Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on 6 October on the sidelines of the first summit of the European Political Community (EPC) currently taking place in Prague, Czech Republic from October 6-7.
This is the first meeting of the group since it founding. Besides the 27 EU member states, 17 other countries, the President of the European Commission, and the President of the European Council are in attendance. The next meetings of the EPC are scheduled to take place in Moldova, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The Georgian Government’s press service noted that while meeting with President von der Leyen, the Prime Minister spoke about the “historic decision” to grant European perspective to Georgia while pointing out that the country “is doing everything to take the next step toward EU membership and receive the EU candidate status.”
In that context, Prime Minister Garibashvili brought attention to the European Commission’s 12 recommendations for EU candidate status and emphasized that “this inclusive process enables every branch of government, alongside the opposition parties, and civil society to become fully engaged in the implementation of the priorities…”
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The conversation also touched on the ongoing war in Ukraine and its impact on Georgia, the wider region, and the world.
Georgia’s further alignment and infrastructural communication with the EU in digital, transport, and energy areas were considered as well.
On her part, President von der Leyen tweeted after the meeting, “The EU remains committed to Georgia’s security and territorial integrity.”
“We also want Georgia to advance and succeed on its EU path. Reform efforts must be sustained,” she underscored and added that the European Commission “is ready to support in this process.”
High-level Thematic Discussion
Besides his meeting with President von der Leyen, Prime Minister Garibashvili also co-chaired a discussion titled ‘Peace and Security in the European Continent’ with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.
Per the Government’s press release, the talk focused on the current geopolitical situation in the context of the Ukraine war and the “challenges threatening global security…”
“The leaders also considered ways to continue building the European family and integrate countries associated with the European family,” the press release stated.
On that note, the discussion highlighted the potential role of the EPC as a “mechanism to open up discussions on creating new opportunities for these countries to help them integrate into the EU in the future.”
The discussion was attended by President Macron, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović, and Prime Minister of Luxemburg Xavier Bettel.
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