Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, on a two-day trip to Brussels, met today with European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.
PM Garibashvili and President Michel discussed in detail the next steps of Georgia’s EU membership bid, as well as the country’s past reforms and the implementation of the Association Agreement, the Georgian PM’s press service said.
The two officials touched upon the security environment in the region amid Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the situation in the occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
“The EU is committed to further strengthen our partnership with Georgia,” President Michel said in a tweet after the meeting, adding however that “reforms on democratization process and the rule of law are needed more than ever.”
Also on May 17, PM Garibashvili and EP President Metsola went over Georgia’s prospects to receive the status of an EU membership candidate, the Georgian PM’s press service reported.
In the meeting, the Georgian PM highlighted the importance of the European Parliament’s support for Georgia’s EU integration as the country awaits the decision on becoming a membership candidate.
The European parliament speaker stressed in a tweet after the meeting that “reforms in the judiciary, rule of law, media freedom, LGBTIQ+ and human rights remain crucial for the country’s European path.”
“Georgia belongs to the European family,” President Metsola also said.
As part of the trip to Brussels, the Georgian PM is also set to meet European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The visit follows the submission of the second, final part of Georgia’s response to the EU membership questionnaire on May 10.
The trip comes against the backdrop of concerns among the Georgian opposition that the country’s EU membership bid could be harmed by the May 16 imprisonment of government-critical Mtavari Arkhi TV Director Nika Gvaramia, the first opposition-minded TV chief to be incarcerated in independent Georgia.