“300 hundred years ago, the Georgian statesman Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani knocked on the door of Europe. He had a dream to protect independence and sovereignty of Georgia, to ask for the political and financial support to save the country. 300 hundred years after, this story is still not over – Georgia still strives for the EU membership and still in a need of support”, - the Speaker stated at the Batumi International Conference “Georgia’s European Way”.
According to him, EaP is an effective instrument for EU approximation and Georgia has never stopped trying to be developed. In this context, the Speaker touched upon the implemented and scheduled democratic reforms.
He emphasized the challenges Georgia encounters and stressed that despite two historical regions of Georgia are still occupied and isolated, Georgia tries to be a reliable and responsible partner for EU.
He underlined that integration to Western democratic family is a historical, political and the value-based choice of Georgia which shall be reflected in the Constitution of Georgia clearly providing that all constitutional bodies must contribute to Georgia’s integration into the EU and the NATO.
The Speaker called on the EU to stronger economic support and stated that the democracy cannot be sustainable without the strong economy. “As a chairman of the parliament I must convey voice of our people – this level of democracy, security and achievements need stronger economic back up. We need stronger support from the EU to guarantee security and sustainability. Only through this way, we can strengthen the faith of our people, that fight for freedom, progress and democracy brings welfare and adequate standard of living”.
EU approach should be similarly strategic, long-term and comprehensive as we are approaching a new decade, and our countries are going through large-scale structural transformation. It is the only way for the EU to remain as a source of energy and inspiration.
He named the future tasks stating that these goals shall be feasible, measurable and they should have a clear and ambitious system of rewards. These practical deliverables should include deepening the regional cooperation. Potential of the Black Sea and a wider region should be fully exploited, especially in the fields of transport, energy and communication, strengthening the economy and creating a special assistance instruments and intensifying cooperation in security and defense sectors, as well as the open European labor market for Georgian citizens.
It is important to continue promoting political integration of those countries who are willing to have ever closer ties with the EU in a long-term perspective.
The Speaker underlined that Georgia deserves the status of the EU candidate state.
He wished good luck to the new composition of the EU institutions and reaffirmed commitment for cooperation on behalf of Georgian Parliament. “We believe that that Georgia should obtain EU membership candidate status and bring our partnership with the Union to a qualitatively new level”, - he stated.
The welcome speeches were also delivered by the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili, Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, President of the Council of Europe Donald Tusk, Foreign Minister David Zalkaniani and the Chair of Adjara Government, Tornike Rizhvadze.
The Conference is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of EaP and is attended by the high officials of EU and other countries.