EU-Georgia Cooperation Council: extracts from the press conference by the Cypriot Presidency, the European Commission and Georgia
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council
End production: 18/12/2012 First transmission: 18/12/2012
On 18 December, Erato Kozakou-Marcoulli, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus and President-in-office of the Council, Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy and Maia Panjkidze, Georgian Minister for Foreign Affairsheld a press conference following the EU-Georgia Cooperation Council.
This Cooperation Council was the first to take place since Georgia’s new government took office following the parliamentary elections of 1 October 2012. The EU congratulated the Georgian side on this democratic landmark, and looked forward to further consolidation and development of Georgia’s democracy ahead of the presidential elections in 2013, including through constructive cohabitation between the Prime Minister and President.
The EU will continue to support Georgia, as a key partner, in these efforts. The EU and Georgia discussed the role of strong democratic institutions in underpinning political pluralism, media freedom, and an independent judiciary. The EU stressed the
importance of ensuring that criminal prosecutions are conducted in a transparent and impartial manner, free of political motivation.
The EU reconfirmed its support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and its commitment to conflict resolution efforts
in Georgia, including through its co-chairmanship of the Geneva International Talks, and through the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia. Both sides looked ahead to next year’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, and at the busy schedule of EU-Georgia engagement. Both sides welcomed the good progress being made in negotiations for an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.
The EU restated its commitment to political association and economic integration with Georgia, and to improved mobility for its citizens.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of press conference (3 shots)
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Erato Kozakou-Marcoulli, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus: We discussed a wide range of issues covering all aspects of our extensive engagement. Georgia has seen some important changes since our last Council meeting in 2011. The parliamentary election in October was a landmark for Georgia democracy with a peaceful transfer of power from one party to an other. Georgia now continues on the path to democratic consolidation with more important challenges ahead including next year's Presidential election. The EU continues to support Georgia in these efforts.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy: We take this relationship very seriously. Georgia and the EU have made substantial progress toward political association and economic integration in recent years. We have closed several chapters of our Association Agreement and are making a real progress in the deep and comprehensive Free Trade Area negotiations and also on our visa liberalization dialogue.. We want to develop this integration process further as long as Georgia continues to show that it is our willing partner EU value and standards
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Maia Panjkidze, Georgian Minister for Foreign Affairs: As Representative of the new government of Georgia, we had an other opportunity to reiterate our commitment to the EU integration course and to common European values and shared principles, during the meeting we discussed the key priorities of the Georgia-EU bilateral agenda including the ongoing negotiations on the Association Agreement and the DCFTA visa dialogue. We are happy to hear about the readiness of Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to visit Georgia in 2013 to hand over the visa liberalization plan to the Georgian side.
||Cutaway of the press