Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on Monday reviewed his visit to Georgia last week by saying the bloc wanted to “see Georgia succeeding on its European path”.
In an article over the visit, the bloc’s top diplomat noted “there is no doubt for the European Union that Georgia belongs to the European family”, and further highlighted the “overwhelming” European aspiration of Georgian citizens.
During my stay, all my interlocutors made a plea for Georgia to receive candidate status to the EU shortly. It is a call that we have heard over the past months consistently from the authorities, from the opposition and from the civil society representatives”, Borrell said.
The EU official stressed one of the “main” challenges on the European path for Georgia was the “strong” political polarisation, and for the country to become an EU candidate, “all political forces need to work together constructively”.
The EU accession process is a national endeavour that needs to stand over party politics. All institutions have to work together, i.e. cooperate. Georgian leaders should not miss this historic opportunity”, he noted.
Borrell added there were no “shortcuts” to EU accession neither for Georgia, nor anyone else as the enlargement process always followed “clear” criteria.
It requires, for sure, hard work, political will and clear commitment to the European Union’s values. […] This hard work is worth it, not only to become a member of the European Union, but, more importantly, for improving the everyday life of citizens. Georgia has a robust administration and a vibrant civil society. It has all the potential to achieve this historic task”, he said.
The European official also welcomed the clear position of Georgia in international fora in support of Ukraine and noted “it is crucial to coordinate our efforts with our closest partners to isolate Russia internationally”.
In the piece, Borrell also reiterated the EU’s “unwavering” support to Georgia’s security, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and further pointed out that “our longstanding commitment to stand by Georgia is today as strong as ever in light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”.