"The doors of the European Union are open. I hope Georgia's leaders will not miss this historic chance" - Josep Borrell
Borrell on Georgia’s accession to the EU
After his visit to Georgia, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrel wrote in his blog, published on the official website of the European Union, that the EU doors are open for Georgia and he hopes that Georgian leaders will not miss this “historic chance”. According to Borrel, the EU is concerned that Tbilisi has become a hub for “ferrying” Russians to Europe.
What did Borrel write? Highlights:
● One of Georgia’s main problems on the European path is its strong political polarization.
● For the country to become a candidate for the European Union, all political forces must work together constructively. The majority must be inclusive and the minority must cooperate.
● Accession to the European Union is a national goal that should be above party politics. The government and the ruling party must work to create the conditions that will make this cooperation possible.
● The government and the ruling party must work to create the conditions that will make this cooperation possible.
● The launch of impeachment proceedings against President Salome Zurabishvili has increased this counterproductive polarization;
● In order for Georgia to move quickly on the European path, all of the country’s institutions must work together. Georgian leaders must not miss this historic opportunity.
● The main message to the country’s leaders and citizens is that Georgia can count on the European Union, the EU doors are open.
The EU regrets that direct air service between Georgia and Russia has been restored, making Tbilisi a hub for ferrying Russians to Europe.
● More active engagement is needed in countering Russian propaganda and disinformation.
The EU will continue to support independent media and civil society in Georgia to increase [society’s] resilience to information manipulation. Access to independent media and objective information is the foundation of democracy.
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On September 7, the head of the EU diplomatic mission Josep Borrel arrived in Georgia on an official visit.
Before that, he spoke about Georgia-EU relations in an interview with Civil.ge.
Borell touched upon such issues as the prospect of granting Georgia the EU candidate status later this year, the impeachment process of the Georgian President, as well as the compatibility of Georgia’s and Europe’s foreign policy.
At a press conference held jointly with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Borrell said that Georgia has implemented three out of 12 EU recommendations and the remaining nine are in the process of implementation.
At the same press conference, Irakli Garibashvili called Georgia’s denial of candidate status unfair.
According to Garibashvili, Georgia will receive an action plan on de-oligarchization in a couple of weeks. The Prime Minister also expressed hope that the European Commission will assess the loyalty of the Georgian government.
As for the impeachment of the President, Garibashvili emphasized that it is a legal, not a political issue.