Georgian opposition lawmakers have addressed EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi to facilitate the transparency over Georgia’s process of completing the EU questionnaire.
In the missive, dated April 14, the MPs said despite rising public interest the Georgian Dream government has shown reluctance to publicize the contents of the questionnaire, citing the need for the EU authorization first.
“It is our understanding that after informing the EU,… the Georgian government has a discretion to make the EU questionnaire public. We would like [to] request your kind assistance in facilitating the relevant process with the Georgian authorities.”
“If any EU procedures are precluding the government from doing so, we would also appreciate to be informed regarding those,” MPs added.
Georgian opposition lawmakers also said despite differences with the Georgian Dream authorities they “strongly support the success of Georgia’s bid for the EU membership.” “…Becoming a member of the European Union is a historical choice of the Georgian people.”
But the letter said, without substantial reforms, “Georgia’s progress on difficult road of the EU membership will be uneasy.”
The list of signatories includes independent lawmakers Armaz Akhvlediani and Tamar Kordzaia, Teona Akubardia of Strategy Agmashenebeli, Ana Buchukuri of For Georgia party, Khatia Dekanoidze of the United National Movement, Lelo MPs Salome Samadashvili and Ana Natsvlishvili, and Khatuna Samnidze of the Republican Party.
Governing Georgian Dream party chairperson, Irakli Kobakhidze on his part said, it should be agreed with the EU first before making the questions and answers public, but added that those “not undermining the state” will be engaged in filling out the questionnaire.
On April 12, Georgia’s 20 civil society organizations also appealed both Commissioner Varhelyi and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, stressing “that the EU integration process should be transparent and inclusive.” “We consider the involvement of civil society particularly important in this process.”
Commissioner Várhelyi handed over the membership questionnaire to Georgia’s Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili in Luxembourg on April 11. Georgia now has a month to fill out a lengthy document.
The decision on granting Georgia an EU membership candidate status will be made during the Council of the EU meeting this June, as per the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
Georgia followed the suit of Russia-invaded Ukraine to fast-track its EU application on March 3. Later that day Moldova has also appealed for the membership.