EU relations with Georgia

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The FINANCIAL — Georgia is a priority country within the European Neighborhood Policyand the Eastern Partnership. The EU is committed to a policy of sequenced engagement with Georgia and to a close relationship that encompasses political association and economic integration.

The EU continues to support Georgia’s efforts to overcome the consequences of internal conflicts in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well as to stabilise the situation following the outbreak of hostilities in August 2008. It remains firmly committed to its policy of non-recognition and engagement, thus supports Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally-recognised borders as well as engagement with the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in support of longer term conflict resolution.

EU role in conflict resolution

EU-Georgia relations date back to 1992, shortly after Georgia declared its sovereignty following the break-up of the Soviet Union. Bilateral relations have further intensified since 2003, as consecutive governments have undertaken ambitious programmes of political and economic reforms.

The EU continues to support Georgia’s efforts to overcome the consequences of internal conflicts in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia dating back to the early 1990s as well as to stabilise the situation following the outbreak of hostilities in August 2008. It remains firmly committed to its policy of non-recognition and engagement, thus supports Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally-recognised borders as well as engagement with the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in support of longer term conflict resolution. 

In June 2014 the EU and Georgia signed an Association Agreement, which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA). The Agreement significantly deepens political and economic ties with the EU in the framework of the Eastern Partnership. It replaces the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the previous basis for EU-Georgia bilateral relations since 1999.

See also  Time Shifting 

An EU-Georgia Association Agenda was also agreed in June 2014 to help implement the AA/DCFTA through joint priorities for 2014-2016. It replaces the EU-Georgia ENP Action Plan of 2006.

The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area is expected to bring many economic benefits to Georgia by giving companies access to the EU’s single market – the world’s largest. This will create business opportunities, bring better goods and services, and boost competitiveness. The EU will work with the Georgian Government and businesses to achieve reform, and help upgrade goods and industries to the necessary standards.

Visa Liberalisation

The EU  has currently two on-going Visa Dialogues with  Eastern Partnership countries, namely Ukraine and Georgia. The dialogue is conducted through the implementation of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan which is tailor-made for each partner country and structured around four blocks concerning

document security, including biometrics;

integrated border management, migration management, asylum; 

public order and security; and 

external relations and fundamental rights.

Through these dialogues, the EU is taking gradual steps towards the core objective of the EaP of enhanced mobility through  visa-free travel, provided that conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place.

The EU opened the visa dialogue with Georgia in June 2012 and a Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) was presented in early 2013. Progress reports on the implementation of the VLAP were presented in:

November 2013 ;

October 2014 ; and

May 2015 

EU assistance cooperation

The EU cooperates with Georgia in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and its eastern regional dimension, the Eastern Partnership. The key goal is to bring Georgia closer to the EU.

See also  Time Shifting 

The European Neighbourhood Instrument is the EU financial instrument dedicated to the Neighbourhood for the period 2014-2020. It replaces the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) of 2007-2013. Other funding sources are the thematic programmes, focused on human rights and civil society.

EU assistance to Georgia takes mainly the form of country Action Programmes funded every year under the ENI. Georgia benefits also from regional and multi-country Action Programmes funded under the ENI.

Georgia’s indicative financial allocation for 2014-2017 is €335–410 million. 

The country received a total of €452.1 million in EU assistance between 2007 and 2013.

 

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