“The government has a special responsibility in this respect, but all sides have to assume responsibility for the depolarisation process”, stated EU Ambassador to Georgia, Carl Hartzell, when answering the citizens’ questions about the European perspective.
“In a way, I believe successful implementation of the 12 priorities needs to start and end with depolarisation efforts. In the short-term, it will be about reaching out and providing a platform and an agenda for the implementation of the necessary reforms. Successful implementation of these reforms will, in turn, likely give further impetus to depolarisation. So far, we have seen ideas presented by the ruling party, civil society organisations, and others, which to me look like elements that could usefully be combined to set out a broader, common agenda for the work ahead. The government has a special responsibility in this respect, but all sides have to assume responsibility for the depolarisation process,” Ambassador Hartzell said.
To the question “If Georgia receives candidate status by the end of the year, what will the country have to do then?” Ambassador remarked that “The priorities indicated in the Opinion are identified with a view to Georgia receiving candidate status. The timeline for achieving this is in the hands of the Georgian government. Once these priorities are considered as addressed by the Commission, it will be for the European Council to decide on giving candidate status to Georgia. There is an established procedure for the next steps after having received candidate status, based on established practise. The Council will then need to decide on opening negotiations with Georgia on various chapters of law, based on the so-called screening process – to determine what differences exist between Georgian laws and those of the EU and how harmonisation should be done. During the negotiations, Georgia will also need to demonstrate that its administrative capacity is sufficient to implement and uphold these laws”.