Michel: Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to move forward on bilateral peace treaty

Published in Politics
Friday, 02 September 2022 12:49

On 31 August, European Council President Charles Michel met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

The fourth discussion in this format focused on recent developments in the South Caucasus and relations between the EU and the two countries. All sides agreed to step up substantive work to advance on the peace treaty governing inter-state relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and tasked the Foreign Ministers to meet within one month to work on draft texts. 

“Our exchanges were open and productive – and I would like to thank both leaders for that,” said Michel. “It is positive to see that quite a few steps have been taken to take forward the agreements reached during our last meeting.”

Michel, Aliyev and Pashinyan also had a detailed discussion on humanitarian issues, including demining, detainees and the fate of missing persons.

They also reviewed progress on all questions related to the delimitation of the border and how best to ensure a stable situation. 

The next meeting of the Border Commissions will take place in Brussels in November. By the end of this month, the next, fifth meeting in a similar format will take place.

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Press release

Teimuraz Janjalia has participated in the Bled strategic forum

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 31 August 2022 14:06

On 30 August 2022, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Teimuraz Janjalia, participated in the Bled Strategic Forum. International conference called "The Rule of Power or the Power of Rules" was held in in Bled, Slovenia.

The deputy minister made a speech at the panel organized within the framework of the forum dedicated  to Europe’s Eastern neighborhood and its future ('Europe's Eastern Neighborhood: Knocking on the EU's door').

In his speech, Teimuraz Janjalia talked about Georgia-EU relations and emphasized the historical importance of the European Council's decision to recognize the European perspective for Georgia. The Deputy Minister informed the invited guests about the vision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the future of the Eastern Partnership and the current progress in the implementation of the Association Agreement. He also spoke about the process of implementation of the European Commission’s  recommendations.
Teimuraz Janjalia drew attention to the common challenges facing the European Union and Georgia against the background of the complicated geopolitical situation in the region.
Along with Teimuraz Janjalia, the discussion panelists were also Maciej Popowski - Acting Director General of the European Commission's Directorate General for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Cristina Gerasimova - Head of the Administration of the President of Moldova and Senior Advisor to the President, and Steven Blockmans Director of Research at the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS).
On the sidelines of the forum, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs held bilateral meetings with the Acting Director General of the General Directorate of Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission  Maciej Popowski, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Velislava Petrova and experts working on the European Union, during which the conversation touched on the specific aspects of cooperation in terms of European integration of Georgia.
The Bled Strategic Forum has been held annually since 2006. The event is dedicated to current issues of European and global politics.
MFA of Georgia

EU releases first tranche of new €1 billion macro-financial assistance for Ukraine

Published in Economics
Tuesday, 02 August 2022 15:00

The European Commission today disbursed the first half (€500 million) of a new €1 billion macro-financial assistance (MFA) operation for Ukraine. The second tranche (another €500 million) will be disbursed tomorrow, 2 August. 

This additional assistance of €1 billion is part of the extraordinary effort by the EU, alongside the international community, to help Ukraine address its immediate financial needs following the unprovoked and unjustified aggression by Russia. It is the first part of the exceptional MFA package of up to €9 billion announced in the Commission’s communication of 18 May 2022 and endorsed by the European Council of 23-24 June 2022. It complements the support already provided by the EU, including a €1.2 billion emergency MFA loan paid out in the first half of the year. Taken together, the two strands of the programme bring the total MFA support to Ukraine since the beginning of the war to €2.2 billion.

The funds have been made available to Ukraine in the form of long-term loans on favourable terms. The assistance supports Ukraine’s macroeconomic stability and overall resilience in the context of Russia’s military aggression and the ensuing economic challenges. In a further expression of solidarity, the EU budget will cover the interest costs on this loan. 

This financial assistance comes in addition to the unprecedented support provided by the EU to date, notably humanitarian, development and defence assistance, the suspension of all import duties on Ukrainian exports for one year or other solidarity initiatives, e.g. to address transport bottlenecks so that exports, in particular of grains, could be ensured.

Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People said: “This €1 billion payment is a first part of our €9 billion macro-financial assistance package to help Ukraine meet its emergency financial needs caused by Russia’s brutal war. At the same time, we are working closely with EU Member States and our international partners on the next steps to rebuild Ukraine for the longer term. The EU will provide all political, financial, military and humanitarian support required to assist Ukraine and its people in the face of Russia’s continued illegal aggression – for as long as it takes.”

