Baerbock assures Georgia of support in EU rapprochement
The Foreign Minister is continuing her two-day mission to Europe in the ex-Soviet Republic of Georgia. A visit to the administrative border with South Ossetia is intended as a signal to Kremlin chief Putin.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has promised Georgia German support in the EU accession process, also in the face of Russian attempts to exert influence, and has called for further reforms. “The door to EU candidate status is wide open. Now it’s time to take the remaining twelve steps,” said the Green politician on Friday after talks with her colleague Ilia Darchiashvili in the capital of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Baerbock particularly emphasized Georgia’s approval of the UN resolutions condemning Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
The rule of law, democratic standards and freedom of the media are essential for the accession process, said Baerbock. After the repeal of the highly controversial agent law, the government in Tbilisi now has the task of “overcoming polarization, regaining trust and taking the upcoming reform steps with all determination.” At the same time, she emphasized that there can be no shortcuts, especially when it comes to European values.
Intensive work on 12 criteria
According to the official translation, Darchiashvili said it was “the unshakeable will of the Georgian people” to join the EU. The candidate status is “a node”. The government is working intensively to meet the twelve criteria set by the EU Commission, he assured.
In June 2022, the EU made Ukraine and its small neighboring Republic of Moldova candidate countries in connection with the Russian attack on Ukraine. The former Soviet Republic of Georgia was promised that status once certain reforms were completed.
Among the twelve priorities identified by the EU are the fight against political polarization, judicial reform, the establishment of an independent anti-corruption agency, freedom of the media and “de-oligarchization”. In October, the EU Commission intends to present a report that will serve as the first basis for further decisions on closer rapprochement with the European Union.
Federal Foreign Office on Georgia EU page on the observer mission in Georgia