Georgia's “rapid” EU integration hinges on meeting bloc conditions - Ambassador

The EU Ambassador said he was optimistic the work on the conditions would be expedited and conducted “inclusively”. Photo: EU in Georgia press office, 26 Jan 2024 - 15:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

Pawel Herczynski, the European Union Ambassador to Georgia, on Friday said he hoped a “prompt initiation” of accession talks between the country and the bloc could be facilitated, stressing the pace of the transition was contingent upon Tbilisi’s fulfilment of the nine conditions set out by the European Commission in November.

The Commission recommended the European Council to grant Georgia the EU membership candidate status with the conditions that range 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. 

In his press comments, the EU Ambassador said he was optimistic the work on the conditions would be expedited and conducted “inclusively”, following the Council’s move last month to grant Georgia the requested status. 

Herczynski stressed obtaining the candidate status was “not the final step”, but marked “only the beginning of the challenging journey that Georgia must undertake for EU membership”. 

[The bloc] anticipates that the work [for meeting the conditions] will be accelerated, inclusive, and constructive. I sincerely hope that we can swiftly move to the next stage, initiating negotiations on accession to the EU”, he said. 

The Georgian Parliament will on Monday host a working meeting with the engagement of the MPs from the ruling Georgian Dream party, representatives of the domestic opposition and the civil sector over the implementation of the conditions. 

The meeting comes following the Government's unveiling in late December of an action plan for meeting the conditions.