In his opening remark yesterday, MEP Mamikins said that the country “has undertaken substantial reforms for the successful implementation of the Association Agreement,” and that the AA has “a very positive effect on the EU-Georgia relations.”
“Georgia is the example proving that the EU structural foreign policy works,” he told the European lawmakers, adding that although Brussels “is still silent on concrete membership process, the Georgian side puts a lot of energy into it.”
The Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn addressed the MEPs as well, saying the report demonstrates “the achievement and progress” made by Georgia in implementing of the Association Agreement, as well as “the positive trends in terms of closer links with the European Union.”
The Commissioner, however, noted that ensuring proper functioning of labor market, efficient social protection mechanism, strengthening economic governance and public financial management, as well as the business environment and financial infrastructure, are some of the areas that “require further improvement.”
#Georgia’s implementation of its #AssociationAgreement is largely positive, but worrying concerns over foreign interference and #corruption persist https://t.co/7QEC4C4wnl @andrejsmamikins @JHahnEU @eu_near #MEPs pic.twitter.com/t5e2CJATyy
— EP Research Service (@EP_ThinkTank) November 13, 2018
At the plenary debates, MEP Clare Moody (S&D, United Kingdom) said “Georgia is a frontrunner in the region; it is a star in the region for its commitment to European values, underlining that Georgia’s future is European.” The MEP also welcomed the country’s “cross-party and popular support” on its European integration path.
MEP Victor Bostinaru (S&D, Romania) spoke at the sitting as well, saying Georgia is a “key country” for the European Union and that it has made “incredible progress” in terms of implementing the Association Agreement.
MEP Heidi Hautala (Greens/EFA, Finland) also underscored that “in certain international rankings Georgia does better than many EU member states.” “We see that Georgia is steadily doing progress, and we have to encourage Georgia to do even more,” she noted.
According to MEP Charles Tannock (ECR Group, United Kingdom), the “overall the picture [in Georgia] is one of progress,” but “more work” needs to be done in areas such as the judiciary reform and fighting high-level corruption.