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Environment Minister Otar Shamugia Meets European Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi in Brussels

By Liza Mchedlidze
Friday, January 26, 2024
The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia Otar Shamugia met Olivér Várhelyi, the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, within the framework of a working visit to Brussels.

According to the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture, it was emphasized in the meeting that with the grant of candidate status, the partnership between Georgia and the European Union is entering a qualitatively new stage. This entails a more ambitious plan and the fulfillment of crucial obligations, for which Georgia expresses its full readiness.

"At the meeting, Otar Shamugia provided the European Commissioner with detailed information about the changes made in the fields of agriculture and environmental protection during the last period, highlighting the achieved progress and outlining future plans.

As Shamugia stated, environmental protection and the rational use of natural resources remain the most important tasks in parallel with economic development in the country. The minister noted that important steps have been taken to fulfill the obligations.

In accordance with the association agreement, since 2015, Georgia has been successfully aligning its national legislation with the legal acts of the European Union. As of today, out of 200 legal acts of the European Union, Georgian legislation is already close to 133 legal acts," the statement reads.

The Ministry also notes that Georgia has made tangible progress in the priority areas outlined in the analytical report of the European Commission published last year, and therefore this progress has been properly assessed by the European Union.

"We have already started working in accordance with the recommendations outlined in the European Commission's report and created a working group that prepared an action plan. This plan outlines specific steps, responsible agencies, and the necessary resources to implement the recommendations provided in the European Union's report. It should also be emphasized that the candidate status provides an opportunity to start working on giving Georgia the right to access various EU funds and support instruments," Shamugia stated.

The European Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi positively evaluated the implemented reforms and noted that Georgia, as a candidate country, continues to make progress on the path to EU expansion.

"At the meeting with Otar Shamugia, we discussed compatibility with the European Union in terms of agriculture and green economy. These are key areas on Georgia's path to the European Union. Our support will continue," said Várhelyi.