NGOs Appeal to European Commission to Give Positive Recommendation on Georgia’s EU Candidate Status

On November 2, nearly 170 Georgian non-governmental organizations issued a joint statement, appealing to the European Commission to recommend to the European Council that Georgia be granted the EU candidate status. “Despite the ongoing challenges that Georgia must address, as you deliver your fair assessment of progress on the 12 priorities, we strongly urge you to recommend to the European Council that they grant Georgia the status of a candidate EU member country in December 2023,” – reads the statement.

In a statement, the CSOs emphasize their common mission, which is “to safeguard and advocate for the interests of Georgian citizens and to promote and instill European democratic values in Georgia.” They also say that they share “the unwavering choice and the paramount interest of an overwhelming majority of citizens” to join the European Union.

The CSOs also state that they fully acknowledge the importance of fulfilling the 12 recommendations, as well as the “challenges associated with implementing these recommendations,” saying they have been persistently urging the government to initiate the process of application for Georgia’s EU membership. Signatories emphasize that Georgia’s European choice “remains a steadfast national aspiration,” which unites the country’s “broad and proactive civil solidarity.”

The statement also outlines that the CSOs are continuing their fight for a better democracy in Georgia, recalling the March 7-9 protests against “the looming threat of the “Russian law,” which could have distanced Georgia from the EU” although, as they say, civil society’s collective efforts “managed to overturn this law showcasing the unwavering commitment of the Georgian people to secure their clear choice of a European future for their country.”

The statement stresses that “more EU presence translates to less Russian influence in Georgia.” CSOs say that obtaining the candidate status is not only a step that will bring Georgia closer to the EU, “but also a vital means of diminishing Russia’s influence in Georgia.”

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