simply unclear and irrational”, considering Tbilisi’s advantage in reforms when compared with Moldova and Ukraine, the two other states in the EU’s Associated Trio which were granted the bloc’s full candidacy last year. 

Compared to them, Georgia is two, three times ahead in all directions - public administration, transparency, corruption control, justice reforms - we are an advanced country in all directions”, Garibashvili said, and added “I understand it will be a more political decision”. 

In his remarks, the PM also pointed to a “very complicated geopolitical situation” sparked by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, before making a mention of the Russia-Georgia 2008 conflict and the continuous occupation of 20 percent of the country’s territories by Moscow. 

Photo via Government Administration

Hailing the “right, pragmatic and patriotic” policies of the Georgian Dream authorities while in office since 2012, Garibashvili said the current Government's stance had ensured peace in the country and its economic advancement, as well as “all genuine achievements” on Tbilisi’s European integration path. 

The current Government and the ruling power have ensured all possible achievements on the country’s EU path over the past 10 years, including the Association Agreement, visa free travel and free trade agreements, and the obtaining of the European perspective [last year]”, Garibashvili said. 

He claimed his Government had taken “all actions” to meet the EU candidacy conditions, and added the process of implementing the necessary reforms was still in progress. 

Georgians cannot tolerate injustice and oppression the most - I would like to once again express my hope that Georgia will receive the candidate [in December]”, Garibashvili said.

The Government head also claimed Orbán had “called things by their name” by calling the EU’s rejection of full candidate status for Georgia last year “immoral and unjust”. 

In his comments on Thursday, the Hungarian PM reiterated his Government was “very disappointed and angry” that Georgia did not receive the status last year, saying countries that received it had been “far behind” in relevant qualifications.

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