Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, said that at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November Georgia needs “a clear statement” from the EU that “the European perspective” is open for Georgia.
Speaking at the Riga Conference 2013 on September 7, Panjikidze said that despite of initial skepticism, Georgia fulfilled the criteria for the Association Agreement to be initialed at the Vilnius summit.
“Because we did our homework, we need now the recognition from the European Union and the signal that we are as important for the European Union as the European Union is important for us is something what we expect in Vilnius. Without that signal it will really lose its importance,” she said.
“We need a clear statement in Vilnius that the European perspective can be opened for countries like Georgia,” Panjikidze added.
She also said that Georgia should be viewed not as a neighbor of Europe, but as the European neighbor.
Panjikidze said that in text of the Association Agreement Georgia is referred to as “Eastern European country” instead of “European country” because “some” EU member states thought that putting the latter definition would have created an impression of “promise of membership”.
“But we need a clear message in Vilnius that the countries which are willing to integrate into the European Union and feel themselves as European countries have a perspective and can be described as European countries,” the Georgian Foreign Minister said.