We committed ourselves to fulfilling the 12 recommendations put forward by the European Union and today we can affirm that most of them are already fully addressed, Maka Bochorishvili, chair of the European Integration Committee, stated during the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee (PAC) session on Thursday.
Bochorishvili says Georgia has taken serious steps to bring the country closer to the European Union.
“Since 2014, Georgia has taken serious steps to achieve progress in bringing our country closer to the European Union. Progress achieved by Georgia on its European path is undeniable. Successful reforms transformed Georgia into an attractive destination in many ways and brought the country closer to European standards.
The European Commission report published in February this year also acknowledged the significant progress achieved by Georgia in the process of European integration. As EU membership is our longstanding constitutional goal, supported by more than 80 percent of Georgian citizens, Georgia aspires to seize every opportunity to move forward and take its place within the European family. Last year, Georgia submitted its application for EU membership together with Ukraine and Moldova. The European Council’s decision to grant European perspective to Georgia is an important step towards implementation of our European dream. We committed ourselves to fulfilling the 12 recommendations put forward by the European Union and today we can affirm that most of them are already fully addressed. Nevertheless, last year’s decision not to grant candidate status to Georgia (like Ukraine and Moldova) left space for uncertainty and speculations. This is neither necessary nor useful to securing our European future,” she said.
As Maka Bochorishvili noted, the three resolutions adopted by the European Parliament last year played a negative role in EU-Georgia relations.
“It is difficult to ignore three resolutions adopted by the European Parliament last year, which obviously played a negative role in EU-Georgia relations and contributed to creation of misleading perceptions about Georgia. We have never shied away from discussing any pressing issue with members of the European Parliament and spared no effort to have direct communications and respond to any concerns and provide clarifications where needed.
Nevertheless, documents adopted last year by the European Parliament contained very serious inaccuracies that helped only those who are interested in creating a gap between the European Union and Georgia. This is not a goal we wish to achieve. I believe that we can make history together by standing together and trusting, respecting and helping each other at this critical moment,” Committee Chair stated.
According to her, over the years, Georgia has proven to be a reliable partner for the EU.
“Throughout the years Georgia has proved to be a reliable partner for the EU. Georgia’s efforts to contribute to global peace and security side by side with our strategic partners should not be forgotten. Heroic Georgian soldiers stood with NATO forces in Afghanistan until the very end of the operation and served in EU missions in Central Africa and Mali following political decisions of the Government of Georgia. And at the same time, we have always been grateful for efforts made by the EU monitoring mission in Georgia. We see the EU as the only security guarantee in place since 2008.
The sincere commitment of the Georgian government to the process of European integration has translated into the reformed institutions, progress in every field of social life, and increased standards for protecting human rights and ensuring the rule of law. These are not empty words. They are proven by assessments conducted by independent international organizations and need to be commended and not neglected.
Simultaneously, we also realize the length of the road toward EU membership. We also know that much remains to be done by the government and society as well. But we cannot achieve anything alone, without trust based partnership and cooperation with the EU and its institutions, including the European Parliament. We need you as friends, contributing to a positive dynamic in the process of Georgia’s European integration and realizing how pressing the momentum is today and how important it is to create irreversible grounds for Georgia’s integration into the EU.
Georgia has the potential to open new geopolitical opportunities and contribute to broader European security and prosperity as well. We expect that the EU will take a decisive step this year based on fair assessments and grant candidate status and encourage Georgia to move forward on its European path together with other candidate countries. I hope the European Parliament will contribute to this decision and our committee’s work today will lay the groundwork for this positive dynamic,” MP Bochorishvili declared.