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Press release

Head of Government meets with European Parliament’s delegation

Published in Politics
Friday, 22 July 2022 12:36

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with a delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET). At first, the Head of Government held a face-to-face meeting with MEP David McAllister, followed by enhanced-format negotiations.
The Prime Minister welcomed the European parliamentarians’ visit to Georgia and emphasized its importance for the process of Georgia’s accession to the EU, also in light of the regional situation.
The conversation focused on prospects of enhanced cooperation in the future. Attention was paid to the European Council’s historic decision from June 23, on granting the European perspective to Georgia, as a recognition of Georgia’s progress under a transitional democracy in the three decades since regaining independence.
The Prime Minister pointed out as unfortunate the differentiated approach applied to Georgia, when the country was not granted a candidate status alongside Moldova and Ukraine. Nonetheless, the Georgian Government has actually started implementing the twelve priorities defined in the European Council’s June 23 decision. An inclusive process and engagement from every relevant stakeholder is key to the implementation of the priorities set by the European Commission, the Head of Government said, adding that this is a joint responsibility that everyone in the country must take into account.
The meeting underlined that Georgia continues implementing the Association Agreement (AA) and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU, as well as the obligations stipulated under the updated Association Agenda 2021-2027.
Attention was paid to the dire humanitarian and human rights situation in Georgia’s occupied regions. The meeting highlighted the European Parliament’s support of the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, also expressing hope that the EU will raise this issue in every relevant format. In addition, the Prime Minister underlined the importance of using the Geneva International Discussions effectively. The Head of Government reaffirmed the commitment of Georgia’s authorities to peaceful conflict-resolution.
As it was emphasized during the meeting, Georgia remains the EU’s reliable partner and loyal contributor to its ongoing operations.
The conversation also revolved around the military action in Ukraine and the regional state of affairs in general as factors impacting Georgia. Attention was also paid to issues pertaining to Black Sea Security.
The meeting at the Government Administration was attended by the European Parliament’s representatives: The Chair of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, David McAllister, and Committee Members Željana Zovko, Sven Mikser, Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Thierry Mariani, and Assita Kanko, while the Georgian side was represented by Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili and the Head of the Government Administration, Revaz Javelidze.

Press Service of the Government Administration

EU and Azerbaijan to double capacity of Southern Gas Corridor

Published in Economics
Tuesday, 19 July 2022 11:38

Yesterday in Baku, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Partnership in the Field of Energy.

The agreement includes a commitment to double the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor to deliver at least 20 billion cubic metres to the EU annually by 2027.

With this new Memorandum of Understanding, we are opening a new chapter in our energy cooperation with Azerbaijan, a key partner in our efforts to move away from Russian fossil fuels,” said Ursula von der Leyen. “Not only are we looking to strengthen our existing partnership which guarantees stable and reliable gas supplies to the EU via the Southern Gas Corridor. We are also laying the foundations of a long-term partnership on energy efficiency and clean energy, as we both pursue the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

According to the European Commission, the EU and Azerbaijan are also currently negotiating a new comprehensive agreement that would enhance cooperation in a wide range of areas. These include economic diversification, investment, trade and the full use of civil society potential, while stressing the importance of human rights and the rule of law.

Following the visit in Baku today, the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council will meet on 19 July in Brussels to review overall relations and discuss potential areas of mutual interest for cooperation in the future.

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Press release

Nino Tandilashvili hosted the representative of the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety Juergen Keinhorst'

Published in Economics
Friday, 01 July 2022 16:02

Mrs. Nino Tandilashvili, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture held a meeting with Mr. Juergen Keinhorst, Representative of the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety.

During the meeting, the parties discussed current projects and issues of future cooperation.

The Deputy Foreign Minister spoke about the importance of partnership between the two countries and highlighted reforms implemented in the forest sector, climate change and biodiversity fields with the support of the German government.

Mrs. Tandilashvili stressed the importance of the recognition of Georgia's European perspective by the European Council and expressed hope for the timely granting of candidate status to Georgia through close and effective fulfilment of commitments, through close coordination and cooperation with the partner countries.

According to Mr. Juergen Keinhorst, Georgia's environmental and agricultural development progress is visible, which is an additional motivation for the German government to strengthen its support.

The Heads of the relevant agencies and representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture attended the meeting.

Source: https://mepa.gov.ge/En

​The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia hails the European Council’s decision regarding Georgia

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 29 June 2022 13:12
The European Council adopted an important historic decision on granting an EU membership perspective to Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine.

With the decision of the European Council, the EU leaders have confirmed that Georgia’s future lies within the European Union and that Georgia will definitely become a member of the organization.

