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F.R. Lenzi:The Cooperation between EU and Georgia

European Union plays an increasingly important role to promote political and economic stabilization programs in the Caucasus. Firstly EU signed Partnership and Co-operation Agreements with those countries. Moreover, in the last years, the Union also started a Neighbourhood Policy in the Southern Caucasus, by subscribing Programme Action plans with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Relations between the EU and Georgia started in 1992 after the fall of the Soviet Union. EU-Georgia bilateral relations are regulated by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) which became effective on July 1st, 1999. Bilateral relations have intensified since the 2003, after the rose revolution, when the new Georgian administration launched an ambitious programme of political and economic reforms. To promote this programme the EU-hosted donor conference generated over $1 billion in pledges. Despite the strengthening cooperation, EU officials are aware about Georgia’s chances for the possibility of an eventual EU membership. The Georgian president Saakashvili has spoken about his European identity, as well as his country’s right to eventually join the European Union. Nowadays, most Georgians proudly consider themselves Europeans because of their history and culture and the post-Soviet period has seen a revival of the notion of Georgia’s inherent western orientation. Nevertheless, experts stress that the EU cooperation strategy with Georgia doesn’t mean that Georgia has been put on a fast track towards membership. One of the main reasons of this statement is that Georgia’s reform effort still has a long way to go before the issue of EU accession can be seriously discussed. In this context, the bilateral relations path and, above all, the new Neighbourhood Initiative could be an efficient tool to help Georgia to become EU-compatible.

Category: Abstracts | Added by: margalita (18.10.2009)
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