Atlantico: Georgia's Positive Development Must Be Recognized & Encouraged

Atlantico, a French news website, has published an article in which it emphasizes that the European Union, despite its internal dissensions, must not forget that it must encourage economic and democratic stability at its borders. The author of the article, Bruno Alomar, discusses the example of Georgia.

"Allow me to highlight a very particular example, that of Georgia. Of course, it would be self-evident to stress the geostrategic importance of the Black Sea, at the EU's doorstep. Such is the evidence that in August 2016 it gave rise to the so-called "3 Seas Initiative" (Adriatic, Baltic, Black) in order for its 12 members, under Washington's favorable eye,  to limit Russian influence in the region and to cooperate in the fields of energy and transport. At a time when the EU has, for the time being, given up negotiating a comprehensive trade agreement with both China and the United States, it should be recalled that it has a DFTA (Deep Free Trade Agreement) with Georgia which provides for close economic cooperation between the two players," the author notes. 

The article further underlines the desire expressed by the Georgian authorities, including President Salome Zurabishvili, at the highest level to become a member of the EU.  

"Beyond the past and the wishes of the Georgian authorities relayed by a pro-European population, without prejudging what future relations with the EU will be, it is not useless to look at the performance of a country like Georgia. They are rather flattering, both economically and politically," reads the publication. 

The author claims that economically, Georgia can be proud of its performance, which has improved significantly in recent years, as the World Bank's assessment shows. 

The measures taken by the Georgian Dream led Government have drastically reduced its poverty rate from 32.5% in 2006 to 16.3% in 2017. More significantly, the improvement of the World Bank's "doing business" indicator ranks Georgia 7th in the world. 

"At the political level, the progress made in recent years has been significant. A key point to remember is the significant reduction in corruption. According to the Business Anti-Corruption Portal (an NGO funded by the European Commission, the German-Nordic EU countries, and which serves as a reference for international organizations), "corruption presents a very low risk for foreign companies wishing to invest in Georgia". It is also not neutral to point out that according to the Corruption Perception Index (NGO Transparency International), in 2019, and with general elections to be held in 2020, Georgia is at the same level as EU states such as Poland or the Czech Republic, and well ahead of EU candidates (Serbia, Albania and Kosovo)," reads the article. 

The author concludes: "From all this a conclusion emerges. The EU, all to its internal dissensions, must not forget that it must encourage economic and democratic stability on its borders. The positive development of a country like Georgia must be understood, recognized and encouraged."

Author: Bruno Alomar

Source: Atlantico


09 April 2020 12:15