"Candidate status will strengthen Georgia in its historic European choice" - letter to the head of the EС
NGOs ask for EU candidate status for Georgia
A group of Georgian non-governmental organisations have sent an open letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen with the hope that the European Commission will make a recommendation to grant Georgia candidate status.
“This will be another stage in the realisation of Georgia’s historic choice, a catalyst for the continuation of democratic reforms, strengthening of state institutions, and a contribution to the security of both Georgia and Europe,” the letter reads.
According to the authors of the appeal, after gaining independence Georgia has taken important steps towards European integration, the ultimate goal of which is to join the European Union. The association agreement, which includes a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement, was named as one of the most essential.
The statement emphasizes that according to the European Commission’s interim assessment, Georgia has made some progress in various directions, although, as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell noted, there is still a lot of work to be done.
“Given the European Commission’s report on enlargement, efforts to fulfil the 12 priorities are extremely important. This process is taking place at a crucial moment on the road to the national goal of EU membership, and it must bring together all stakeholders.
Democratic reforms on the road to European integration are a complex process that requires continuous efforts. By recommending Georgia for candidate status, the European Commission will support the advancement of Georgia’s European reform programme and significantly strengthen Georgia’s commitment to achieving the goal of meeting the EU criteria.”
The letter also notes that granting candidate status in the current difficult geopolitical situation will be an important contribution to strengthening Georgia’s security.
The appeal was signed by:
- Georgian Reform Association (GRASS);
- Democracy Research Institute of Georgia (DRI);
- Sapari Union;
- Open Society Georgia Georgia Foundation (OSGF);
- “On Defence of Justice in Georgia;
- Georgian Foundation for Strategy and International Studies (GFSIS)
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Georgia applied for candidate status for EU accession on 3 March 2022, at the same time as Ukraine and Moldova. The completed application form was submitted to the European Commission in May.
On 17 June 2022, the European Commission issued a conclusion: Ukraine and Moldova were granted candidate status in order to further fulfil certain obligations. Georgia, on the other hand, was asked to first fulfil 12 points of the recommendations and then it will have a chance to get candidate status.
On 22 June 2023, it became known that Georgia had fully implemented three of the twelve recommendations, according to the interim report, which assesses the extent to which Georgia has met the 12 priorities set for EU candidate country status.
In parallel with Georgia, Moldova’s and Ukraine’s progress was also assessed.
Moldova had nine priorities to fulfil and has fully implemented three (democratic reforms, dialogue with civil society and protection of human rights).
Ukraine has now fully implemented two of the seven recommendations on judicial reform and media legislation.
The interim oral report is an important signal to countries and indicates which areas the country should pay particular attention to before the European Commission presents its enlargement package and recommendations in October 2023.