Donald Tusk: EU Remains Strong Supporter of Georgia's Reforms

European Council President Donald Tusk says the European Union and Georgia are close partners and friends, adding the EU remains a strong supporter of Georgia's successful reform process.

Tusk made the statement at the joint press-conference with the Georgian PM, Mamuka Bakhtadze, who is paying an official visit to Brussels on July 18-20.

“In our meeting today, the Prime Minister and I confirmed our determination to further advance our economic cooperation on the basis of the ambitious Association Agreement and taking into account the strategic character of Georgia's political association and economic integration with the Union,” Tusk said.

He noted there is great appreciation for Georgia's constructive role in the Eastern Partnership and as security provided to both European and Trans-Atlantic Missions abroad.

“As we also commemorate the 10th anniversary of the war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008, let me reiterate the European Union‘s unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders,” he stressed.

The European Council President underlined that during these 10 years, Georgia has succeeded in strengthening its democratic institutions and in developing a thriving economy.

“The European Union will continue to provide support to Georgia and to reinforce the country's resilience and capacity to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” he said, adding the EU welcomes the peace initiative of the Georgian government a Step to a Better Future, which aims at improving the humanitarian, social and economic conditions of the populations in Georgia’s Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (s. Ossetia). 

Bakhtadze noted that the Georgian government values the EU's support and Tusk’s contribution to advancing Georgia's European integration process.

He said the visa-free regime has brought direct tangible results to Georgian citizens and contributed to making business, academic, tourist and cultural ties even stronger between our societies. These achievements come with responsibilities and we fully share them.

“With the Association Agreement, including the DCFTA, in place, we have been overhauling our legislative and institutional system by bringing it in line with the EU norms and standards. It has consolidated the government's reform efforts towards strengthening democracy and good governance, rule of law and stability,” the PM added.

Bakhtadze noted the EU's special role in promoting peace and stability in Georgia by maintaining its Monitoring Mission, mediation within the Geneva international discussions, as well as implementing active non-recognition and engagement policy. 

“The EU's and our international partners' firm stance regarding the unlawful policy of Russia and their effective engagement has strong bearing on ensuring the territorial integrity of Georgia within the internationally recognised borders. On our part, while being firmly committed to the peace policy, the Government of Georgia is making concrete efforts towards reconciliation and confidence building, which are spelt out in our new peace initiative "A Step to a Better Future",” he added.

In addition, the PM reiterated that Georgia remains the EU's reliable security ally.

“We are proud to be contributing side by side with our European partners within the EU-led missions to ensure peace and stability worldwide,” he said.

Afterwards, tje Prime Minister of Georgia met Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President of the European Commission for the Euro and Social Dialogue.

By Thea Morrison


20 July 2018 09:09