Georgia warns that leaving the country outside the EU could jeopardize its future / Article

After the European Commission announced that, unlike Ukraine and Moldova, Georgia would not yet be offered EU candidate status, the streets of Tbilisi this week experienced one of the largest rallies of recent times. Civic activists, representatives of various opposition parties, university students – tens of thousands – gathered in parliament to express their desire to join the European family.

“This is an important day. Because, despite our political views, we are united in our common goal. I think this is another step towards success, and we believe it will bring us a better future,” said Saba Meupišvili, a participant in the rally. .

The European Commission has previously stated that Georgia will only be able to apply for candidate status once it has implemented a number of reforms. Demonstrators criticized the government and called for decisions that would bring Georgia closer to European democratic values.

Alexander Elishashvili, the leader of the Citizens Party, emphasized: “The public, as well as the opposition, already has a very specific agenda. There are 12 recommendations to take a step towards Europe. We have a very specific agenda. This is a job that needs to be done. The key is for the government to take action on these 12 recommendations for candidate status, and then we’ll see. “

Following a large-scale demonstration, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili addressed European leaders with support for Georgia and thanked those who had already expressed support. Addressing French President Emmanuel Macron, she emphasized: “Georgia has been isolated from Europe for 70 years of Soviet occupation. However, it has never stopped finding that way, moving towards democracy and Europe. We hope that France will be on Georgia’s side so that the next European Council a historic decision would be taken. “

Addressing German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Georgian leader recalled: “Germany knows from its history that borders must not separate Europeans from each other. Today, we are counting on you as one of Georgia’s oldest partners and friends to help Georgia on its European path and its at a very crucial time. “

Georgians warn that leaving Georgia outside the European family could jeopardize its future.

“Our European path is equally important to all generations in Georgia,” said political scientist Khatuna Lagazidze. “Our biggest request is not to leave Georgia face to face with Russia. We call on European countries not to make the same mistake as during the 2008 NATO summit, when Georgia and Ukraine were unable to obtain an NATO Membership Action Plan. This led directly or indirectly to Russia’s war. started in Georgia in 2008 and then against Ukraine in 2014 and 2022. “

According to surveys conducted by international organizations, about 80% of the population supports Georgia’s move towards Europe.

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