PM Irakli Kobakhidze Visits Brussels

The newly appointed Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze, is currently in Brussels on his first official foreign visit in this capacity. During his visit to Brussels, PM Kobakhidze has already met with the HR/VP Josep Borrell, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, President of the European Council Charles Michel, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič and President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola.

PM Kobakhidze participated in the 8th meeting of the EU-Georgia Association Council, after which a joint press conference was held with HR/VP Josep Borrell and EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi. While in Brussels, Prime Minister Kobakhidze will also meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

PM Kobakhidze is accompanied in Brussels by a Government delegation including First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Defense Irakli Chikovani, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ilia Darchiashvili, and Minister of Reconciliation and Civic Equality Tea Akhvlediani.

Meeting with HR/VP

On February 20, PM Kobakhidze met with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell.

HR/VP Borrell congratulated Kobakhidze on his appointment and wished him success in his future work.

During the meeting, the sides discussed Georgia’s European integration process. According to the press release of the government administration, Prime Minister Kobakhidze stressed that the decision of the European Council to grant the EU candidate status to Georgia was “the result of intensive efforts and steps taken by the Georgian Government”. According to him, the Georgian government continues to work actively on its path towards European integration, in particular, to move to the next stage of opening the accession negotiations. In this regard, Prime Minister Kobakhidze spoke about the steps taken by the Georgian government and the future plans.

The sides also discussed the situation in the occupied regions of Georgia and underlined the importance of the implementation of the EU-brokered ceasefire agreement signed by Russia on August 12, 2008. Prime Minister Kobakhidze thanked HR/VP Borrell for his support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and for the EU’s commitment to the process of peaceful settlement of conflicts.

“Fruitful meeting with Josep Borrell in Brussels. Appreciated his personal dedication and his team’s support in advancing a strong partnership between EU and Georgia. Highlighted the importance of transforming the Black Sea into a sea of peace, cooperation and development,” – PM Kobakhidze tweeted.

“I was glad to host Prime Minister Kobakhidze on his 1st foreign visit as Georgia’s PM. Substantial exchange on reform efforts and EU support to Georgia’s resilience. I encouaraged to advance implementation of 9 steps, including on elections, foreign policy alignment and fighting foreign information manipulation and interference,” – EU High Representative Borrell tweeted.

Meeting with EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement

PM Kobakhidze held another meeting with EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi.

During the meeting, the sides discussed Georgia’s progress in the European integration process, focusing on the nine conditions set for Georgia in the European Commission’s Communication on EU Enlargement Policy. According to PM Kobakhidze, Georgia is seeking close coordination and cooperation with European institutions in order to meet the nine conditions.

The sides discussed EU-Georgia relations. In addition, they focused on the security challenges currently facing the region and the world. Prime Minister Kobakhidze thanked Commissioner Várhelyi for his support for Georgia’s accession to the EU.

“Pleased to meet with Oliver Várhelyi in Brussels. Highlighted Georgia’s high potential in the global connectivity map and role in promoting regional peace and stability.” – PM Kobakhidze tweeted.

“Please to welcome Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze in Brussels. It is good to see the strong commitment of Georgia to deliver on the EU accession track. We work to bring Georgia into the EU,” – Commissioner Várhelyi tweeted.

Meeting with European Council President

PM Kobakhidze also met with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. During the meeting, Irakli Kobakhidze emphasized that his first visit to Brussels as Prime Minister of Georgia was a “demonstration of Georgia’s priority to join the EU”.

PM Kobakhidze spoke about Georgia’s progress in the EU integration process and stressed the importance of the future support from the EU institutions.

The political situation in Georgia was also discussed. According to Kobakhidze, the Georgian government has already sent an invitation to the OSCE-ODIHR Election Observation Mission and the Government will ensure free, fair and transparent elections.

The parties discussed the situation in the occupied territories of Georgia. PM Kobakhidze stressed the importance of the EU’s involvement in the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

During the meeting, the sides also discussed regional and global security challenges and the ways to address them.

“Useful talks with European Council President on close and fruitful partnership with EU institutions. Appreciate Charles Michel’s support to Georgia as we progress on our EU accession path and prepare for the next important milestone – full membership of the EU! Georgia deserves dignified place in EU family!” – PM Kobakhidze tweeted.

“I congratulated PM Kobakhidze on his nomination as Prime Minister and on Georgia’s progress in its European path after the historic EUCO decision to grant Georgia candidate status. Georgia has EU’s full support for the next phase of work – the fulfilment of outstanding reforms is now key,” – European Council President Michel tweeted.

Meeting with European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management

On February 20, PM Kobakhidze held another meeting with the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.

During the meeting, the participation of Georgia in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was discussed, and Commissioner Lenarčič welcomed the steps taken by Georgia in this regard. He handed over to PM Kobakhidze a roadmap on the key criteria for Georgia’s accession to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, as well as on the instruments supporting the accession process.

The parties discussed the reforms Georgia has undertaken on its European integration path. According to the government’s press release, PM Kobakhidze spoke in detail about the key legislative and institutional measures Georgia has taken to move closer to the EU.

Commissioner Lenarčič reaffirmed his support for the country on its path to EU accession.

“Productive meeting with Janez Lenarčič in Brussels, recognizing the importance of granting Georgia candidate status. Reiterated our commitment to enhancing our partnership with the EU in the field of Civil Protection with the ultimate goal of attaining full UCPM membership,” – PM Kobakhidze tweeted.

“Georgia’s progress in building up its civil protection capabilities is impressive. Today’s I handed over the pathway towards Georgia joining the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to PM Georgia. The first step towards further strengthening Europe’s disaster management,” – Commissioner Lenarčič tweeted.

Meeting with EP President

On February 21, PM Kobakhidze met with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.

The parties reviewed Georgia’s progress in European integration. PM Kobakhidze underlined the role and importance of the European Parliament for Georgia’s accession to the EU. They assessed the cooperation between Georgia and the European Parliament and expressed their readiness to strengthen the partnership.

PM Kobakhidze and President Metsola also discussed regional and global security challenges. They focused in particular on the situation in the occupied territories of Georgia.

“Held fruitful talks with European Parliament President on Georgia’s EU accession path and importance of Georgia-EU parliamentary cooperation for making further progress on our reform agenda. Georgia as an EU candidate country is making real progress in harmonizing Georgian legislation with EU regulations bringing Georgia closer to the EU!” – PM Kobakhidze tweeted.

“Good meeting with Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze. European Parliament fully supports the European aspirations of the people of Georgia. Necessary reforms will be key as Georgia proceeds on its European path,” – EP President Metsola tweeted.

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


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