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Georgian Patriarch: “EU membership and closer ties bring more responsibilities”

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, December 22
Patriarch Ilia II welcomed the positive visa-liberalization report from the European Commission, published on December 18.

His Holiness invited Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and the EU Ambassador to Georgia, Janos Herman, to the Patriarchate of Georgia to celebrate this event together.

“I want to say that the EU's positive report is a huge step towards membership in a wider Europe and a great achievement. However, membership and closer ties bring more responsibility. We think not only about what Europe will bring to us, but also what we will give to it,” noted Ilia II.

The Patriarch also mentioned Georgian culture and the importance of the Christian religion and expressed hope that Europe will protect these values.

“It should be noted that Georgia is a country of ancient culture. I hope Europe will protect our culture,” he said and thanked everyone who has contributed to Georgia’s success.

Janos Herman thanked Ilia II for his support and efforts on Georgia’s path to EU membership, noting that the Georgian Church has played a significant role in this process.

"We are well aware of the contribution that Georgia has made to the development of European culture and civilization for centuries. We also comprehend the important role of Georgia’s Church in this process. We are well aware of the importance of spiritual heritage. I'm grateful to you for your efforts and support aimed at making Georgia a member of European structures. The path, taken by us, largely requires your positive assessment,| Janos Herman addressed the Patriarch.

The EU ambassador also thanked the Georgian PM and the government for dynamic cooperation.

"This is a very important phase, since it brings huge hopes for a visa-free regime. The European Commission’s report is a great achievement, but we are still waiting for the final decision,” stated Herman.

The Georgian PM has thanked the Patriarch of Georgia His Holiness Ilia II for holding their meeting at the Patriarchate of Georgia.

He then thanked EU Ambassador Janos Herman for his support and help. According to Garibashvili, the Patriarch’s involvement in the state affairs is of great importance. He also thanked governmental representatives noting that after the positive report of the EU Commission, a new stage has started in Georgian history.