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EU Council clears the way for Georgia-EU Association Agreement

Wednesday, June 18
Georgia is one step closer to signing the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union (EU) on June 27.

The Council of the European Union today announced it had concluded technical preparations before the important trade document is signed next week by Georgia and the EU.

EU member states today adopted the legal acts empowering the EU to sign the AA with Georgia, which included the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreement.

"These accords aim to deepen the political association and economic integration with the EU and will also lead to a deep and comprehensive free trade area with both partners,” read the Council’s announcement.

The Council also decided to offer provisional application of the provisions on free trade, among others, to both partners ahead of ratification of the AA by all 28 EU member states.

In addition, the Council approved legal texts on the conclusion of the AA and DCFTA agreements, which will be sent to the European Parliament where formal ratification of the accords will take place at a later stage.

The EU-Georgia and EU-Moldova agreements will be signed in the margins of the European Council on June 27, together with the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

The Council of the European Union believed the technical preparations for the EU-Ukraine AA deal would be finalized shortly.

Following the ratification of Georgia’s AA, provisional application could start by October 1, 2014.

"This will open a new chapter in EU-Georgia relations. Underlining the importance that both sides attach to fundamental values, democracy and the rule of law, the Association Agreement will significantly deepen political and economic relations between Georgia and the EU, and give Georgia the opportunity to participate gradually in the largest single market in the world,” said an EU spokesperson in an earlier statement after meeting Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and other Government officials in May.

The EU believed the AA focused on core value-related reforms, on economic recovery and growth, governance and sector cooperation in areas such as energy cooperation, transport, environment, public health, consumer protection, education, training and youth, as well as cultural cooperation. (