Michael Rupp, Head of Sector regarding Connectivity and the Green deal in the European Commission, stated on July 13 in the European Parliament that the Commission will extend Georgia’s end-of-year deadline to fulfill the reforms it outlined for the nation’s EU candidate status till the fall 2023.
An assessment of Georgia’s compliance with the 12 recommendations will now be delivered with the Commission’s 2023 Enlargement Package, traditionally delivered in October. Rupp denoted the decision to “not rush the Georgian political elite in their attempts to depolarize the country [and] to come around the same table to thoroughly work on reforms” was made after “careful deliberation” and at the European Council’s request.
“This will give the Georgian political system sufficient time to thoroughly work on these priorities, however, work will of course not stop,” Rupp emphasized. “We have communicated to the government and will communicate to all levels that we are ready to assist the country with all of our instruments to help them address these priorities.”
Ruling Georgian Dream party Chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze welcomed the decision and said it “justified” GD’s belief that the nation was not given enough time to enact the reforms from the start.
“… It was unclear why there was a need to establish such a 6-month period,” he added. “Today, it seems, the European Union, [and] the European Commission rethought and understood this, and everything followed the logic that we were talking about.”
Vano Chkhikvadze, EU Integration Program Manager at Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF), told Publika, “I think they’ve come to the realization that it may take some time, longer than they thought, to see concrete results on these 12 areas. This was also mentioned in [Rupp’s] statements – in order for Georgia to reach a deeper understanding and to plan and implement profound reforms more time is needed.”
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