According to the decision of the European Council, Georgia, once a range of recommendations are fulfilled will be automatically granted a candidate status, while Ukraine and Moldova have received a candidate status on condition of complying with the recommendations given to them.
By awarding Georgia an EU membership perspective, the EU has recognized Georgia as a European country and has acknowledged the progress made in Georgia-EU relations in the past few years. Indeed, this result would have been hardly imaginable without the efforts and reforms implemented in the country over the recent years.  
The decision of the European Council takes on a particular importance in view of the challenges that threaten the system of western value and European security, of which Georgia is an integral part.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the European Council’s decision and the EU leaders’ support in this process.
We believe that this is a historic moment for Georgia and from now on, the door to Europe is definitely open to our country.
Being committed to common values, Georgia, together with the EU, will continue to pursue an ambitious reform agenda leading to Georgia’s final integration with the EU.
Georgia will work actively to meet the recommendations to achieve the deserved candidate status as soon as possible and to regain its rightful place in the European family.

 

European Council: Ukraine and Moldova granted EU candidate status

Published in Politics
Friday, 24 June 2022 10:38

On 23 June, EU leaders meeting in the European Council agreed to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status.

A historic moment. Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU,” wrote European Council President Charles Michel on Twitter. “Congratulations to Zelenskyy and Maia Sandu and the people of Ukraine and Moldova. Our future is together.” 

At the same time, the Council decided to recognise the European perspective of Georgia,  and, according to Michel, “is ready to grant candidate status once the outstanding priorities are addressed”.

The decision follows the Opinions issued by the European Commission on all three EU accession applications on 17 June.

I am very pleased with the Leaders’ endorsement of our Opinions,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the press conference following the Council. “Of course, the countries all have homework to do before moving to the next stage of the accession process. But I am convinced that they will all move as swiftly as possible and work as hard as possible to implement the necessary reforms.” She added that the changes needed for the EU accession would primarily benefit the states’ democracies, economies and citizens.

This decision strengthens us all. It strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, in the face of Russian imperialism and it strengthens the European Union, because it shows once again to the world that we are united and strong in the face of external threats, said  Ursula von der Leyen.

In their Conclusions adopted on 23 June, EU leaders said:

  • The European Council recognises the European perspective of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. The future of these countries and their citizens lies within the European Union.
  • The European Council has decided to grant the status of candidate country to Ukraine and to the Republic of Moldova.
  • The Commission is invited to report to the Council on the fulfilment of the conditions specified in the Commission’s opinions on the respective membership applications as part of its regular enlargement package. The Council will decide on further steps once all these conditions are fully met.
  • The European Council is ready to grant the status of candidate country to Georgia once the priorities specified in the Commission’s opinion on Georgia’s membership application have been addressed.
  • The progress of each country towards the European Union will depend on its own merit in meeting the Copenhagen criteria, taking into consideration the EU’s capacity to absorb new members.

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Press release

European Council Conclusions

Public Defender’s Letter to European Council President Charles Michel

Published in Politics
Thursday, 23 June 2022 10:53

On June 22, 2022, the Public Defender of Georgia sent an official letter to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, requesting the President and the Heads of the EU Member States to consider the aspirations of the Georgian people towards the European family, their fight and efforts in this process, and to grant Georgia a candidate status, in order to prevent that Georgia is separated from the common space it has shared with Ukraine and Moldova and misses this important opportunity.

See the letter of the Public Defender of Georgia to Charles MichelPresident of the European Council

Your Excellency, I hereby extend the assurances of my highest consideration personally to you, as well as the President of the European Commission, and the Heads of State/Government of the 27 EU Member States. The EU has always been a firm supporter of Georgia in its European aspirations and the results of this support have been felt by many of us for decades. Let me express our utmost gratitude for this assistance. I remain convinced that the EU-Georgian cooperation will keep strengthening, while the progress that comes with the European integration will benefit the citizens of both the EU and Georgia who share the common values and are united in forging more humane, peaceful, and prosperous future.

I am addressing you today as the Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia, which is an independent constitutional body that supervises the protection of human rights and freedoms by public authorities in Georgia. The Ombudsman has over the decades been acting resolutely within its constitutional mandate and enjoys a wide support and trust from the members of the public as well as the international community at large.

