The Georgian Dream authorities have ensured three milestones since the country signed the Association Agreement with the EU eight years ago on this day. The achievements include: free trade, visa-free regime and a European perspective, Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili stated on Monday.
"Today we mark the eight anniversary from signing the Association Agreement with the European Union. This is a truly historic date when the country became an associate member of the EU. Eight years ago I had the honor of signing this agreement. I would like to highlight some tangible results that the country has achieved so far: first of all, it is free trade with the EU. The second major achievement is the visa-free regime, all citizens of our country travel with a Georgian passport without a visa to EU countries. Third - the European perspective which has been recently granted by the EU,” Garibashvili said.
The PM pledged that the current government would take measures for the country to receive the candidate status in the short run.
He suggested that about 45% of the European regulations have been implemented.
“We have already implemented more than 50% in the DCFTA [Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement] section. Also, major reforms have been implemented in areas such as human rights, penitentiary system, education, science, iInnovations, agriculture, transport, civil service reform, energy, regional development.
“The signing of the Association Agreement has given the country additional impetus to participate in EU programs such as: ERASMUS +; Horizon 2020; Creative Europe; Frontex; Eurojust - all this is what the country has managed and achieved in this short time,” Garibashvili said, adding that in terms of participation in the ERASMUS program, Georgia ranked 6th among 141 countries.
"This is real integration with Europe and a very serious result," Garibashvili stated.
He claimed that the country’s economy “has increased” despite the pandemic and current challenges related to Russia’s war in Ukraine, noting that the increase was expected in the coming months as well.
The opposition and the civil sector have accused the authorities of “backsliding the country,” and “depriving if from receiving the EU candidate status” last week along with Ukraine and Moldova.