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EU association membership supported by the Georgian church

By Messenger Staff
Friday, March 7
EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Stefan Fule’s visit to Georgia was very important because with the background of the Ukrainian events it was a demonstration of the European Union’s support to Georgia.

There is still fear that the EU might demand Georgia to abandon its traditional values and according to a different opinion, the EU association membership might damage Georgia’s economic conditions.

During his recent visit, Fule tried to convince Georgia that neither of the above mentioned threats have ground. The most important of all the visits Fule had in Georgia, was his meeting with the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

Fule tried to assure the Georgian church that the EU is not going to undermine Georgia’s traditional values highlighting that the EU supports universal values like tolerance, respect and honesty.

During the meeting with Fule, Ilia II confirmed that the Georgian church is supporting the country’s integration with the EU. “We shall do everything possible for Georgia to integrate into this organization,” the patriarch said.

According to Fule, politicians come to power and go and nobody remembers them, whereas the church is always here.

Georgian officials highly assessed Fule’s meeting with the Georgian patriarch. President Giorgi Margvelashvili, in particular, highlighted the support of the Georgian church in the country’s strive to join the EU.

It should be mentioned however that some NGOs continue to criticize the Georgian church. Much depends on how efficiently and timely the final agreement of the association membership will be concluded between Georgia and the EU.