On Wednesday, Georgia was told that it should officially be named as a candidate to join the bloc once it addresses shortcomings, including in the fight against corruption and election deficiencies.
This doesn’t mean that it will start accession talks soon. The country will have to clear more reform hurdles before that can happen.
But despite this, many in the former soviet country celebrated the news.
“This day belongs to everyone,” Salome Zourabichvili, the president of Georgia, said on Wednesday. “This valiant love nourishes our past and our future. This is our response to Russia, our response to occupation”
Paata Zakareishvili, the country’s former Minister of Reintegration and Reconciliation, was shocked by the announcement.
“Never in my lifetime did I expect to witness this, I always dreamt of this day but these 30 years of independence were so hard that I always thought of EU integration as something in the distant future,” he said.
“I am thrilled by the Georgian people, our citizens, it is them who achieved this crucial decision, congratulate all, we are about to join the family towards which we strived all our lives.”
EU member states are yet to sign off on the council’s recommendation, and its decision will come in December. But there is no guarantee that they will agree unanimously back the recommendation.
Georgia’s government has faced mounting international criticism over a perceived backsliding on democracy and engaging with Russia.
Source : Euronews