Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili (archive photo) Prime Minister Garibashvili: Georgia will receive EU candidate status
Large-scale actions in support of European integration are taking place in five cities of Georgia
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said that Tbilisi will start fulfilling the conditions necessary for obtaining candidate status in EU.
“Most of these recommendations were already on our agenda. There are other issues, of course, we will clarify them with Brussels, we will work and get the status of a candidate for the EU,” the Prime Minister of Georgia said on June 20.
Recall that on June 17, the European Commission announced that it recommends the EU Council to recognize the European perspective of Georgia, but before granting the country the status of a candidate for EU membership, it requires Tbilisi to implement a number of reforms. At the same time, in the case of Ukraine and Moldova, the European Commission recommended that they be given the status of candidates immediately. Now the issue of granting candidate status to the three countries on June 23-24 at the summit in Brussels will be discussed by the presidents and prime ministers of the EU countries and, in case of unanimous support, they will make a final decision.
According to Garibashvili, the granting of candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova is a kind of compensation for the crisis in which these states found themselves as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent flow of refugees to Moldova. According to the Georgian prime minister, this “significantly increased the risks both in the economy and in the security sphere.”
“I don't really envy either Ukraine or Moldova. I want to congratulate the Ukrainian and Moldovan people and I want to wish them peace and the unification of the country,” Garibashvili said.
The reaction of the opposition
At the same time, the Georgian opposition does not share the prime minister's optimism and accuses the ruling Georgian Dream party of for a number of years proclaimed by the European Union as a leader in reforms, suddenly she was refused an immediate grant of candidate status.
We are talking about the fact that the European Commission demanded that Tbilisi fulfill twelve requirements in order to gain the status of a candidate country. Opponents of the authorities note that one of the demands concerns “deoligarchization” and that Georgian Dream will not be able to fulfill it, since it is about the founder of the ruling party, billionaire Bidzin Ivanishvili, who officially retired from politics a year and a half ago, but, according to opponents, continues to rule the country from behind the scenes.
“Deoligarchization means that institutions should be independent – instead of being controlled by a person who is not visible, but at the same time everyone feels his power,” said Georgian Ombudsman Nino Lomjaria.
Part The opposition, including the party of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili UNM, called on supporters of Georgia's European integration to take part in the June 20 action “Home to Europe – in anticipation of the EU decision”, which is organized by Georgian public organizations in Tbilisi and four other Georgian cities.
“Today's action is focused on a specific result. On the 24th we still have a chance. This action should be immediately followed by the steps of the authorities… These are, in particular, the adoption of the Constitution in the second reading, as well as the cessation of political persecution and the pardon by the President of Nika Gvaramia (general director of the opposition TV channel Mtavari – N.Ch.). The authorities can do it in three days. At the same time, today's grandiose action will be a signal for Europe. This action has a specific financial burden, this is not a symbolic meeting,” Roman Gotsiridze, a UNM MP, told the media.
“Scenario of future actions”
Although the organizers say that today’s action is not associated with any political force, Georgian Dream called it “an action of Saakashvili’s party .
Georgian Dream Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze recalled that one of the twelve demands of the European Commission was to reduce polarization in the country, and that today's action, on the contrary, serves to exacerbate political confrontation. The politician fears that the “Home to Europe” action could be used by “radical opposition forces” to start unrest.
neither the unrest scenario nor the war scenario will be successful, we bear responsibility for that,” Kobakhidze told reporters on June 20.
is in Ukraine, the Georgian opposition allegedly wants to open some kind of “second front” in Georgia. For example, the leaders of the “Georgian Dream” call Saakashvili's party “the party of war.” Moreover, the narrative of the ruling power is that the Western partners' critical attitude towards Tbilisi is partly due to the alleged fact that Georgia is not getting involved in a war with Russia. Recall that such statements were criticized a few days ago by Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, and the US Ambassador to Georgia called them “one hundred percent Russian disinformation.”