Roberta Metsola, the president of the European Parliament, on Wednesday expressed support for Georgia’s becoming an “essential part” of the European Union, and stressed the bloc required the “right conditions to promote the future of Georgia in the EU” for the country’s citizens.
The messages came ahead of the bloc’s forthcoming decision by the end of this year whether to grant Georgia its membership candidate status, in press remarks with Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili in Brussels.
“We reiterate that we stand by you and are ready to support your path to become an essential part of the EU. We want to work together more to give Georgia the bloc’s candidate status and help ensure that Georgia does not miss a historic opportunity. For this, we need to see tangible steps in terms of achieving democracy, accountability, rule of law, media freedom, justice”, Metsola said.
She also said the EP had expressed “concerns” over Georgia’s currently imprisoned former president Mikheil Saakashvili, adding the bloc was ready to offer Tbilisi support in “various ways”.
“Georgia has the opportunity to choose its own future and I want to celebrate your strength and wish you success”, the EU official added before Zourabichvili’s address to EP, whom the EU official praised for “personal dedication” to Georgia’s European integration.
The president’s visit to Brussels comes following her criticism of the country’s government over its stance on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and recently resumed direct flights with Russia.