It is a historic day for Georgia as we are signing an Application for European Union (EU) Membership on behalf of the country.
Application for EU Membership is yet another milestone on Georgia’s path to European integration — it is a stage that opens a new chapter in our history and continues our forefathers’ efforts to bring Georgia into the European family.
Georgia is a European state. Throughout its long history, our country has always been a part of European culture and civilized space, and it continues to make a significant contribution to its protection and development. Being European is nothing but a unity of values and principles, which shape Europe. Georgia’s history, which is a track record of fights and battles for independence, is evidence of these values being enshrined in the character of a Georgian individual and making them an inseparable component of the country’s identity.
History has deemed the European choice of the Georgian people as its strategic aim. Our country has been steadily progressing since its independence, and today is another manifestation of that effort.
Georgia has never been closer to the European Union than it is today.
When I signed the Association Agreement between the European Union and Georgia as Prime Minister of Georgia in 2014, we took on a massive responsibility to our country and people to successfully begin our journey of European integration and lay a solid and robust foundation for our eventual Europeanisation.
Since 2014, Georgia has successfully implemented its commitments assumed under the EU Association Agreement in the position of an Associated Partner. It has achieved significant progress toward legislative, economic, and political approximation with the EU.
Democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and good governance have all become part of our everyday lives. In every field of our political, economic, and social lives, we are actively introducing European standards and standards.
Our country’s citizens benefit from a visa-free travel arrangement within the EU/Schengen zone, which is a tremendous opportunity for a close interaction of our communities and nations.
Free trade with the EU allows us to attain a gradual economic integration into one of the world’s largest markets. Modernization of the country in line with the European standards is irrevocable in a whole range of sectors has become irreversible.
The unwavering quest towards building the European democracy and accession to the EU is a step made towards the unification of Georgia. I believe that we will be taking the journey of EU integration together with our Abkhazian and Ossetian compatriots and will build a united, European solid-state together with them.
Sometimes, questions are posed in Europe on Georgia being a country of European culture or not; however, the answer to this question is clear to all people in Georgia. It is truly one of the oldest countries in the world.
According to the definition of a French enlightener Paul Valéry on a country of European identity, he listed 3 main criteria:
- Influence of Greek-Roman culture,
- Christian beliefs and
- Democratic tradition.
According to these criteria, Georgia is a deserving member of the European space, the European family.
Moreover, Georgian’s taking great pride in their ancient culture and history dating back thousands of years, have always been oriented towards Europe and loyal to its principles. Georgians built a most democratic, European state based on European values at the dawn of the twentieth century. At the same time, its essence and Constitution were exact in meeting current European requirements.
National independence and statehood regained in the year 1991 was based on the same Georgian constitution European principles and became predominantly oriented towards Europe.
Every Government of Georgia entrusted by the people of Georgia has a programme and an uncontested action plan called “European Future.”
In closure, let me quote the words of a prominent Georgian scientist and author of the European Constitution – Mikheil Muskhelishvili (alias Michel Mouskhely), as he was the man who was ahead of time and predicted the European Union by being a conscious believer in the idea of a unified Europe. “Georgia knows that it belongs to Europe. Now Europe should make conclusions. Georgia needs to get established within Europe, while the western nations – admit Georgia into their family”.
These words, as never before, apply to the current reality. We hope and firmly believe that a historical process is getting its foundation laid today, which will lead to the accession of Georgia into the European family.
God be our protector!