Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Tuesday expressed hope that the next decade would bring the “much-dreamt” European Union and NATO umbrella above the Georgian sky.
In his address at the Euro-Atlantic Resilience Centre in Bucharest, Papuashvili highlighted Georgia as a “reliable and responsible” EU and NATO partner, noting the country “has always been ready to contribute to European and Euro-Atlantic security despite the real and present danger of Russian reprisal for doing so”.
Recalling “the historic decision” of the 2008 Bucharest summit promising that Georgia and Ukraine would become members of NATO, Papuashvili said Georgia “has developed democratic institutions beyond NATO’s entry-level standards” and added the country’s “armed forces have become fully interoperable with the Alliance”, with the help and support of the partners.
It’s high time to have tangible progress in the political dimension of the integration process as well. Georgia shall be on the right side in the new security order that will be formed after the victory of Ukraine”, he noted.
“These turbulent times, which seem to be here to stay, are the right moment for the EU too to fulfil the role for which it was created: sustainable regional peace, security, and prosperity”, Papuashvili stressed.
The signing of the Association and Free Trade agreements and achieving a visa-free travel regime with the EU under the Georgian Dream administration were also emphasised by the Parliament Speaker.
Papuashvili also highlighted the process of the implementation of 12 priorities, outlined by the EU for granting its candidate membership status to the country, and said he expected that “Georgia’s performance will be assessed accordingly and respective decisions will be made based on merit along with considering wider geopolitical implications”.
Europe should make “strategic and forward-looking decisions” that will “firmly anchor Georgia – a future EU member state – to this common family of European democracies”, he noted.