Georgia–European Union relations
Georgia and the European Union have maintained relations since 1996 in the INOGATE framework, and in 2006 a five-year "Action Plan" of rapprochement was implemented in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). A more comprehensive Association Agreement entered into force on 1 July 2016. A European Union Monitoring Mission was sent to Georgia in the wake of the 2008 South Ossetia war.
Georgia does not have any official status as a candidate for future enlargement of the European Union, but in 2011 Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili expressed a desire for his country to become a member state of the EU. This view has been explicitly expressed on several occasions as links to the United States, EU and NATO have been strengthened in an attempt to move away from the Russian sphere of influence.
Adjara crisis (2004)
In Adjara, leader Aslan Abashidze was forced to resign in May 2004 following the Rose Revolution. EU CFSP Chief Javier Solana indicated in February 2007 that the EU could send troops to Georgia alongside Russian forces.
South Ossetia crisis (2006–08)
In July 2006 the European Union referred to then recent developments in South Ossetia zone of and to the Resolution of the Georgian Parliament on Peacekeeping Forces Stationed in the Conflict Zones, which was adopted on 18 July 2006 as follows:
After the 2008 South Ossetia war a EU cease-fire monitoring mission in Georgia (EUMM) was sent to monitor the Russian troop withdrawal from "security zones" established by Russia around South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The mission started on 1 October 2008 and was prolonged by the EU in July 2009 for one year while the EU expressed concern that Russia was blocking other observers from working there A United Nations Security Council resolution aimed at extending its UN Observer Mission in Georgia was vetoed by Russia on 15 June 2009.
European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan (2006–11)
On 2 October 2006, a joint statement on the agreed text of the Georgia-European Union Action Plan within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was issued. The Action Plan was formally approved at the EU-Georgia Cooperation Council session on 14 November 2006 in Brussels.
Association Agreement (2013–present)
To enhance their relationship, the EU and Georgia began negotiating an Association Agreement (AA) and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. In November 2012, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule stated that the AA negotiations could be finalized by November 2013. In February 2013, Tamar Beruchachvili, the Deputy State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia, stated that Georgia had no plans to join the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, which Fule has warned Ukraine would be incompatible with the agreements with the EU. A ceremony on the initialling of the AA by the Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton was held at the Eastern Partnership summit on 29 November 2013. It was formally signed on 27 June 2014, and had to be ratified by the EU, Euratom, their member states and Georgia. A second agreement, governing the country's involvement in EU crisis management operations, was also signed.
The Association Agreement, much of which provisionally came into force in September, has been fully ratified by Georgia and all EU member states. On 18 December 2014 the European Parliament approved the Association Agreement. Members backed the treaty by 490 votes in favour to 76 against, with 57 abstentions. The agreement entered into force on 1 July 2016.
|8 July 2015||National Council||Approved||28 August 2015|
|23 July 2015||Federal Council||Approved|
|23 April 2015||Chamber of Representatives||101||17||20||1 February 2016|
|Royal Assent (federal law)|
|1 July 2015||
|22 June 2015||German-speaking Community||16||2||1|
|24 June 2015||French Community||71||0||8|
|20 November 2015||Brussels Regional Parliament||69||3||3|
|20 November 2015||
|17 June 2015||
|24 June 2015||COCOF Assembly||71||0||8|
|24 July 2014||National Assembly||91||0||0||9 September 2014|
|28 July 2014||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|12 December 2014||Parliament||116||0||1||24 March 2015|
|18 December 2014||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|7 May 2015||House of Representatives||Approved||18 August 2015|
|22 May 2015||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|18 March 2015||Senate||56||0||6||12 June 2015|
|29 April 2015||Chamber of Deputies||116||1||51|
|19 May 2015||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|18 December 2014||Parliament||101||7||0||18 February 2015|
|4 November 2014||Assembly||66||0||0||12 January 2015|
|13 November 2014||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|18 December 2014||European Parliament||490||76||57||19 April 2016 (EAEC)
23 May 2016 (EU)
|Council of the European Union|
|10 March 2015||Parliament||Approved||6 May 2015|
|24 April 2015||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|29 October 2015||Senate||Approved||15 December 2015|
|25 June 2015||National Assembly||Approved|
|9 November 2015||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|8 May 2015||Bundesrat||Approved||22 July 2015|
|26 March 2015||Bundestag||Approved|
|27 May 2015||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|18 July 2014||Parliament||123||0||0||25 July 2014|
|18 November 2015||Parliament||Approved||14 December 2015|
|24 November 2015||Presidential Promulgation||Granted|
|25 November 2014||National Assembly||127||6||0||7 April 2015|
