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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

 

Information on the first Association Council meeting between the European Union and Georgia

On the 17th of November 2014, the European Union and Georgia held the first meeting of the Association Council, which represents yet another step towards the further enhancement of political dialogue with the European Union in the process of Georgia's European integration. The decision taken at the meeting laid the basis for a new institutional framework, which is stipulated by the Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union, namely that Association Council, Association Committees and sectoral subcommittees.

At the first meeting the Georgian delegation was headed by the Prime Minister, Mr Irakli Garibashvili, while the EU delegation was led by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms Federica Mogherini. The Georgian delegation included also the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development and Vice Prime Minister, Mr Giorgi Kvirikashvili; the Foreign Minister, Ms Tamar Beruchashvili; the Minister of Justice, Ms Tea Tsulukiani; and the State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Minister, Mr Davit Bakradze. The European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr Johannes Hahn also participated for the EU.

The two delegations discussed current issues and priorities of the co-operation between Georgia and the European Union, including the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement with its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area; focused on democratic reforms carried out in the country and on the progress achieved in terms of the EU-Georgian Visa Dialogue; and put emphasis on the Georgian Government's future plans for Riga Summit due to be held in May 2015.

The Association Council has formally approved the "Association Agenda", which is the main instrument of implementation of the Association Agreement for 2014-2016 and which includes concrete priorities of co-operation.

At the meeting, the Georgian Prime Minister, Mr Irakli Garibashvili reaffirmed the irreversibility of Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration; and particularly emphasized that all main political parties and majority of populations support this choice.

The European Union welcomed the steps that have been taken by the Government of Georgia towards the implementation of the Association Agreement, in particular, towards the establishment of internal coordination mechanisms. On his part, the Prime Minister reaffirmed Georgia's readiness to intensify reforms in order to demonstrate concrete results at the Riga Summit in 2015.

The parties welcomed the EU Council's decision to help Georgia proceed to the second implementation phase of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) and expressed the hope that visa-free traffic will be achieved in the near future between Georgia and the European Union.

Special attention was paid to the security situation in Georgia, including the recent developments with respect to the occupied territories and prospects for the enhancement of EU engagement with the goal of increasing the level of stability in the country. In this light, emphasis was put on the importance of the activities of the EU Monitoring Mission, International Geneva Discussions and the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia. The EU reaffirmed its support for Georgia's territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Following the meeting of the Association Council, the EU High Representative and the Georgian Prime Minister held a joint press conference and a working dinner. A joint press release was issued.

Within the framework of his visit in Brussels, the Georgian Prime Minister, Mr Irakli Garibashvili held bilateral meetings with the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Trade, Ms Cecilia Malmström and the NATO secretary General, Mr Jens Stoltenberg. Discussions focused on topical issues regarding the relation in respective areas and prospects for future co-operation. On the 18th of November, the Georgian Prime Minister is due to meet with the President of the European Parliament, Mr Martin Schulz, the Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr Elmar Brok, the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Mr Miguel Arias Cañete, the Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Mr Christos Stylianides and the Commissioner for Transport, Ms Violeta Bulc.

17 November 2014

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