I know how important the European perspective is for many people in Georgia, said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, during her speech in the European Parliament on Wednesday, after saying the future of Ukraine, the Western Balkans and Moldova was in the bloc.
She stressed the EU accession process was “merit-based” and the Commission would “always uphold” these principles. "This process requires hard work and leadership, but we are already seeing a lot of progress. We have seen the great progress Ukraine has made since we granted it candidate status, and we have seen other candidate countries step up to reforms”, she said.
The European Council last year granted Ukraine and Moldova the bloc’s candidacy and Georgia only a European perspective following the recommendations of the European Commission.
The bloc also outlined a reform agenda for Georgia to receive the status later.
Tbilisi called the move 'historic’, but “political and not merit-based”, adding it expected a “fair” decision by the bloc on the country’s candidacy later this year.