PM Emphasizes Georgia's European, Euro-Atlantic Aspirations in Davos

As part of his working visit to Davos, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia participated in a panel discussion along with the representatives of the European Commission, the main topic of which was the opportunities that Europe and the EU create for the Eastern Partnersip (EaP) countries.

While delivering his speech, the Head of the Georgian government noted that it is very important for him that he is in Davos as Prime Minister of a member country of Eastern Partnership and highlighted Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic aspiration is a fact and the choice was made by the population of the country.

He highlighted the tangible results of the last five years in Georgia's relationship with the EU, including a deep and comprehensive free trade area free trade agreement with the EU, and visa-free travel.

“According to recent sociological surveys, more than 70% of Georgia's population supports Euro-Atlantic integration. The last five years brought real and very tangible results: a deep and comprehensive free trade area, a free trade agreement with the European Union and visa-free travel,” he said.

However, he added that there are challenges in the fields of security and economy.

“First and foremost, when it comes to economics, and when we think about making all these achievements accessible to ordinary citizens, we face the real problem of connectivity. This is our first priority. We consider Georgia a gateway to Europe and Central Asia. We fully understand that investment in the Georgian economy means the security of our country. When it comes to safety, we certainly see problems in the Black Sea. The Black Sea is a top priority not only for Georgia but also for the North Atlantic Alliance. This is a new dimension for us," he said.

He emphasized that the government sees Georgia's role as a partner for the West and spoke about the importance of security in the Black Sea region and cooperation in this regard. Gakharia also noted that Georgia needs more cooperation with the European Union.

"When it comes to future relations between Europe and Georgia, we certainly understand that we can play a very important role in security. When we talk about security, we mean cooperation in the Black Sea security. After the developments in Crimea, we understand the importance of security in the Black Sea region. On the other hand, when it comes to the economy, we need more cooperation with the EU and more emphasis on connectivity. When there is a strong legislative framework in the country, for example, a deep and comprehensive free trade area, but without a land border with the EU, this creates real problems and this is a challenge that needs to be addressed. This is our goal for the next few years and we will achieve it by increasing our connectivity via the Black Sea,” he said.

He added that EU and NATO membership is the only guarantee for Georgia's security and Georgia is ready to do its "homework".

"We are ready to do our homework. We believe this is our country's chance to get closer to the EU. Membership of the European Union and NATO is the only guarantee for our country's security. This is how we see the prospect of cooperation with Europe in Georgia. Of course, we will do our best for Georgia to always be a topic of discussion when you - our friends, talk about the future of Europe," he said.

The Georgian PM highlighted the daily challenges Georgian citizens face regarding the occupation.

“20% of our country is occupied by Russia. This is a daily challenge for our citizens. It is well known that the Georgian government took a commitment to resolve the conflict peacefully. We promised this to our friends. In this circumstance, deepening strategic partnerships with our friends – the United States and the European Union – is the only way to survive in a region full of these challenges, ” he said.

PM Gakharia is participating in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which is taking place from January 21-24. Today is the third day of the Forum. 

By Ana Dumbadze 

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