President Salome Zurabishvili concluded her the three-day working trip to Brussels on January 23. Along with other EU and NATO officials, Georgian leader met on January 22 with the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, and European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders.
President Ursula von der Leyen said after the meeting that she reiterated EU’s commitment to help neighbors “overcome the [COVID-19] pandemic and its economic consequences.
On its part, the Georgian President’s press service reported that President Zurabishvili and President von der Leyen discussed furthering EU-Georgia ties through sectoral integration, as well as COVID vaccine allocation.
According to the Georgian Presidential Administration, “at the meeting, Georgian President once again raised the issue of funding Georgian students, so that tuitions for Georgian citizens going to study in the EU are equal to that of local students.”
We discussed the #COVID19 situation. I reiterated that I’m committed to helping our neighbours overcome the pandemic and its economic consequences.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 22, 2021
After meeting with Commissioner Olivér Várhely, President Zurabishvili highlighted that “the road to recovery must pass through solidarity.” “I’m glad that Georgia, as one of Europe’s closest partners, can count on the support of the European Commission,” she said.
Commissioner Várhely tweeted on his part that the “EU stands by Georgia in fight against COVID-19, including when it comes to ensuring early access to vaccines.” He also said the 27-member bloc will support Georgia’s post-COVID economic development and recovery.
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders tweeted after meeting the Georgian leader that the parties discussed justice reform in Georgia.
Underscoring that “rule of law is a priority for [the EU], both domestically and beyond its borders,” Commissioner Reynders tweeted: “I look forward to seeing Georgia further advance sound reforms to ensure an independent and accountable judiciary, including at the highest levels.”
As part of her Brussels trip, the Georgian President also met European Council President Charles Michel, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, European Parliament President David Sassoli and King Philippe of Belgium.
She also held meeting and joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, underlining that “time has come for the Alliance to have more solidarity and more audacity.”
- President Zurabishvili Begins Brussels Visit
- President Zurabishvili Meets NATO Secretary General in Brussels