Van Rompuy hails Georgia's remarkable progress in reforms
Georgia has made remarkable progress in its modernisation and reform efforts since gaining independence 20 years ago, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said after his meeting in Tbilisi with Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili yesterday.
Van Rompuy spoke high of Georgia’s achievements, citing its success in creating more efficient state institutions, in improving services to the citizens and in building an investment friendly environment. “These are all important steps in making a difference not only for today´s Georgia but for the next generation,” Van Rompuy stressed.
A lot had been achieved in a short time in EU-Georgia relations, Van Rompuy said, namely a steady progress in negotiations on the Association Agreement, the launch of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, as well as advance towards visa liberalisation.
It is by continuing this work and through reforms that Georgia´s prosperity and stability can be ensured in the long term, the President pointed out, adding: “The more Georgia reforms the more the EU can do to help and support.”
Van Rompuy also called on Georgia to make headway in modernization, adding the parliamentary election in October and presidential elections in 2013 will be a test of the progress Georgia has made on its path to reform.
Van Rompuy noted that Georgia was one of the front runners in the Eastern Partnership. He said the next Eastern Partnership Summit in Lithuania in 2013 would be an important follow-up to the Summit in Warsaw and “an opportunity to again confirm the importance of the EU’s relationship with its eastern
neighbours, including Georgia.”
Touching upon the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Van Rompuy said the EU firmly supported Georgia’s territorial integrity, shared the strong interest in the resolution of the conflicts and would “remain engaged in a central role in the Geneva international discussions as well as through the EU Monitoring Mission.”
Georgia and Russia had to find ways to normalise relations, Van Rompuy stressed, adding that as Georgia’s constructive role in enabling Russia's WTO-accession showed, “progress can be made if there is political will on both sides .” (EU Neighbourhood Info)
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre webpage -Georgia