EC recommends European perspective to Georgia, candidate status once conditions met
EC recommends European perspective to Georgia, candidate status once conditions met

European Commission presented its Opinions on the application for EU membership submitted by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.  Commission recommends candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova, while it recommends a European perspective to Georgia, granting candidate status once some priorities have been addressed.

“The European Commission assesses that Georgia has a foundation in place to reach the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, even if recent developments have undermined the country’s progress; it has achieved a good degree of macroeconomic stability and has a sound record of economic policy and a favourable business environment, but further reforms are needed to improve the functioning of its market economy; and overall, Georgia has established a solid basis for further alignment with the EU acquis.

On this basis, the Commission recommends that Georgia be given the perspective to become a member of the European Union. It should be granted candidate status once a number of priorities have been addressed,” reads the press release by EC.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said at the press conference that Georgia shares the same potential that Ukraine and Moldova have, its application is strong, but for success, the country needs to set a structural reform agenda.

“Georgia shares the same aspirations and potential as Ukraine and Moldova. Its application has strengths, in particular the market orientation of its economy, with a strong private sector. To succeed, the country must now come together politically to design a clear path towards structural reform and the European Union. A path that concretely sets out the necessary reforms, brings on board civil society and benefits from broad political support. This is why we recommend to Council to grant the European perspective, and to come back and assess how Georgia meets a number of conditions before granting it candidate status,” she said.

As EU Commissioner Olivér Varhelyi stated at the press conference, the EU wants to see the end of the political polarization in Georgia.

“For Georgia, we are setting up a comprehensive list of priorities, based on which we should be able to deliver the proposer for the candidate status.  We would like to see the end of the political polarization that has characterized the country. We need the cooperation of all political parties and the delivery of the agreement that was reached with the facilitation of the European Union. This also relates to justice reform, becounce the agreement also covers that. We also need progress in the fight against corruption, where the independence of anti-corruption agencies has to be ensured. We need to step up the fight against organized crime; we need rigorous investigations, prosecutions, and a credible track record of prosecutions and convictions. Finally, on fundamental rights, we need to guarantee a free, professional, pluralistic and independent media environment for the journalists in the country,” Olivér Varhelyi said.

On 3 March 2022, Georgia presented its application for membership of the European Union.  On 7 March 2022, the Council of the European Union requested the Commission to submit its opinion on this application.