EU Commissioner for Enlargement visits Georgia – Civil Georgia

EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi today started his visit to Georgia from 15-16 November, where he has already met Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and held a joint press conference.

Remarks by Prime Minister Garibashvili

way to Europe

During the press conference, Prime Minister Garibashvili noted that he thanked Commissioner Várhelyi for his “personal contribution” to the Europeanization of Georgia and stated that the Commissioner was “a true friend of our country, a friend of our people, [and] an active supporter of our country’s European decision.”

It should be noted that this is the Commissioner’s first visit to Georgia since the EU granted permission to Georgia European perspectivethe Prime Minister of Georgia emphasized that in addition to “great motivation”, “this is also a great responsibility for our ruling power, our government, our people”.

“We understand that well and with this responsibility, in this spirit, we are working meticulously to implement the 12 recommendations,” he said, reiterating Georgia’s commitment to its European choice.

“This is our historic decision, it is the decision of generations and the dream of generations that we will become a worthy and full member of the European family, and we are doing our best on this path,” underlined the Prime Minister.

In this regard, Prime Minister Garibashvili drew attention to the implementation of the 12 recommendations, noting that within a week of receiving them, the Georgian Dream party presented a plan to implement the recommendations and invited all stakeholders to join the effort.

However, he stressed that “unfortunately” the opposition “whose immediate obligation is to implement these recommendations [and] the most important, first recommendation – depolarization” is not involved in the process.

“We have clearly stated and made it clear that it is impossible to achieve this if there is no similar willingness to cooperate on their side,” the prime minister noted, adding that candidate status belongs not only to the government but to the whole country .

“It belongs to every citizen of our country. Therefore, I would like to reiterate that our door is open to everyone and I would like to remind all stakeholders once again that their involvement in this process is necessary,” he said.

Russian occupation

During his speech, Prime Minister Garibashvili also raised the issue of the Russian occupation, stating that the continued presence of Russian troops on Georgian territory is one of the main challenges for the country. “Our main task and goal is the peaceful de-occupation of our country and the restoration of our country,” he stressed.

Building on this, the prime minister assured that the country has only had such “uninterrupted peace and stability” since the Georgian Dream party took power, since its independence was first restored.

“We managed to do that with our sensible policies and at the same time with our principles after we came to power,” he said.

war in Ukraine

The Prime Minister of Georgia also mentioned the war in Ukraine as one of the main challenges for the region, noting that “our common wish is for this war to end as soon as possible”.

“I would like to say once again that we support Ukraine, Ukraine’s sovereignty, its independence as much as possible, [and] at all levels,” stressed Prime Minister Garibashvili.

economic aid

Prime Minister Garibashvili also drew attention to the “active assistance” provided to Georgia by the EU in developing the country’s economy, including in the areas of infrastructure and energy.

“Our relationship is very dynamic, a very strong partnership, and most importantly – these relationships are based on our shared values ​​and common interests,” he said.

Remarks by Commissioner Várhelyi

The 12 recommendations of the European Commission

Regarding the 12 recommendations for Georgia to be given candidate status, during the press conference the commissioner underlined that during his stay in Georgia he plans to meet members of the parliament, including Speaker Papuashvili, to underline that “we have a national consensus on all twelve priorities”.

He pointed out that this “was always the case with every candidate”. “The political battle and the conjecture don’t matter. This is a goal greater than that of any generation,” he said.

“Therefore, I hope to bring good news from Georgia to Brussels, because Parliament is an important aspect of this agreement,” said Commissioner Várhelyi. “These are important, major reforms being implemented in the country and many issues fall within the competence and mandate of Parliament.”

In this spirit, Commissioner Várhelyi said: “This is why we need to work together and I hope that a national consensus will emerge beyond these day-to-day routine issues.”

The Commissioner also reiterated that the EU is ready to help Georgia in these matters. However, he emphasized that “Georgia must make great efforts in the coming weeks to show that it is ready to become a candidate status,” adding that “this will only happen if the whole country, all Georgia and All Georgians at home and abroad are working towards this goal.”

In this context, he reviewed the government’s efforts to fulfill these reforms, noting that the government is “working very actively to fulfill this task so that all twelve points are fulfilled”. “We are already seeing positive changes in judicial reform, we are seeing progress in the fight against corruption,” he added.

Commissioner Várhelyi took note of these positive steps and underlined that “we must work hard to Anti-Corruption Agency completely independent, we need a de-oligarchization law, [although] I understand that you have started to work in this direction and of course we need steps to step up the fight against organized crime.”

“The quicker you implement these 12 recommendations, the quicker you’ll be on your way to Europe,” he emphasised.

energy security

Commissioner Várhelyi also spoke about energy security and the development of EU-Georgia relations, noting during the press conference: “The message I brought to Georgia is this: we want a partnership in terms of reliable energy supply from Georgia and through this initiative to establish energy security in Georgia, the Caucasus and Europe.”

In this regard, he stressed that the Black Sea is at the “center” of the EU’s plans with Georgia, highlighting the “symbolic” and “historic” plans for a power cable from the Black Sea connecting Georgia with Europe.

The Commissioner noted that we need “reliable partners” in the areas of security, economy and energy, particularly in view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Georgia can be such a reliable partner,” he said.

Commissioner Várhelyi expressed hope that work on the cable can be accelerated and “new ideas will emerge”.

“A few days ago I heard that Georgia will build an electricity terminal, which will create additional opportunities and productivity for Europe,” he said. “We are interested in exploring this opportunity in that direction and seeing how we can expand our partnership and collaboration.”

“Against the background of all these projects, I believe that we have everything to make Georgia part of Europe and to give Europe to the citizens of Georgia,” noted the Commissioner.

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