2019 marked the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), when the EU strengthened its relationship with 6 Eastern partners. The identified goals committed the EU, its Member States and the six partners to achieve concrete improvement in four key areas: economy, governance, connectivity, and society.
Georgia, as one of the most ambitious of the six partners, has seen its ties with the EU grow stronger since 2009. Several measures have contributed to this improvement, such as the ongoing opening of the EU market to Georgian products, the entry into force of visa liberalisation, agriculture modernisation, and infrastructure investment, amongst others.
The EU has a strategy called “more for more”, meaning that the most ambitious of its partners should receive tangible recognition for their efforts to get closer to the EU. However, EU member states oppose any accession soon. This is why Georgia’s government has been pushing for the country to join as many EU programmes as possible. In an effort to “set a new course”, as mentioned by Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili in July, Georgia wishes to be an ad-hoc case, a ‘testing ground’ for a new path towards EU membership. Additionally, as tensions with Russia rise over the occupation of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia is also seeking more political support from the EU.
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Georgia’s road to the EU: What’s next?
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