Georgia-EU Association Agreement to be signed on June 27
By Messenger Staff
Friday, May 16On May 14 the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy visited Tbilisi bringing with him the decision that the association agreement between Georgia and the EU will be signed on June 27, 2014. The document also includes an agreement on free trade.
There was uncertainty in the country on who would sign the document from the Georgian side -either the president or the prime minister would have to sign the agreement. Eventually, as the president’s rights and powers are significantly diminished, it was decided that Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili would sign the document.
Van Rompuy arrived in the Georgian capital after traveling to Ukraine’s Kiev and Moldova’s Chisinau.
Out of the six Eastern Partnership countries of the European Union, Belarus and Armenia decided to move in the Russian direction while Moldova and Georgia will soon sign the AA with the EU. Azerbaijan continues balancing between Russia and the EU, while Ukraine is in a critical situation. With the unity of the country quickly disintegrating by the threats wickedly imposed from Moscow, it is now on the edge of collapsing. It is still unknown what will further happen with Ukraine. However, it will still presumably sign the agreement with the EU.
Dramatic developments in Ukraine have accelerated the process of integration with Georgia and Moldova through the association membership program with the EU.
The analysts think that although the process is risky, Moscow is not irritated that much with the EU integration of the two aforementioned countries as it is waiting to act more aggressive when these countries attempt to integrate with NATO.
However, Georgian analysts and politicians express their concern over the possible position of the Kremlin about the consequences of the AA document with the EU.
Rompuy did not give any guarantees to Georgia just like the other high ranking officials recently visiting Georgia, including British Foreign Secretary William Hague and French President Francois Hollande.
All of them recommended to Georgia that she protect herself from possible risks and take care of itself. Rompuy in particular mentioned that Russia is a neighboring country with whom Georgia has to cooperate. However, the precondition for cooperation is the restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity. Neither Rompuy nor any other person can suggest the recipe how to achieve this.
The Georgian Dream administration is ready to cooperate with Russia. The latter, unfortunately, does not recognize Georgia’s territorial integrity. The EU meanwhile accepts Georgia’s territorial integrity, however, it does not mean anything as Russia continues its occupation of Georgian territories.
Nobody can predict what will happen after Georgia signs the agreement with the EU. One thing is for sure – there will be no immediate social and economic improvements for the Georgian population.
In some respect, this agreement puts extra responsibilities on Georgia. In particular, the issue that already has been causing controversy, the anti-discrimination legislation which was adopted recently. All these are challenges to Georgia including presumption of innocence, pluralism, attitude towards the opposition’s opinion, and values which should be respected by the citizens of the country.
Membership and further integration with the EU in any form means the establishment of new standards, values and way of life. This is all very difficult to achieve, in particular in the situation when you have a huge monster like Russia next to you who can always activate various time-bombs in Georgia starting from the distribution of Russian passports to the non-ethnic Georgian population, encouraging separatism, promoting federalization of the country and other wicked plans.
Some analysts even predict that if Georgia continues moving towards NATO it could result in another Russian military attack against Georgia.