Civil Society Asks EU Chief to Back Georgia’s Bid

Civil society leaders, journalists and artists who have banded together in the freshly-formed public initiative “Take a Step Towards Europe” today asked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to support Georgia’s bid for EU candidacy.

The joint letter to the Commission chief said that “granting the candidacy status would be a recognition of the European aspirations of the people of Georgia and a way to accelerate the country’s progress in the policy areas of crucial importance.”

“As the European Commission is preparing its opinion on the candidacy status of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, all living generations of Georgians, including us, representatives of civil society, are filled with hope that the outcome of the process will bring Georgia one step closer to the European Union,” the letter stressed.

The signatories stated that through “three dramatic decades of Georgia’s struggle for democracy and sovereignty,” its European path has “remained a matter of the broadest consensus in Georgian society.”

“Popular support for Georgia’s European integration remains well above the ratings of approval for any party, leader, institution, or political agenda, since the absolute majority of Georgians share a unifying conviction of being Europeans to the core of their identity and see the destiny of their country in joining the European family of nations,” the missive said.

While acknowledging that much remains to be done in Georgia, the letter reaffirmed the group’s commitment as members of civil society to help the country progress towards EU membership.

The European Commission is expected to deliver its opinion on the candidacy of Georgia, along with that of Ukraine and Moldova, in June.

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