25 October 2020,   12:40
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Giorgi Gakharia spoke with Joseph Borrell about Georgia’s role in the Black Sea region and the importance of greater integration with the European Union

At the meeting of the European Commission between the Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and EU High Representative EU High Representative and Vice President of the Commission Josep Borrell all key issues on the Georgia-EU agenda, including the implementation of the Association Agreement and DCFTA, practical tools for setting up transport and communication links, and the role of the Black Sea in this context were discussed.

The conversation started with discussions on the pandemic. The parties pointed out the Georgian Government’s effective steps in the fight against coronavirus. The Prime Minister emphasized the EU"s significant financial assistance in this process and thanked European partners.

The Head of Government and the EU High Representative discussed challenges facing regional security. Giorgi Gakharia informed Josep Borrell about the dire humanitarian situation in Georgia’s occupied territories and the difficulties the local population encounters because of the closure of so-called crossing points and their inability to receive sufficient education and medical services. The meeting pointed out the EU’s role in the Geneva Discussion and emphasized that it is critical for the EU to take a tougher stance in its assessments in order to give additional impetus to the Geneva Discussions format. The conversation also touched on Georgia"s peace initiative, A Step to a Better Future.

The meeting once again praised the country’s steps toward consolidating democratic institutions and reforms designed to empower Georgia’s institutions. The Prime Minister reaffirmed that the October 31 elections will meet the highest international standards, in a transparent environment, just like every successive election since 2012, with the maximal engagement of international observers ensured and their safety against coronavirus guaranteed.

The meeting also commended the progress achieved in the implementation of the Association Agreement and DCFTA, as well as the process of visa liberalization. However, the Prime Minister stated that ultimate integration into the EU will take achieving even more ambitious goals. Giorgi Gakharia emphasized Georgia’s role in the Black Sea Region and the importance of further physical integration in the EU by maximally tapping into energy, transport, connectivity, and other important projects.

The parties also discussed preparations for the next Eastern Partnership Summit in March, during which concrete visions for the Eastern Partners beyond 2020 will be presented by its member states. According to the Prime Minister, Georgia’s approach involves the development of additional mechanisms, including a differential approach to Georgia as the leader among the Eastern Partnership member states, one that deserves more concrete tools, including access to the unified market and the empowerment of its role as the connector between the EU and the region.

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