The EU said on October 15 that it was ready to provide support and advice to Georgia’s incoming government and to maintain momentum in negotiations on Association Agreement and in ongoing dialogue on visa liberalization.
After a meeting in Luxembourg the EU foreign ministers said that the October 1 parliamentary elections in Georgia were “significant step towards the consolidation of democracy.”
In conclusions on Georgia, released after the meeting in Luxembourg, the EU foreign ministers called on “all Georgian state institutions and political parties to work together constructively during the coming period of transition, with a view to assuring stability, the rule of law, human rights and good governance, in full respect of the democratically-expressed will of the people and the respective responsibilities of the Parliament and President under the Georgian Constitution.”
“The [EU Foreign Affairs] Council confirms the EU’s engagement, within the Eastern Partnership, to work towards political association and economic integration with Georgia, and reaffirms the EU’s commitment to the shared objective of visa free travel in due course, provided that the conditions for well managed and secure mobility are in place. The Council acknowledges the European aspirations and European choice of Georgia, and looks forward to continued close cooperation with Georgia on our ambitious mutual agenda,” it said.
The EU said in September that talks with Georgia over Association Agreement, which also includes deep and comprehensive free trade agreement, as well as dialogue on visa liberalization “are characterised by good progress.”
The EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood said in their joint statement on September 3 that it was EU’s aim to table a Visa Liberalization Action Plan by the end of this year.
The EU and Georgia launched visa liberalisation dialogue with an aim to examine all the relevant conditions for visa-free travel to the EU for Georgian citizen in June, 2012.
Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) is the main instrument to conduct talks, which represents a set of detailed requirements that a country should meet in order to be granted short-term visa-free regime.
The EU foreign ministers said on October 15 that the European Union remained committed to providing support for the necessary internal reforms by Georgia in areas related to Association Agreement and visa dialogue.
“The Council stresses the critical importance of both an effective parliamentary opposition and a vibrant civil society to democratic development, and reiterates its intention to continue to support capacity building in these areas,” the EU foreign ministers said.
They also reiterated EU’s support to Georgia’s territorial integrity and said that EU was looking forward “to the pursuit by Georgia of an effective policy in engaging with the breakaway regions.”