EU and Eastern Partner country representatives meet for international parliamentary conference in Tbilisi

Published in Society
Wednesday, 06 December 2017 16:31

Representatives of the European Parliament and parliaments of 17 EU Member States, Candidate States and Eastern Partner countries are meeting in the Georgian capital Tbilisi for an international parliamentary conference on 4-5 December. They will discuss EU integration as a framework for promoting internal reforms, and talk about the benefits and challenges associated with the EU-inspired transformation.

The event will focus on the political and economic reforms inspired by the Association Agreements in different countries, EU partnership instruments and cooperation frameworks, legislative challenges on the way to implementing the EU-driven reforms, and the economic impacts of European integration on business and trade.

The conference will also pay attention to citizen expectations before and after EU integration, ways of countering anti-European propaganda, and to the future of the Union, considering the 60th anniversary of the European cooperation.

The international parliamentary conference “EU and Partners – Embracing Diversity for Stronger Unity” has been organised by the Parliament of Georgia on the initiative of the European Integration Committee of the Parliament, with support from the European Union  and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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  • EU faces a difficult choice – where the pendulum will swing?

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    Before the pendant conclusion of the European Commission about candidate status for Georgia some opinions are present  both in Georgia and outside  calling the EU on either refraining from granting the status to Georgia, or suggesting something transitional. These suggestions are largely generated by ongoing domestic political infighting in the country. 

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    Refusal to grant Georgia candidate status under any plausible pretext, can significantly increase not only Euro-skepticism but outright anti-Western sentiments in a sizeable part of Georgian society, providing anti-Western forces with an excellent opportunity to increase their influence and strengthen their stance. Nowadays, they are quite industrious in creating an anti-European atmosphere in society. Will the EU be satisfied with this perspective?

    Pinning hope that the refusal to give a candidate’s status will force Georgia’s ruling party to become more malleable to the EU demands looks unconvinced. Quite the contrary, the care for its own political future, will make the current government far more dutybound to implement the EU-recommended reforms. The idea cultivated by some Georgian and foreign pundits and politicians that Georgia will better meet EU standards under the new government after the pre-term elections, looks rather emotional than well-calculated. If consider the balance of political powers in Georgia, as well as composition of the current political landscape, this scenario looks unrealistic.

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