The European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) previewed on October 9, the implementation of the European Union Association Agreement with Georgia and, while welcoming progress, highlighted areas that need additional efforts for the country to get closer to the EU.
MEPs welcomed Georgia’s “sustained reform track, which makes it a key EU partner in the region” but also called on the Georgian authorities “to continue ensuring stability, further democratic reforms and economic and social improvements for Georgians.”
According to the AFET’s press office, MEPs believe that “high-level corruption, full independence of the judiciary and the depoliticization of media content remain key areas of concern” in the country.
— AFET Committee Press (@EP_ForeignAff) October 9, 2018
MEP Andrejs Mamikins (S&D, Latvia), author of the first implementation report on the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, said “Georgia has a clear aspiration to become a part of the European family and the cross-party consensus on this European agenda is very important.”
Speaking about the areas where improvement is needed MEP Mamikins, identified a number of issues concerning labor rights, economic emigration, high-level corruption, abuse by law enforcement officials, gender equality, and children’s rights.
With 43 votes in favor, 7 against and 1 abstention, Mamikins’ draft report would now be forwarded to the European Parliament plenary, where the vote is scheduled during the November sessions in Brussels.
Georgia’s trade turnover with EU-member states, according to the State Statistics Office Geostat, stood at USD 2.8 billion in 2017, with exports at USD 646.5 million (USD 572.1 million in 2016) and imports at USD 2.2 billion (USD 2.2 billion in 2016).