Maka Bochoroshvili, chair of the Georgian Parlaiment’s EU Integration Committee has voiced the messages of the country’s authorities to the bloc on why Georgia deserves and needs to receive a candidate country status following its bid for membership on March 3.
In her speech in the state legislature on Tuesday, Bochorishvili recalled her recent meetings in Berlin, stating that the EU is not unanimous on the membership of Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.
“There is no uniform position in the EU on issues that would render Georgia’s, Ukraine’s, and Moldova’s EU accession prospects irreversible,” Bochorishvili said.
“There are forces among EU member states that support the further enlargement of the European Union. These forces are faithfully lobbying for the European prospects of Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova in this context, and for that we are especially grateful.
At the same time, there are forces among EU member states that do not support further enlargement and, therefore, are not in favor of our European prospects,” she added.
Bochorishvili said that today, when Georgia was going through “historic moments”, the message of the country’s authorities to the EU member states, “aimed at ensuring Georgia’s European future,” was as follows:
Georgia is an integral part of European values, history, and culture, and deserves the status of an EU membership candidate country as this is the only way to ensure our European prospects today.
Twenty percent of Georgia’s territory is under Russian occupation. At various times, the citizens of Georgia have had to struggle for their very existence and live in economic hardship without electricity and natural gas due Russian pressure and sanctions, and this struggle continues to this day.
We have internally displaced persons in our country who miss their homes, and we owe them a special responsibility.
Despite constant pressure from Russia, on the basis of shared European values, Georgia formalized its European choice by signing the Association Agreement in 2014 and reflecting it in the country’s Constitution in 2018. Georgia is doing everything in its power to bring the country closer to European standards.
Georgia is a reliable partner for the European Union and NATO, and we have proven this on numerous occasions in recent decades, including through the bravery of our courageous military.
Georgia is a democratic state that has been able to create democratic state institutions and is doing everything in its power to enable these institutions to work in accordance with European standards.
Georgia has rejected forms of totalitarian rule at various times, often at the cost of the blood of its citizens, and is doing everything in its power to uphold the standards of a legal state, where are all equal before the law, where the law stipulates what constitutes a crime, and the law determines the punishment.
We are doing everything in our power to ensure the protection of fundamental human rights in the country.
Georgia deserves its European prospects because we, the vast majority of the citizens of Georgia, want to be part of the democratic world, where no one can threaten our statehood – which has been achieved with our blood – and the future of our children.
Bochorishvili addressed the opposition “who finds it difficult to understand the harm you are causing the country when you claim that the state has been captured by a mythical oligarch, when you claim that state institutions are broken, while you attack them, when you claim that the elections were stolen from you, while you conduct your election campaign elsewhere and have not had your finger on the pulse of the Georgian electorate in a long time, when you claim that your freedom of speech is restricted, while the perpetrator of a crime against the free media is being punished by the law, when you claim that the former President is being killed in prison, while the state is caring not only for his health but also his mood.”
She stated that when the opposition creates “false narratives suggesting that Georgia does not support Ukraine, thus insulting not only the authorities but also all the eager individuals who are fighting for the freedom of Ukraine and Georgia at the same time.”
“When you manufacture false information about the authorities’ pro-Russians stance and facilitate the Russian attempt to harm Georgia, when you boycotted your own voters and the Parliament, and now, when you try to score political points by echoing those who have found fault with the pace of our reforms in the last year and a half, when you spend all your resources lobbying to create mechanisms of international patronage for those who perpetrated crimes under the guise of politics, subsequently accusing the country of selective and politicized justice,” she stated.
Bochorishvili said that with its actions the opposition was fighting against Georgia’s European prospects.