PM Irakli Garibashvili said in his address to the Parliament just before it unanimously ratified the Association Agreement with the EU that Georgia has taken “an important step towards Europe, towards firm democracy and this process has now become irreversible.”
“I congratulate on this historic event everyone for whom democratic values are precious, who are committed to European democratic ideals and who see Georgia’s future in the large family of European states,” Garibashvili said.
“I am confident that Georgia has already overcome the most critical moment,” he said.
“June 27, 2014 was written in the history of our homeland as a new big date. The historic dream of all Georgians came true on this day. This day has brought us closer to Europe – the space which is so close and natural for us, the space which our country had been torn off artificially for hundreds of years and the idea of unification with which was brought to us by numerous generations of Georgians.”
“Now we are standing on the verge of this space. We should enter Europe as the country with ancient history and unique culture, which will make its contribution to diverse European culture. Our and European ideological links, closeness and relations counts already centuries. This is the relationship which stood the time.”
He said that “qualitatively new stage starts in the history of Georgia.”
“We entered the path, which should deepen and strengthen our relations with European states. Today is a very exciting and jubilant day for all of us, for the entire Georgia. Today the Georgian Parliament should ratify the Association Agreement with the EU, which has historic significance for our country. And we all are waiting for the minutes when the Parliament will reaffirm the historical choice of our people.”
“After today’s discussions I am sure that you will unanimously support the agreement. It is great honor for us that the EU member states – Romania, Lithuania and Latvia have already ratified the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and I want to thank them especially. 25 more countries and the European Parliament will ratify the Association Agreement. We should duly start implementing of those measures, which will bring us closer to Europe and bring benefits to Georgian population,” Garibashvili said.
“This year EU marks the 10th anniversary of eastern enlargement. We have all witnessed those huge benefits, which this historic EU enlargement has brought to new members, their populations and economies as well as old member states,” the Georgian PM said. “This is the most important period in the context of EU enlargement. This is, first of all, the process directed towards enlargement of the area of European values. It is especially important for us that even small countries in the European family play as important role in common European affairs as large states.”
He said that with contribution to EU’s missions Georgia “has proved that it can be a reliable partner of our Western friends.”
“We have already proved our reliability with participation in various peacekeeping missions and I am sure that Georgia’s capabilities in this regard will further be demonstrated through our future cooperation,” Garibashvili said.
“Today I can state with pride that Georgia is an example, which has implemented successful democratic reforms and is ready to be a guarantor of peace and cooperation in the entire region,” he said.
“We have stated for multiple times that Georgia has an unwavering will to gain a worthy place in the united European family. A new stage of European integration process starts for us by signing the Association Agreement – interesting road towards Europe full of challenges, which demands huge efforts, dedication and support from each of us – the government, political forces and the entire society.”
“We are obliged to work hard in order to ultimately appear where we see the perspective of our development; where we will feel ourselves safe and protected; where our identity will only be interesting for and respected by others.”
“The Association Agreement is an action plan for our country’s modernization, Europeanization and we should implement this plan thoroughly. This plan envisages commitment to democratic principles and I believe that it will be the process of tireless work,” the PM said.
“This agreement offers Georgian population the possibility to come closer to the European rule of life. With approximation to the European political, economic, social and legal standards we will bring welfare and stability to our people and our country. I am happy that our people will soon enjoy all those benefits, which the European states offer to their citizens.”
“One more important priority of EU-Georgia cooperation agenda is non-visa rules with EU states. Progress in this process is especially important for us, because non-visa rules will bring the most tangible results to our citizens,” he said.
“The EU-Georgia Association Agreement acts on the entire territory of Georgia within our internationally recognized borders. Accordingly, we express an unwavering will and readiness to share the benefits gained from the Association Agreement with all of our citizens living in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.”
“Therefore, today I want to address our Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers from the parliament’s rostrum – my friends, you will share all those achievements and successes, which will be gained by Georgia by approximation with Europe. You will have a unique chance to enjoy all these benefits, including non-visa rules with European countries, the largest EU market for businesspeople, participation in educational programs or many others,” Garibashvili said.
He thanked the EU for its “unwavering support to Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and for providing firm political support to our country.”
“The EU representatives demonstrated unprecedented support towards Georgia. It was a demonstration of unique relationship during this entire period and we appreciate it highly and thank them for it. Just with the support and help of our Western partners, friends we were able to overcome lots of difficulties and to reach this day.”
“And finally, let me reiterate that Georgian people have chosen European and Euro-Atlantic integration not as the best, but as the only foreign political orientation, which is fully in line with our values and aspirations on the path towards democracy, peace and welfare. Just therefore, I want to say special thanks to our people, who made European integration into national idea and despite of many dangers, it did not betray this ideas even for a minute,” the PM said.
“I want to thank each and every person, who made their contribution to Georgia’s EU integration.”
“Dear lawmakers, I again call on you to support the ratification of the EU-Georgian Association Agreement, to support European future of our country in order to make our country modern, strong and European state once and for all,” Garibashvili said.