Last modified on 26 April 2015, at 04:37

Georgia–European Union relations

Euro-Georgia relations
Map indicating locations of European Union and Georgia

European Union

Georgia

Georgia and the European Union have maintained relations since 1996 in the INOGATE framework, and in 2006 a five-year "Action Plan" of rapprochement was implemented in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). A more comprehensive Association Agreement is under ratification (as of 2015). A European Union Monitoring Mission was sent to Georgia in the wake of the 2008 South Ossetia war.

Georgia does not have any official status as a candidate for future enlargement of the European Union, but in 2011 Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili expressed a desire for his country to become a member state of the EU.[1] This view has been explicitly expressed on several occasions as links to the United States, EU and NATO have been strengthened in an attempt to move away from the Russian sphere of influence.[2]

The sign in the Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia (Tbilisi)

Adjara crisis (2004)Edit

Further information: 2004 Adjara crisis

In Adjara, leader Aslan Abashidze was forced to resign in May 2004 following the Rose Revolution. EU CFSP Chief Javier Solana indicated in February 2007 that the EU could send troops to Georgia alongside Russian forces.[3]

South Ossetia crisis (2006–08)Edit

The EUMM patrols the South Ossetian administration boundary line in armored SUVs in February 2012.

In July 2006 the European Union referred to then recent developments in South Ossetia zone of and to the Resolution of the Georgian Parliament on Peacekeeping Forces Stationed in the Conflict Zones, which was adopted on 18 July 2006 as follows:

After the 2008 South Ossetia war a EU cease-fire monitoring mission in Georgia (EUMM) was sent to monitor the Russian troop withdrawal from "security zones" established by Russia around South Ossetia and Abkhazia.[5] The mission started on 1 October 2008[6] and was prolonged by the EU in July 2009 for one year while the EU expressed concern that Russia was blocking other observers from working there[7] A United Nations Security Council resolution aimed at extending its UN Observer Mission in Georgia was vetoed by Russia on 15 June 2009.[8]

European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan (2006–11)Edit

On 2 October 2006, a joint statement on the agreed text of the Georgia-European Union Action Plan within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was issued. The Action Plan was formally approved at the EU-Georgia Cooperation Council session on 14 November 2006 in Brussels.[9]

Association Agreement (2013–2014)Edit

Georgian flag in front of Council of Europe

To enhance their relationship, the EU and Georgia began negotiating an Association Agreement (AA) and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.[10] In November 2012, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule stated that the AA negotiations could be finalized by November 2013.[11] In February 2013, Tamar Beruchachvili, the Deputy State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia, stated that Georgia had no plans to join the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia,[12] which Fule has warned Ukraine would be incompatible with the agreements with the EU.[13] A ceremony on the initialling of the AA by the Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton was held at the Eastern Partnership summit on 29 November 2013.[14][15] It was formally signed on 27 June 2014,[16] and must be ratified by the EU, its member states and Georgia. So far, the Association Agreement, much of which has already come into force provisionally since September, has been fully ratified by Georgia and 13 EU member states. A second agreement, governing the country's involvement in EU crisis management operations, was also signed.[17]

On 18 December 2014 the European Parliament approved the Association Agreement. Members backed the treaty by 490 votes in favour to 76 against, with 57 abstentions.[18]

