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EU Report Says Georgia On Path to Further European Integration

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, November 13
The European External Action Service and European Commission released a second Joint Association Implementation Report detailing Georgia’s EU-integration process.

The report focused on major developments and reforms undertaken in line with strategic priorities agreed by the EU and the Georgian government.

According to the report, Georgia has implemented a range of reforms, strengthening democracy and the rule of law and continued with the overhaul of key areas spelled out in the EU-Georgia Association Agreement.

“Overall, the commitments stemming from the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), have been implemented in line with the agreed timelines,” according to the report.

The EU bodies further stated that Georgia’s democratic institutions have been consolidated and a comprehensive legislative framework for human rights and anti-discrimination has been adopted.

The report mentioned the benefits brought to the EU and Georgia since the start of the provisional application of the DCFTA in September 2014, saying that the EU had become Georgia’s largest trade partner as of 2016, with a 30 percent share in its overall trade. Preliminary data for 2017 suggests that the trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

The document also stressed that the first half of 2017 saw a year-on-year increase in EU imports from Georgia by 56 percent, and an increase of EU exports to Georgia by 2 percent compared to the previous year.

"The European Union and Georgia have invested a lot into a strong partnership that is proving deeper and more comprehensive by the day. These are bringing great benefits to our citizens,” said the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini.

The European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, stated that the implementation of EU standards and regulations is allowing Georgia to become a greater player in the international market.

The report said that with its sustained reform efforts and ambition to develop further to the European Union, “Georgia has consolidated its position as a key and strategic partner in the region.”

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili responded to the report by saying that the country was ready to take further steps towards greater European integration.

“We highly appreciate the fact that the European Commission considers Georgia its major strategic partner in the region and believes that Georgia has further cemented its excellent position through the implementation of reforms,” Kvirikashvili said.

The country’s opposition parties - the United National Movement and European Georgia - welcomed the report, but stated that the current Georgian Dream government fails to improve the state economy.