On 16 March, the EU-Georgia Association Council was held in Brussels. EU High Representative Josep Borrell and European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi met with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to talk about key areas of cooperation, such as economic development, strengthening institutions, good governance, connectivity, energy, and climate change. Especially on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) progress was made to implement structural reforms, and a new SME Development Strategy 2021-2025 is being drafted.
Furthermore, the Association Council regrets the political polarisation in the country after recent events. They called upon all political actors to “maintain an open dialogue including with civil society, in order to further strengthen democratic institutions, consolidate pluralistic democracy and advance reforms”.
President of the European Council Charles Michel visited Georgia last month after political tensions rose when members of the opposition, Nika Melia and colleagues, were imprisoned. Michel appointed Christian Danielsson to start a mediation process between the opposition and governing parties. High Representative Borrell stated that Danielsson will announce concrete measures in the following days.
ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen welcomes the developments but sees the need for clarity for the Georgian people and its opposition. He also calls for the release of the political prisoners in the meantime.
🇪🇺🇬🇪 Georgian people need clarity and concrete proposals. Looking forward to the next steps of @DanielssonEU in the mediation process.— Hans van Baalen (@hansvanbaalen) March 16, 2021
In meantime political prisoners such as @NikaMelia5 need to be released! #Georgia @ALDEParty https://t.co/7toeq9TKcd