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The European Council Grants Candidate Status for EU Membership to Georgia

By Liza Mchedlidze
Friday, December 15, 2023
The European Council granted Georgia candidate status. The President of the Council, Charles Michel, announced it on X (formerly Twitter).

According to Michel's statement, the Council decided to initiate negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova regarding their potential accession to the European Union.

The EU will also commence negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina once it fulfills the membership criteria.

"The European Council has decided to open accession negotiations with Ukraine & Moldova. #EUCO granted candidate status to Georgia. And the EU will open negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina once the necessary degree of compliance with the membership criteria is reached and has invited the commission to report by March with a view to taking such a decision. A clear signal of hope for their people and for our continent," Michel wrote.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also made a statement, saying that the European Council has made "a strategic decision and the day that will remain engraved in the history of the European Union."

"Leaders have decided to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova and to grant candidate status to Georgia. A strategic decision and a day that will remain engraved in the history of our Union. Proud that we have lived up to our promises and delighted for our partners." von der Leyen wrote.

President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili responded to the European Council's decision to grant Georgia candidate status on X.

"Today signifies a monumental milestone for Georgia and our European family! The unwavering will of the Georgian people has spoken, leading to the well-deserved attainment of candidate status. Georgia's reunification with its European family is an irreversible prospect!" Zourabichvili wrote.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Ilia Darchiashvili, remarked on the European Council's decision, stating that it is a clear recognition of Georgia's aspirations, many years of efforts, and the progress achieved.

"Congratulations, Georgia on this historic day! Our country has been granted candidate status! Today's decision is an explicit recognition of Georgia's aspirations, its striving for many years and the progress achieved! The will of the Georgian government to make Georgia's civilizational choice a reality remains unchanged. We stand ready to work together with our European friends and partners to bring our country to its ultimate goal - EU membership!" Darchiashvili stated.