European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi today handed over the membership questionnaire to Georgian Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili in Luxembourg City.
“By receiving the questionnaire, we have made another major step forward on the path of our people’s national choice, European integration!” FM Darchiashvili said on Twitter. “Georgia will spare no efforts to timely fill in the document and proceed to the next stages!”
“This is the first step on your European path,” Commissioner Várhelyi told the Georgian diplomat on his part, adding “we are ready to work with you very fast to deliver the opinion to the European Council as requested.”
Following the development, Georgia now has a month’s time to fill out the document.
The decision on granting Georgia an EU membership candidate status will be made during the Council of the EU meeting this June, the Georgian Foreign Ministry reported today.
“By making an application for EU membership and receiving the membership questionnaire today, Georgia moves to a qualitatively new, much more ambitious and significant stage for the country in the EU integration process,” it said in a statement.
Georgia followed the suit of Ukraine to fast-track its application to the European Union in early March.
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili signed the application on March 3, a day after the Georgian Dream party chair Irakli Kobakhidze announced the relevant decision, citing the “overall political context and the new reality.”
The move marked an apparent u-turn in the Georgian Dream leadership’s rhetoric, as MP Kobakhidze had previously defended the stated goal to apply for the membership in 2024, arguing “a hasty initiative could be counterproductive because we have to satisfy certain terms over the [next] two years.”