Monday July 22, 2024

Georgia ‘confident’ of EU candidate status this year

June 01, 2023

BRUSSELS, Belgium: Georgia´s President Salome Zourabichvili said on Wednesday she was “confident” that Brussels would grant her country EU candidate status before the end of this year.Addressing the European Parliament in Brussels, the leader argued in a lengthy speech that Georgia was stepping up to meet European democratic standards and that membership of the bloc would provide “protection from Russia”.

“At this decisive time of our journey towards Europe, I want to see Georgia get past domestic and international challenges and firmly embark on the path to full-fledged European integration,” she said.

“And for that there is only one road: to secure Georgia be granted by year end the status of candidate to the European Union.” Georgia applied for candidate status to join the European Union in March last year, along with Moldova -- a month after Ukraine did.In June 2022, EU member states granted that status to Ukraine and Moldova, but held off on Georgia, saying that country had more work to do. The European Commission at the time said that while Georgia´s overall bid was “solid” it still needed further reforms of its market economy, education system and its energy and transport infrastructure.