European Commission today recommended to grant EU candidate’s status to Georgia. The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced the decision at the EU press conference dedicated to the 2023 Enlargement package and the new Growth Plan for the Western Balkans.
The European Council will take the decision on granting the status in December 2023.
During the joint press-conference with the EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, the President of the European Commission said that “The Commission recommends that the Council grant Georgia the status of a candidate country on the understanding that certain reform steps are taken.”
She said that College fully supports the genuine aspirations of the overwhelming majority of Georgia’s citizens to join the European Union. She noted: “These aspirations need to be better mirrored by the authorities who should engage more with the opposition and civil society on matters of national interest. And further progress is needed by the government on the 12 priorities identified last year before candidate status can be granted.”
Von der Leyen noted that Commission acknowledges a number of positive steps made by Georgia, citing the increased opposition scrutiny of parliamentary work, and action plan on de-oligarchization (“personalized approach was withdrawn) and the set-up of Anti-Corruption bureau.
“Therefore, the Commission recommends granting candidate status to Georgia on the understanding that the government takes important reform steps.” – said the European Commission President.
She also stressed that enlargement is a vital policy for the European Union: “Completing our Union is the call of history, it is the natural horizon of the European Union.” She also stressed that completing the Union has a “strong economic and geopolitical logic ”noting that history has shown “that there are enormous benefits both for those countries which access the European Union and the European Union itself.” She in particular noted the benefit in economic, trade, as well as security dimension, stressing: “It is a driver for peace and prosperity that make our Union so special.”
This news was updated at 17:57 to include the statement made by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at the press conference.
- 15/09/2023 – Tracking Georgia’s Reforms: Last Update on Implementation of 12 EU Priorities
- 16/06/2023 – EC to Report on Georgia’s Implementation of 12 EU Priorities at GAC Meeting
- 17/06/2022 – European Commission’s Memo Detailing Recommendations for Georgia