A group of eleven civil society organizations, united under the Coalition for Euro-Atlantic Georgia, issued a joint statement on August 2, calling on the authorities to intensify the country’s NATO integration policy.
The organizations, including the Economic Policy Research Center, the Media Development Foundation and the Transparency International Georgia, stressed in their statement that recent developments in the Euro-Atlantic area, “create a favorable geostrategic environment for accelerating Georgia’s NATO membership.”
“At the Warsaw Summit in 2014, following the annexation of Crimea and the aggression in eastern Ukraine, NATO reclassified Russia from a partner to a threat,” the CSOs wrote, adding that the Alliance also adopted “significant changes” in its military strategy, while the U.S. and the EU have “consistently” maintained sanctions against Moscow.
“The Euro-Atlantic security agenda is now focused on Southern and South-East Europe, making the security issues in the Black Sea region a priority, and in this context, Georgia’s role in NATO’s security agenda could increase significantly,” the statement also reads.
The coalition members then stressed that Tbilisi’s NATO membership strategy “is not well articulated,” describing the government’s steps as “fragmented, unstructured and inefficient.”
“As it seems, the authorities’ policy on NATO membership is driven by the desire not to irritate the Russian Federation; which is absolutely counterproductive considering the experience of Baltic republics and CIS countries,” the CSOs wrote.
“Against the backdrop of the government’s passive policy, the country remains outside the Alliance’s security umbrella, making it vulnerable to Russia’s aggressive actions,” the CSO coalition also noted.
The organizations then called on the authorities to accelerate democratic reforms, and carry out “active and consistent” NATO integration policy, including through intensifying exchanges with traditional supporters and leading “result-oriented” talks with enlargement-skeptic countries.
The Coalition for Euro-Atlantic Georgia was established by 22 non-governmental organizations in September 2016 and its mission is to contribute to building of a free and independent state with effective and democratic institutions.