During such critical times I feel obliged to address you ahead of the upcoming European Council meeting on 23 and 24 June 2022, which is expected to make a final decision about the membership applications from Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. As you are aware, on 17th of June 2022, the European Commission issued Opinions on Georgia’s, the Republic of Moldova’s and Ukraine’s application for the EU membership in which the Commission recommended granting European Perspective to all three states. Furthermore, while for Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova the Commission recommended granting a candidate status, with respect to Georgia the Commission has put forward a clear set of conditions to be met before the candidate status is granted. This risks separation of Georgia from the rest of the Associated Trio, even though it has been seen for many years as a frontrunner among the three and shares with them the threats coming from the Russian Federation.

This is an existential matter and moment for the whole nation, who have already made their conscious choice of European and Euro-Atlantic integration, embodied in the Constitution of Georgia. In Georgia the European integration is not only a foreign policy option, but a moral and cultural choice shared by a wider political spectrum and supported by the absolute majority of Georgians. Unprecedented number of demonstrators marching in Tbilisi on the 20th of June is a recent confirmation of this. The civil society led rally was held for the sole purpose of expressing unwavering support for Georgia’s EU integration, regardless of the political affiliation. Europe is a historic choice and aspiration of the Georgian people, for which all generations have made sacrifices. The idea of European perspective consolidates society and reduces polarization

Consequently, in the face of the most acute domestic and foreign policy challenges, it is crucial for us now that Georgia, together with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, is granted the EU candidate status with the precise conditions to be met within strict timelines. The European Commission has already outlined the most challenging issues to be addressed immediately by Georgia and let me confirm that the issues set out in the Opinion have been voiced by the civil society and majority of Georgians, as well as the Ombudsman for many years already.

It is for the reasons outlined above that I appeal to you today to consider granting the EU candidate status to Georgia. I firmly believe that the European integration is the only driving force for a progress in Georgia and the recommendations of the European Commission will act as a road map in this process. Let me assure you that the Public Defender will oversee this process and the Georgian people, civil society, and the media will be there to safeguard the fulfillment of these conditions.

Please accept, You Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration!

Yours sincerely,

Nino Lomjaria

The Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia

European Commission recommends to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status, Georgia receives perspective to become EU member

Published in Politics
Monday, 20 June 2022 12:24

Today, the European Commission presented its Opinions on the applications for EU membership submitted by Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova as invited by the Council. The European Commission recommended to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status, while it recommended that Georgia be given the perspective to become a member of the EU, and that candidate status should be granted once a number of priorities have been addressed.

The Opinions are based on the Commission’s assessment in light of the three sets of criteria to join the EU agreed by the European Council: political criteria, economic criteria, and the ability of the country to assume the obligations of EU membership (EU acquis). According to a press release from the European Commission, the Opinions also take into account Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia’s efforts in implementing their obligations under the Association Agreements (AA), including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTA), which cover significant parts of the EU acquis.

Ukraine

The European Commission has found that Ukraine overall is well advanced in reaching the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, and has continued its strong macro-economic record, demonstrating a noteworthy resilience with macroeconomic and financial stability, while needing to continue ambitious structural economic reforms. The country has gradually approximated to substantial elements of the EU acquis in many areas.

Read opinion in full

Moldova  

The European Commission concludes that the country has a solid foundation in place to reach the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities; macroeconomic policies have been reasonably sound and progress has been made in strengthening the financial sector and business environment but key economic reforms remain to be undertaken. The country has established a solid basis for further alignment with the EU acquis.

Read opinion in full

Georgia

The European Commission assesses that Georgia has a foundation in place to reach the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, even if recent developments have undermined the country’s progress; it has achieved a good degree of macroeconomic stability and has a sound record of economic policy and a favourable business environment, but further reforms are needed to improve the functioning of its market economy; overall, Georgia has established a solid basis for further alignment with the EU acquis.

Read opinion in full

Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective.” President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen told a press conference announcing the Opinions. “We want them to live with us in the European Union.” 

She added: “Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia share the strong and legitimate aspiration of joining the European Union. Today, we are sending them a clear signal of support in their aspirations, even as they face challenging circumstances.”

“Indeed, this is a historic day for the people of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. We are confirming that they belong, in due time, in the European Union. The next steps are now in the hands of our Member States,” Ursula von der Leyen said.

Based on the European Commission’s Opinions, the EU Member States will now have to decide unanimously on the next steps.

The applications for EU membership by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova in light of the Commission’s Opinions will be discussed by Heads of State and Government at the European Council next week, on 23 and 24 June. 

Find out more

Press release

Memo on Ukraine: European Commission – Questions and answers

Memo on Moldova: European Commission – Questions and answers

Memo on Georgia: European Commission – Questions and answers

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