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International Reactions on EC Recommendation to Grant Georgia Candidate Status

The European Commission’s recommendation on Georgia’s candidate status was followed by international reactions, which Civil.ge has collected for our readers.

HR/VP Josep Borrell in his video address emphasized that the Georgian people have repeatedly shown their unshakable commitment to European values. According to him, it has anchored Georgia on its European path and he emphasized that he felt this during his visit to Georgia when he saw so many EU flags on the streets of Tbilisi.

“The European Commission today recommended to grant Georgia EU candidate status. The next steps are within reach if reform efforts are sustained. Georgia has a solid public administration and a vibrant civil society. And these are strong assets that can help Georgia advance its reform agenda” noted Josep Borrell. He underlined the EU’s values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law and said that the EU’s door is open and it will continue to support Georgia on its path.

Eight members of the European Parliament issued a joint statement emphasizing that “Georgia is Europe and Georgians are Europeans”, and this fact was once again recognized by the European Commission in its annual enlargement report.

“We, the friends of Georgia in the European Parliament, strongly support the Commission’s recommendation to grant Georgia EU candidate status with conditions. Despite the Georgian government’s continued reluctance to implement the Commission’s twelve recommendations and align the country’s foreign policy with the EU, the will of the Georgian people, some Georgian political leaders, including the President of Georgia, and many Georgian civil servants proved to be stronger and their Europeanness more resilient. They, and only they, deserve the credit for this historic achievement” reads the statement.

They emphasized that there is still one step to go before the EU candidacy and they will continue to monitor the situation and work hard to ensure that the support expressed by the European Commission and the European Parliament will be reflected in the decision of the European Council in December 2023.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he and Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili had a call and congratulated each other “on the European Commission’s positive assessment of Ukraine’s and Georgia’s efforts on our path to the EU”.

He thanked Georgia for sending a representative to the recent Peace Formula meeting in Malta and emphasized the need for appropriate access to medical treatment for Mikheil Saakashvili.

According to Moldovan President Maia Sandu, in a phone call with President Zurabishvili, she congratulated the people of Georgia on this milestone on the country’s path to EU membership. “We reaffirmed our common vision for a peaceful and prosperous future as part of the EU family,” she added.

German Ambassador Peter Fischer emphasized that the future is Europe: “Let’s move forward together. Towards a positive decision by the EU Council in December and membership in due course,” he tweeted.

Israeli Ambassador Hadas Meitzad congratulated Georgia!

The U.S. Embassy in Georgia congratulated the Georgians and said: “Today’s recommendation is a tremendous step forward for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration. The United States will continue to work closely with Georgia to support its EU trajectory. We believe in Georgia’s European future.”

Sheraz Gasri, France’s Ambassador to Georgia, stressed that it is critical now more than ever that the Georgian authorities show clear and strong resolve to progress on the EU path. “The Georgian people deserves the unity and the remaining efforts needed to realize their EU aspirations”.

Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Georgia tweeted: “Congratulations to Georgia on today’s decision of the European Comission It’s a tremendous step towards joining European Union. Well done!”

The Ambassador of the Netherlands, Meline Arakelian, emphasized this important step for Georgia on its way to EU integration and added: “Many have been looking forward to this moment. Final decision lies with EU Member States at European Council on December 14-15”.

NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy and Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, Javier Colomina congratulated the Georgian authorities and people, adding: “The recommendation by the EU Commission to the EU Council to grant candidate status to Goegria is a recognition of the work done by the country and its commitment with shared values”.

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee recognized that Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova all belong in the Euro-Atlantic family.

U.S. Senator Jim Risch stated: “The commission’s recommendation to name Georgia a candidate country to the EU once it meets specific conditions is a good compromise. The people of Georgia have made very clear their European aspirations. Unfortunately, the current government has not lived up to its people’s desires. If Georgia truly wishes to move towards EU membership, it’s government must actively fulfill the EU’s conditions, including conducting verifiably free and fair elections next year, respecting civil society, and beginning to align with some of the EU’s foreign policy positions – specifically on sanctions against Russia. When Georgia meets the conditions laid out by Brussels, I will be happy to see their positive movement towards EU membership.”

Michael Roth, a member of the German Bundestag, says: “The Georgian government has done too little to deserve candidate status – it has distanced itself from EU values”. According to him, the recommendation to grant Georgia candidate status is a gift to the overwhelmingly pro-EU civil society and population of Georgia.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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