Geocase has organized yet another webinar entitled "From the European perspective of Georgia to the candidate status: awaiting for the evaluation of the EU questionnaire".
The webinar aimed to discuss the challenges and perspectives emerging on Georgia’s path of European integration as well as to provide information about the reforms that have already been implemented or are underway to fulfil the criteria for joining the European Union.
Victor Kipiani, Chairman of Geocase, moderated the webinar. Davit Bujiashvili, Director of the EU Aid Coordination and Sectoral Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia was the special guest and speaker of the event.
During the discussion, they talked about the practical purpose and the expectations related to the report elaborated by the Georgian side on the basis of the questionnaire drawn up by the European Commission.
Davit Bujiashvili reviewed the second - sectoral part of the questionnaire and highlighted the reforms successfully implemented by Georgia in various fields.
According to him, it is essential not only to bring the legislation of Georgia in compliance with the legislation of the European Union but also to effectively enforce the laws, for which purpose a number of institutions, including the Food Safety Agency, the Market Surveillance Agency, the Competition Agency, the MIA's Human Rights Protection Department have been established.
Davit Bujiashvili noted that reforms have been successfully implemented in the fields of environmental protection, human rights protection, and labour rights protection as well as in the penitentiary system. He especially emphasized the reform of public service.
According to him, a full explanation and clarification to the EU questionnaire issues were provided by the Georgian civil servants due to their qualification and sustainability. As there was no change of civil servants with the change of government - those who worked for years on European integration or in other sectoral fields, kept their positions - institutional memory was preserved. All this was reflected in the preparation of the questionnaire and the implementation of reforms, in general.
Victor Kipiani also emphasized the crucial contribution of civil servants: “Georgian public service, Georgian civil servant is distinguished by their relatively high competence and strong work ethic. The credit for the progress made on this path goes to specific people, a specific for their selfless, often underappreciated work. However, the main prize for this work will be our historical perspective and strengthening Georgia’s economic, political and security aspects. Therefore, as a citizen of this country, I would like to take this opportunity and express my deep appreciation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia for their tireless and titanic work", he noted.
According to David Bujiashvili, the practical benefits of Georgia’s joining the European Union would be the increase in exports, the convergence of trade relations in terms of standards, more investments, more employment and more economic development.
When asked regarding additional initiatives and measures being taken to bring the country closer to the European Union, Davit Bujiashvili replied: "The main thing is to maintain consistency in implementing reforms and keep up the process, be it sectoral reforms or political, trade, economic and sectoral integration. A country’s internal success determines its external achievements and goals reached."
At the end of the webinar, the participants expressed readiness to hold yet another online discussion after the European Commission publishes the evaluation of the questionnaire in order to discuss the results and update the public on some interesting details.
See the webinar recording.