|5 December 2014||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|27 January 2015||Dáil Éireann||58||19||0||17 April 2015|
|26 November 2015||Senate||202||37||10||3 February 2016|
|29 July 2015||Chamber of Deputies||310||93||34|
|7 December 2015||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|14 July 2014||Parliament||81||0||0||2 October 2014|
|18 July 2014||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|8 July 2014||Parliament||84||0||1||29 July 2014|
|11 July 2014||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|18 March 2015||Chamber of Deputies||55||2||0||12 May 2015|
|12 April 2015||Grand Ducal Promulgation||Granted|
|21 August 2014||House of Representatives||Approved||29 August 2014|
|7 July 2015||Senate||Adopted||21 September 2015|
|7 April 2015||House of Representatives||119||31||0|
|28 July 2015||Royal Promulgation||Granted|
|5 March 2015||Senate||75||0||0||22 May 2015|
|6 February 2015||Sejm||439||0||1|
|26 March 2015||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|2 April 2015||National Assembly||Approved||8 October 2015|
|19 May 2015||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|2 July 2014||Chamber of Deputies||298||0||0||14 July 2014|
|3 July 2014||Senate||111||0||2|
|9 July 2014||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|23 September 2014||National Council||117||0||1||21 October 2014|
|16 October 2014||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|13 May 2015||National Assembly||69||3||0||27 July 2015|
|21 May 2015||Presidential Assent||Granted|
|27 May 2015||Senate||Approved||28 July 2015|
|30 April 2015||Congress of Deputies||303||0||1|
|26 November 2014||Parliament||249||44||0||9 January 2015|
|23 February 2015||House of Commons||Approved||8 April 2015|
|9 March 2015||House of Lords||Approved|
|19 March 2015||Royal Assent||Granted|
The European Parliament passed a resolution in 2014 stating that "in accordance with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as any other European country, have a European perspective and can apply for EU membership in compliance with the principles of democracy, respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, minority rights and ensuring the rule of rights." Membership is welcomed by Georgians, with 77% of the population approving the government's goal to join the EU and only 11% opposing it.
Georgia's former President Mikheil Saakashvili has expressed a desire for Georgia to join the EU. This view has been explicitly expressed on several occasions as links to the United States, EU and NATO have been strengthened in an attempt to move away from the Russian sphere of influence. Territorial integrity issues in Ajaria were dealt with after the Rose Revolution, when leader Aslan Abashidze was forced to resign in May 2004. However, unresolved territorial integrity issues have again risen to the forefront in South Ossetia and Abkhazia as a result of the 2008 South Ossetia War. On 11 November 2010, Georgian Deputy Prime Minister Giorgi Baramidze announced that Georgia wants to cooperate with Ukraine in their attempt to join the European Union.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said at a press conference in Brussels on 27 June 2014 that Georgia could be a full EU member within 5–10 years. However, he stressed that Georgia had not fixed a date for bidding for EU membership.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has submitted an action plan for achieve accession to the European Union. The commission received information about the implementation of the Georgia-EU Association Agreement and the National Action Plan for the Implementation of the Association Agenda. As it has pointed out during the meeting, the European side, both in the last year's meeting of the Georgia-EU Association Council and the report of the European Commission, commended the reforms of the Georgian Government aiming at the implementation of the Association Agreement. The meeting also adopted the 2017-2020 Government Strategy on Georgia's EU and NATO Integration Communications.
Visa liberalization dialogue
In June 2012, the EU and Georgia began a visa liberalisation dialogue to allow for visa-free travel of Georgian citizens to the European Union. The talks aimed to have a Visa Liberalisation Action Plan in place by the end of the year. The action plan was delivered to Georgia on 25 February 2013. The new project on 'Strengthening the capacity of the Georgian Government in border management and migration regulation' which was launched in Tbilisi by the EU Delegation to Georgia, will be implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), the EU Delegation to Georgia said in its statement on 24 January 2014. Thus, Georgia will take another step towards visa-free travel to the Schengen area through an EU-funded project which will help to increase the capacity of the Georgian authorities in the field of integrated border management and migration. In December 2015, the Commission issued a progress report that found that Georgia met all the conditions for its citizens be granted visa-free travel to the Schengen area. The European Commission formally proposed Georgia be granted visa free travel in March 2016. The Committee of Permanent Representatives gave its approval in October 2016, and it was approved by the European Parliament in February 2017. On March 8, 2017 the Official EU Journal published a legislation allowing Georgians owning biometric passports to travel to the Schengen Area visa-free. The legislation came into full effect on the 28th of March 2017, allowing Georgian citizens to travel for short periods to most EU member countries without a visa.
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