Georgian Delegation, led by Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and EU Commissioners, headed by President of European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, discussed increasing and enhancing cooperation between Georgia and European Union at the inaugural high-level meeting in Brussels on November 21.
Touching upon the whole spectrum of EU-Georgia relations, the European Commission and the Government of Georgia agreed “to further solidify and enhance” ties through more than 25 concrete actions, advancing cooperation in framework of Association Agreement.
Speaking at the news briefing today, President Juncker said “this is a big day” both for Georgia and EU, and that the both sides give “great important” to their partnership.
“Our fates and destinies have been long intertwined and unilateral commitment of Georgia to deepen integration with European Union is a major step forward.” “The more the country reforms, the more we will support,” he noted.
I would like to personally thank @JunckerEU for his support on our European path. Today’s launch of the exceptional #EU–#Georgia cooperation format will ensure that Georgia keeps featuring as a major success story of the European integration in our neighborhood pic.twitter.com/o4Y8cGvD0X
— Mamuka Bakhtadze (@BakhtadzeMamuka) November 21, 2018
On his part, PM Bakhtadze thanked the EU Commissioners for participating in the meeting, “which is a strong message of support and readiness to engage closer with Georgia.” He said “this exceptional format” of EU-Georgia cooperation will “render concrete incentives and showcase Georgia as a major success story of the European integration in our neighborhood.”
“In fact, European integration has been one of the major drivers for development of Georgia; this is due to Georgia’s choice to be part of European family,” Bakhtadze said, stressing that the country’s “commitment to this track remains as strong as ever.”
He also underscored that this meeting will “substantially expand” EU-Georgia cooperation in various sectors, and “generate more functional links.” “It will help us towards achieving gradually the maximum possible level of convergence with the European Union. This is precisely the idea behind our initiative to develop the roadmap to EU,” Georgian PM said.
Mamuka Bakhtadze said, the parties also had opportunity to discuss security situation in Georgia, making “strong point of the country’s commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict.” However, he said the country’s “development process is taking place against a backdrop of Russian provocations, which are intensifying day by day.”
In Brussels, Mamuka Bakhtadze met also with European Council President Donald Tusk, and other EU officials, including High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.
Commissioner Hahn and Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani signed also the Annual Action Programme 2019 for Georgia and two Financing Agreements, which according to the EU Commissioner,” will further step up our support in the fields of public finance management, security and the rule of law, and energy efficiency among others.”