Georgia and the European Union have signed an Association Agreement
On the 27th of June 2014 in Brussels, Georgia and the European Union signed an Association Agreement, which includes provisions for the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). The agreement was signed by the Georgian Prime Minister, Mr Irakli Gharibashvili; by the President of the European Council, Mr Herman van Rompuy; by the President of the European Commission, Mr José Manuel Barroso; and by the heads of state or government of the EU member states.
The Georgian delegation included the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Mr Giorgi Kvirikashvili; the State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Mr Aleksi Petriashvili; the Foreign Minister, Ms Maia Panjikidze; and the Minister of Justice, Ms Tea Tsulukiani.
The Association Agreement provides for Georgia’s political association with the European Union and for the country’s economic integration with the largest and most stable common market in the world.
Georgia, as a European country, completely shares the common European values the Association Agreement is based upon. By signing the agreement, Georgia assumes the obligations to consolidate the rule of law, to pursue legislative reforms, to strengthen respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms, and to reinforce democratic institutions.
The Association Agreement will significantly enhance the political dialogue between Georgia and the EU, and will increase the involvement of civil society.
The agreement is designed to gradually introduce European standards in all spheres of Georgia’s economy and sectoral policy: infrastructure, energy, the environment, agriculture, tourism, technological development, employment and social policy, health protection, education, culture, civil society, regional development, etc. It also provides for the approximation of Georgian laws with nearly 300 items of European legislation.
Special emphasis was placed upon making the most effective use of various the possibilities offered by the DCFTA. These new possibilities for trade will further Georgia’s gradual economic integration with the EU’s common market through the abrogation of customs tariffs and quotas as well as through the harmonization of trade-related legislation, norms and regulations.
The DCFTA will promote a gradual approximation with European standards in the sphere of food safety; the establishment of a transparent and stable business environment; an increase of Georgia’s potential to attract investment; the introduction of innovative approaches and new technologies; the stimulation of economic growth; and support for the country’s economic development.
The Association Agreement provides for such a high level of rapprochement with the European Union that Georgia’s process of Europeanization has become irreversible, and represents yet another step towards EU membership. Following the signing of the agreement, Georgia’s European integration will be a priority both in terms of foreign and domestic policy.
The Georgian Government’s main goal is, by progressively introducing adequate policies, to extend the benefits of the agreement’s new possibilities to the whole country and society. The Georgia-EU Association Agreement covers the country’s entire territory within its internationally recognized borders, and every citizen of Georgia will enjoy equal access to the possibilities set out in the agreement.
To support its process of reform, the EU will make use of all the instruments at its disposal to provide Georgia with large-scale technical and financial assistance.
Signing the Association Agreement is a historic event for both Georgia and the European Union. The agreement will significantly increase political and economic relations between the two, and will strengthen Georgia’s European choice.
It should be noted that the agreement was signed within an unprecedented short period of time, a fact which points to the political willingness of both parties to increase their co-operation and to progress to a higher level of relations.
On the 26th of June, Georgia and the EU also adopted an Association Agenda, whose aim is to support the effective implementation of the Association Agreement, and which constitutes a three-year timetable (2014-2016) setting out priorities for the implementation of the Association Agreement.
Follow the link to download the text of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement: