Speeches & Statements

The President of Georgia and the President of the European Council made joint statements


Mikheil Saakashvili

Welcome everyone.

I welcome the European Union delegation headed by the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy.

The European Union is a deeper matter for us than merely an issue of political expedience.

This is a matter of our fundamental political choice and the values, which the Georgian society is based on.

We are an ancient European and Christian country; multi ethnic, multi cultural and multi religious.

On one hand our Christian values and on the other hand our society, which has reached a new stage, based on multi ethnic, multi cultural and interreligious cooperation giving us a reason to rapidly move towards our European home.

The main values Europe is based on are freedom, democracy, free and fair elections, a non corrupt environment and separation of money and politics; a political process based on people’s trust instead of bribery, threats and other ways of manipulation.

This is what represents the strong basis of Georgia’s European orientation.

We have made a very serious advancement. We have advanced importantly in terms of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. We have completed all of the prerequisite work and we are currently at a decisive stage of signing an agreement.

This will assist in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs in Georgia.

We have also advanced in terms of the visa liberalization process, and we hope that we will have visa free travel with Europe in the nearest future.

We are signing an association agreement with the EU…

In a nutshell, we are doing everything in order to be able to start negotiations regarding full membership in the EU at the next stage, considering our European prospects.

Of course this is the next step. The first step today, is free trade and visa free travel for our citizens.

Parliamentary elections will be taking place in October in Georgia, and are inviting a maximum number of observers from the EU and the European Parliament.

The press monitoring mission of the EU is already working in Georgia.

We would like the EU to administer studies and public surveys while counting votes, and for organizations working with them to actively participate in all stages of the election process.

Our election process must be transparent, open, free and clean of all kinds of manipulations – bribery, money, especially the influence of money brought from abroad… so that the Georgian nation is able to express its free will and gain further support from Europe as well as continue our European integration process.

Herman Van Rompuy had very interesting negotiations today with representatives of civil society, the majority, the opposition and here with us.

The new Prime Minister of Georgia will now join us, and we will have an opportunity to introduce him to the President of the European Council and involve him in the very important and responsible process of negotiations with the EU.

I would once again like to thank Herman Van Rompuy for making a loud unequivocal statement of support of the territorial integrity and independence of Georgia on behalf of the EU before Russia, including at the last summit.

He called on Russia to fulfill the ceasefire agreement, which is not yet fulfilled, to withdraw armed forces from the territory of Georgia.

He expressed a very important and firm position of Europe by this statement. This position does not change and cannot be undermined by anything. This is Georgia’s territorial integrity and its European choice.

This was a very important support of Georgia from his side.

I would like to thank him greatly for this.


Herman Van Rompuy

Thank you Mr. President.

It’s great a pleasure to be here in Tbilisi for the first time in my capacity. I was here already in 2008 in another capacity.

So, we met already each other on many occasions in different places around the world; in Brussels , in Warsaw, in Seoul , in Chicago but finally I meet you in your own capital. As always, we have substantial exchange the views here today and I would like to make following points.

First, it is clear to me that Georgia has made remarkable progress in its modernization and reform efforts since gaining independence 20 years ago. New and more efficient state institutions have been built, services to the citizens of Georgia are improving, and you have also made great efforts to create more business and investment friendly environment. These are all important steps in making difference not only for today’s Georgia, but for the next generation. Georgia serves as example for many in region and elsewhere.

Second the relationship between the European Union and Georgia is rapidly developing. We have achieved a lot in a short time. Negotiations on the association agreement are steadily progressing.  The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade area, on which negotiations have been launched is an integral part of this agreement. And we are also taking important steps on visa liberalization. It’s by continuing this work, and though reforms that Georgia’s prosperity and stability can be ensured in long term. The more Georgia reforms, the more European Union can do to help and support. Your personal commitment Mr. President will continue to be crucial in supporting and advancing this work.

Third, it’s clear and we talked about it today that Georgia needs to take further steps and continue on this path of modernization. The Parliament elections in October and the Presidential election in 2013 will be crucial indicators of the progress Georgia has made on its path to reform. I encourage all political actors in Georgia to support tolerant political culture and issue based debates. Fare competition and general participation in the elections will be fundamental for ensuring legitimacy. In this regard I welcome President Saakashvili’s aim to keep the electoral process open to election observes. I made the same point to the opposition, when I met them earlier today. Building democracy needs responsible actors across the political divide.

Fourth point, the Eastern Partnership joint determination to uphold the values on which the Eastern Partnership is based: democracy, respect for human rights, and rule of law. Georgia is one of the frontrunners in the Eastern Partnership and next Eastern Partnership summit in Lithuania in 2013 will be an important follow up to the summit in Warsaw and an opportunity to again confirm the importance of the EU’s relationship with its eastern neighbors including Georgia.

Finally, I also made clear to the President that the European Union shares the strong interest in the resolution of the conflicts regarding the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. I can assure you that the Union will remain engaged in central role in Geneva international discussions and so in EU monitoring missions. The EU supports Georgia’s territorial integrity. I would however also like to emphasize that Georgia and Russia need to find ways to normalize relations and one important step could be for all the parties of the conflict to agree on non use of force commitment. I would in this regard like to underline Georgia’s   constructive role in enabling Russia’s obsession. This issue shows that progress can be done if there is a political will on both sides. I’ve also encouraged the President to look for further pragmatic constructive steps to enhance the reconciliation and conflict resolution efforts with the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and south Ossetia. Mr. President, the European Union has a stake in Georgia’s future. We value and support your progress and I encourage you to stay on course. Thank you.

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