Georgian NGOs propose gov’t 10 steps on road to EU membership

Georgia Materials 18 March 2022 21:40 (UTC +04:00)

Thirty-one non-governmental organizations propose the Georgian government an action plan for Georgia’s European Union integration. The NGOs listed 10 steps on the road to EU membership, Trend reports citing 1tv.ge.

“Georgia’s unwavering will to join the European Union is evidenced by an overwhelming level of support from the Georgian population and enshrined in the Constitution of Georgia. In view of this, on March 3, 2022, the Georgian government submitted its application for membership in the European Union. On March 10, 2022, at a summit of European Union leaders in France, the European Commission was asked to prepare an assessment of Georgia’s application, which will determine the country’s eligibility for candidate status.

We believe that deepening cooperation with the European Union and commencing the process of accession will create preconditions for a stronger democracy, greater human rights protections and social benefits, and increased security for Georgia. The ongoing war in Ukraine has revealed the necessity of the Europeanization process, not only for Georgia’s political, legal, and social development, but also in terms of the security of our country.

The dynamic development of Georgia-EU relations should become a precondition for consolidation and the end of polarization between political actors,” the NGOs said in the document.

The signatories expressed readiness to be actively involved in the process.

1. Develop a national strategy for Georgia’s accession to the European Union and create an effective monitoring mechanism that will ensure the involvement of civil society.
2. Implement the democratic reforms envisaged by the agreement “A Way Ahead for Georgia” that was signed on April 19, 2021.
3. Strengthen diplomatic efforts to ensure the timely adoption of the new Georgia-EU Association Agenda with EU Member States and begin its effective implementation.
4. Make the necessary diplomatic efforts to expedite the adoption of the European Commission Candidate Status Assessment Questionnaire;
5. Mobilize the relevant human, financial, and technical resources (including the establishment of a relevant agency and/or inter-agency working group) to facilitate the timely and comprehensive completion and submission of the Candidate Status Assessment Questionnaire.
6. Amend the Statute of the EU Integration Commission of Georgia to increase the intensity and efficiency of its work (including the active involvement of working groups in the process of preparing answers to the questionnaire).
7. Make the process transparent and inclusive. Establish a National Council for Accession to the European Union, which is composed of experts in the field and has the status of an advisory body, to facilitate the coordination and monitoring of Georgia’s accession process.
8. Consider appointing members of the opposition as the chairpersons of the following committees in the Parliament of Georgia: European Integration, Human Rights and Civil Integration, Legal Issues, and Foreign Relations. Further consider appointing members of the opposition to positions in the EU-Georgia Association Parliamentary Committee. This will increase parliamentary oversight of Georgia’s EU accession process.
9. In accordance with the Petra Fortress declaration (signed by the Association Trio: Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine), take effective steps to strengthen the format of cooperation between the Trio, normalize relations with Ukraine, and establish a joint summit between the Trio and the European Union.
10. Ensure the management of expectations related to Georgia’s EU accession process and maintain relevant internal and external communication.