PM Bakhtadze at EaP Conference: Georgia ‘Deserves More’

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze took part in the high-level conference marking the tenth anniversary of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative in Brussels on May 14.

In his opening remarks at the conference, PM Bakhtadze said the past ten years “has been a remarkable journey” for Georgia, and that the country has achieved a lot on its EU integration path.

“The [EU-Georgia] Association Agreement/DCFTA and the visa-free travel are historical accomplishments for Georgia, but at the same time we have a vision to go beyond this success. Georgia is regarded as a frontrunner in the EaP and we think we deserve more,” he noted.

“Ten years ago, the EaP was a brilliant idea, it was a brave and a visionary idea, [but] after ten years we need to have another big idea so that all the nations are confident that they have a tangible benchmark to proceed,” the Prime Minister added.

“We also understand that there are challenges within the EU when it comes to the political decision, but at the same time we think that Georgia is ready to go beyond, and we think that a very tangible step forward will be to start the sectoral integration process,” he also noted.

Bakhtadze also stressed that “together with Georgia, the European family is stronger,” and that without the Black Sea “it is impossible to create a sustainable security architecture in the European Union.

In Brussels, the Georgian Prime Minister held a face-to-face meeting with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, as well as with his Moldovan counterpart, Pavel Filip, the Vice-President of European Investment Bank, Vazil Hudák, and the First Vice-President of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Jürgen Rigterink.

The Eastern Partnership was launched in 2009 as a joint policy initiative to promote political association and economic integration between the European Union, its Member States and its six Eastern neighbors: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

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