PSC delegation: The door to EU membership is now open

After the historic decision by the European Council on 14 December 2023 to grant Georgia candidate status, the door to EU membership is now open, - reads the statement released by the delegation of the European Union’s Political and Security Committee, which is visiting Georgia.

The delegation, led by the PSC Chair, Ambassador Delphine Pronk, met with President Salome Zourabichvili, Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze, Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili, Defence Minister Irakli Chikovani, Representatives of the Parliamentary majority and opposition, as well as Representatives of civil society. The Members will equally visit the EU’s civilian monitoring mission (EUMM Georgia) and the Administrative Boundary Line.

The visit is embedded in a larger journey to the region, including meetings in Armenia (8-9 April) as well as Azerbaijan (11-12 April), and pursues the objective of strengthening the dialogue with partners in a region of key importance for the EU.

“During the first such visit of the PSC to Georgia since 7 years, the Members of the PSC in their various engagements stressed the importance for Georgia to seize the moment on its path of EU integration. After the historic decision by the European Council on 14 December 2023 to grant Georgia candidate status, the door to EU membership is now open.

The Members of the PSC recalled the merit-based nature of the accession process and invited the Georgian authorities to take the necessary steps to reach this objective. In this context, the European Commission’s recommendations of 8 November 2023 in form of the Nine Steps provide a clear guidance. The necessary reforms and progress need to be delivered without delays and in a whole-ofsociety approach, involving the government, all political parties and civil society.

The time is short, and the time is now to implement the Nine Steps and avoid any decisions that could obstruct the way toward the EU. Concerns with regard to some recent initiatives, including the draftlaw on “Transparancy of Foreign Influence”, have been raised with the Georgian authorities, recalling the Statement issued by the spokesperson of the High Representative of the European Union on 4 April 2024. The EU emphasised its values as enshrined in the Treaty.

The Members of the PSC call upon the Georgian authorities to seize the momentum, also in view to the upcoming parliamentary elections on 26 October 2024. In this context, the EU welcomes the Georgian government’s decision to invite ODIHR observers. The EU recalls the need for free and fair elections, and stresses the need to address all remaining ODIHR and Venice Commission recommendations on amendments to the election code”, reads the statement.

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