“The European Union and Georgia have further intensified their relations in 2017,” with Georgia “continuing to implement its commitments under the Association Agreement,” the European External Action Service and the European Commission stated in their 2nd Joint Association Implementation Report on Georgia.
The document, released ahead of the EU-Georgia Association Council on December 8, assesses the state of play of Georgia’s implementation of the Association Agenda since the EU-Georgia Association Council of December 2016 and focuses on key developments and reforms undertaken in line with the strategic priorities agreed between the EU and Georgia.
According to the report, “with its sustained reform efforts and ambition to develop further its relations with the EU, Georgia has consolidated its position of a key and strategic partner in the region.”
“Overall, the implementation of commitments stemming from the Association Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), have continued in keeping with agreed timelines,” reads the report.
“The European Union continues to fully support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” the joint report also reads. “The EU actively supports conflict resolution efforts through the work of the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace.”
According to the document, “on security, the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime, Georgia continues to be an important partner of the EU.”
The European External Action Service said in its press release of the report that in 2017 “Georgia’s democratic institutions have been consolidated and a comprehensive legislative framework for human rights and anti-discrimination has been adopted,” but recalled that “the full range of commitments under the Association Agreement will require further legislation to be passed and in parallel the steady implementation of existing rules and standards.”
Commenting on the report, Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission, said the European Union and Georgia “have invested a lot in a strong partnership that is proving deeper day by day and that is bringing great benefits to our citizens.”
“Today’s report demonstrates clear progress in Georgia’s reform agenda. The European Union will continue to support the work that has still to be done in several important areas and will stay committed to the thorough and continued implementation of our Association Agenda,” said Mogherini.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, spoke on the report as well, saying that “we continue to see positive results of the implementation of the Association Agreement.”
“The revised EU-Georgia Association Agenda provides a practical framework of priorities for joint work until 2020. The approximation to EU standards and regulations is allowing Georgia to become more and more an actor in the international market. The EU is Georgia’s largest trade partner and 2017 looks to have brought further increases. The accession of Georgia to the Energy Community Treaty as a full contracting party in July 2017 was another milestone bringing the EU and Georgia closer,” Hahn also noted.