Georgia’s Roadmap To EU Candidate Status

Georgia “already has a roadmap” with which it must comply if it wants to obtain the status of candidate for the European Union, underlined Friday the head of French diplomacy on a visit to Tbilisi. Questioned by NGOs on how France could support the country to accelerate the granting of this status, Catherine Colonna recalled that the European Union had issued a list of reforms necessary for obtaining this status to be possible.

“We opened the door. The door is open”, she told them, adding that she feared that the population would be disappointed when in the autumn, the European Council will review the possible progress made by Georgia. For their part, the NGOs have expressed their fear that a rejection of the granting of the status “would increase Russian influence” in the country.

Reforms Expected by The European Union

In June 2022, the EU refused Georgia the status of candidate for integration, which it instead granted to Ukraine and Moldova. Brussels is asking Tbilisi in particular for reforms in terms of justice, the electoral system, freedom of the press and the fight against the oligarchs.

The French minister, on the other hand, praised the work of civil society and organizations which mobilized strongly in March, resulting in the withdrawal of a repressive bill. Catherine Colonna met these NGOs on Friday, including Transparency International and the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, before a meeting with her Georgian counterpart Ilia Dartchiashvili.

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