Old Parliament building in Tbilisi

RatificationEdit

  EU member states
  Georgia and EU-States which ratified Association Agreement
Signatory Date Institution In Favour Against AB Deposited[19] Reference
Austria Austria Federal Council
National Council [20]
Presidential Assent
Belgium Belgium 23 April 2015 Chamber of Representatives 101 17 20 [21][22]
Royal Assent
Bulgaria Bulgaria 24 July 2014 National Assembly 91 0 0 9 September 2014 [23]
28 July 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [24]
Croatia Croatia 12 December 2014 Parliament 116 0 1 24 March 2015 [25]
18 December 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [26]
Cyprus Cyprus House of Representatives
Presidential Assent
Czech Republic Czech Republic 18 March 2015 Senate 56 0 6 [27]
Chamber of Deputies [27]
Presidential Assent
Denmark Denmark 18 December 2014 Parliament 101 7 0 18 February 2015 [28]
Royal Assent
Estonia Estonia 4 November 2014 Assembly 66 0 0 12 January 2015 [29][30]
13 November 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [31]
European Union European Union and EAEC 18 December 2014 European Parliament 490 76 57 [32]
Council of the European Union
Finland Finland 10 March 2015 Parliament Approved [33]
24 April 2015 Presidential Assent Granted [34]
France France Senate
National Assembly
Presidential Assent
Germany Germany 19 December 2014 Bundesrat unanimously [35]
26 March 2015 Bundestag Approved [36]
Presidential Assent
Georgia (country) Georgia 18 July 2014 Parliament 123 0 0 25 July 2014 [37]
Presidential Assent
Greece Greece Parliament
Presidential Promulgation
Hungary Hungary 25 November 2014 National Assembly 127 6 0 7 April 2015 [38]
5 December 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [39]
Republic of Ireland Ireland 27 January 2015 House of Representatives 58 19 0 17 April 2015 [40]
Italy Italy Senate
Chamber of Deputies
Presidential Assent
Latvia Latvia 14 July 2014 Parliament 81 0 0 2 October 2014 [41]
18 July 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [42]
Lithuania Lithuania 8 July 2014 Parliament 84 0 1 29 July 2014 [43]
11 July 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [44]
Luxembourg Luxembourg 18 March 2015 Chamber of Deputies 55 2 0 [45]
12 April 2015 Grand Ducal Promulgation Granted [46]
Malta Malta 21 August 2014 House of Representatives Approved 29 August 2014 [47][48][49]
Netherlands Netherlands Senate [50]
7 April 2015 House of Representatives 119 31 0 [51]
Royal Promulgation
Poland Poland 5 March 2015 Senate 75 0 0 [52]
6 February 2015 Sejm 439 0 1 [53][54]
26 March 2015 Presidential Assent Granted [55]
Portugal Portugal 2 April 2015 National Assembly Approved [56]
Presidential Assent
Romania Romania 2 July 2014 Chamber of Deputies 298 0 0 14 July 2014 [57]
3 July 2014 Senate 111 0 2 [58]
9 July 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [59]
Slovakia Slovakia 23 September 2014 National Council 117 0 1 21 October 2014 [60]
16 October 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [61]
Slovenia Slovenia National Assembly
Presidential Assent
Spain Spain Senate
Congress of Deputies [62]
Royal Assent
Sweden Sweden 26 November 2014 Parliament 249 44 0 9 January 2015 [63]
United Kingdom United Kingdom 23 February 2015 House of Commons Approved 8 April 2015 [64]
9 March 2015 House of Lords Approved [65]
19 March 2015 Royal Assent Order Made [66]

MembershipEdit

The European Parliament passed a resolution in 2014 stating that "in accordance with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as any other European country, have a European perspective and can apply for EU membership in compliance with the principles of democracy, respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, minority rights and ensuring the rule of rights."[67] Membership is welcomed by Georgians, with 77% of the population approving the government's goal to join the EU and only 11% opposing it.[68]

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said at a press conference in Brussels on 27 June 2014 that Georgia could be a full EU member within 5–10 years. However, he stressed that Georgia had not fixed a date for bidding for EU membership.[69]

Visa liberalization dialogueEdit

In June 2012, the EU and Georgia began a visa liberalisation dialogue to allow for visa free travel of Georgian citizens to the European Union. The talks aimed to have a Visa Liberalisation Action Plan in place by the end of the year.[10] The action plan was delivered to Georgia on 25 February 2013.[70] The new project on 'Strengthening the capacity of the Georgian Government in border management and migration regulation' which was launched in Tbilisi by the EU Delegation to Georgia, will be implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), the EU Delegation to Georgia said in its statement on 24 January 2014. Thus, Georgia will take another step towards visa free travel to the Schengen area through an EU-funded project which will help to increase the capacity of the Georgian authorities in the field of integrated border management and migration.[71]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ "Saakashvili: Georgia 'should never leave path' of EU integration". EurActiv. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Solana raises prospect of EU soldiers in Georgia EU Observer
  4. ^ Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of Georgia – OSCE
  5. ^ Q&A: Conflict in Georgia, BBC News (11 November 2008)
  6. ^ Tbilisi Must Build Closer Relationship With EU, Former Georgian Envoy Says, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (5 October 2008)
  7. ^ EU extends Georgia cease-fire monitor mission, Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review (27 July 2009)
  8. ^ Georgia Slams Russia For Shutting Down UN Mission, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (16 June 2009 )
  9. ^ EU, Georgia Sign ENP Action Plan, Civil Georgia, 2 October 2006.
  10. ^ a b "EU, Georgia Making 'Good Progress' in Association Agreement, Visa Liberalization Talks". Civil Georgia. 3 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  11. ^ "EU Commissioner: EU, Ukraine May Sign Association Agreement Next Year". PR Newswire. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
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  13. ^ Auyezov, Olzhas (8 February 2013). "Reform quickly or lose deals, EU tells Ukraine". The Star. Retrieved 2013-02-09. 
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  15. ^ Georgia-EU association agreement initialled
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  19. ^ "Agreement details". Council of the European Union. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
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  66. ^ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/843/made
  67. ^ "Georgia can apply for EU membership if it complies with democratic principles". 
  68. ^ "Public attitudes in Georgia: Results of a April 2014 survey carried out for NDI by CRRC-Georgia" (PDF). 
  69. ^ "Georgia can be full EU member in 5–10 years". 
  70. ^ "Commissioner Malmström presents Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation with Georgia". Europa.eu. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  71. ^ "EU to assist Georgia in migration and border management". trend.az. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 

External linksEdit