Georgia: European Course Irreversible with EU Association Agreement

World | November 29, 2013, Friday // 14:47|  views

A file photo shows Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin (R) welcoming Georgia`s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze during the official meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria 25 November 2013. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Georgia and the EU's commitment to deeper integration with the initialling of an Association Agreement will ensure the irreversibility of Georgia’s European course, the country's president has said.

In his speech following the signing ceremony, President Margvelashvili said the legislative alignment demanded by the agreement makes “irreversible” Georgia’s European course.

Apart from the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, the two parties, represented by Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, Vice Prime-Minister Kvirikashvili and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, also signed a framework agreement on Georgia’s participation in EU crisis management operations.

Georgia’s reform process is set to accelerate as the government seeks to meet the conditions for signature within the term of the current European Commission, due to expire in October 2014.

In Vilnius, Commission President Jos? Manuel Barroso said he was “determined” that the “agreements will be signed as soon as possible during 2014.”

The Georgian government has committed to unilaterally implementing the provisions of the Association Agreement prior to its signature and ratification.

In addition to continued internal reforms, Georgia is now also expecting over the coming months to demonstrate its commitment to the EU’s international role in peace and security, with troop deployments as part of the EU’s civilian mission in the Horn of Africa and West Indian Ocean (EUCAP NESTOR), as well as in EU’s military training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) and border assistance mission (EUBAM) in Libya.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy issued a statement congratulating Georgia and Moldova on the initialing of “the most far-reaching agreements ever negotiated by the European Union with partner countries”.

Noting the extensive reforms demanded by the integration process, he commended the two countries for “your efforts, your determination, your courage and political will”.

“This negotiation process has once again confirmed Georgia and Moldova's historic ties with the countries of the European Union,” Van Rompuy concluded. “We share culture and we share values.”

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Tags: Jose Manuel Barroso, Eastern Partnership Summit, Vilnius, Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, Yulia Tymoshenko, Poland, Polish, Foreign Minister, Radek Sikorski, EU, Council, president, Herman van Rompuy, European Commission, Russia, Ukrainian, Margvelashvili, European, Association Agreement, EU, Georgia, Georgian


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