EU Commission’s recommendation for Georgia’s candidacy “message to Russia” - Parliament Speaker

Papuashvili said the bloc’s “message” to Russia was that the former saw Georgia as its part and not as an “abandoned periphery”. Photo: Shalva Papuashvili’s Facebook, 13 Nov 2023 - 11:43, Tbilisi,Georgia

Shalva Papuashvili, the Georgian Parliament Speaker, on Sunday said the European Commission’s positive recommendation to the European Council last week to grant Tbilisi the European Union’s membership candidate status in December was the bloc’s “message” to Russia that the former saw Georgia as its part and not as an “abandoned periphery”. 

Speaking for the Georgian Public Broadcaster, the official also said by the move the EU signalled to the Georgian population in the Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions that “their place is in the bloc as part of a united Georgia” and “in a space of economic prosperity and peace”. 

Citing German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as saying last year that “Europe should expand from Lisbon to Tbilisi”, Papuashvili said his country would finally become a member of the bloc, which he said would ensure “great benefits” for the country and “individual safety and well-being” for those living in the regions. 

This is the way for peaceful de-occupation of our territories - for our Abkhaz and Ossetian citizens to understand that being in a united Georgia is a prerequisite for their individual security and well-being. This is the way to peaceful de-occupation without additional victims", he noted. 

In its final report last week, the European Commission said it was recommending the EU candidacy for Tbilisi with nine conditions, ranging from efforts to combat disinformation and foreign information manipulation about the EU and its values, to further alignment of the country’s foreign and security policies with the bloc, to reforms in the judiciary, electoral and human rights areas.

The conditions also include ensuring a systemic approach to deoligarchisation, additional efforts for depolarising the domestic political environment and improvements to the Parliament's oversight function.