The EU-Georgia Association Council held its fifth meeting in Brussels on March 5, taking stock of “progress in the implementation of the EU-Georgia association agreement, including the deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA).”
The Council, a joint body established to supervise the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, was chaired by Georgia’s Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini led the EU delegation.
According to the EU-Georgia press statement issued after the meeting, the Association Council “took note” of the 2018 Association Implementation Report on Georgia and positively assessed the state of the EU-Georgia relations since the last Association Council in February 2018.”
“The EU invited Georgia to identify concrete products having export potential to the EU, on the basis of which assistance will be provided,” the statement reads, adding that, among others, the sides “welcomed successful implementation of structural reforms and underlined the importance of ongoing reforms related to the improvement of the investment climate in Georgia.”
EU also “acknowledged the importance of EU-Georgia cooperation in the field of foreign and security policy and underlined that Georgia continued consolidating its position of a strategic partner of the EU in the region.”
Today's 🇪🇺🇬🇪 Association Council reviewed the state of EU-Georgia bilateral relations and took stock of progress in the implementation of the EU-Georgia association agreement.
— EU Council Press (@EUCouncilPress) March 5, 2019
At a press conference following the Association Council meeting, PM Bakhtadze said EU-Georgia trade relations are “steadily increasing,” and that the Georgian businesses are “greatly benefiting from the opportunities” offered by DCFTA.
According to the Georgian PM, at the meeting they discussed concrete steps aimed to promote Georgian products on the EU market, and the ways for enhancing EU-Georgian economic ties.
On her part, Federica Mogherini noted that “European Union is fully committed to exploring the full potential of our partnership… including the export and growth potential offered by DCFTA we have in place.”
The EU official also noted that at the Association Council the parties discussed “importance of continuing the good work already done in the area of rule of law and for Georgia to further strengthen its judicial institutions in a transparent manner.”
Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, also made remarks at the press conference, noting that at today’s meeting the parties also “agreed on importance of an inclusive political environment, need to promote free and independent media and respect to the rule of law and judicial independence.”
Hahn said, EU will continue to support Georgia also in these areas, “especially with regard to supreme court judges selection criteria process and appointments,” and hoped it “will be inclusive and transparent as it is key for the entire judicial system in Georgia and successful judicial reform.”