Visit of Štefan Füle, to Georgia: joint press conference with Irakli Garibashvili, Georgian Prime Minister
Type: Complete press conference
On 4 March 2014, Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, was in Tbilisi to stress EU's support for Georgia's reform efforts and its sovereign choice to sign the Association Agreement, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, with the EU. This video shows the press conference given by Štefan Füle and Irakli Garibashvili, Georgian Prime Minister, following their meeting.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, (in ENGLISH): Good afternoon; We had a very good discussion with the Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and number of his government colleagues.Let me make 4 points on what we discussed:First, we talked about the preparations for the signature of the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). We have focused in particular on how to ensure that the benefits of this ambitious agreement are felt by Georgian citizens as soon as possible. I recalled EU's strong commitment to ensure that Georgia benefits from the necessary support to implement important reforms on the road to a closer political and economic relationship with the EU.Second, the situation in Ukraine was also an important part of our discussions. And while the focus in Brussels and of Member States and the international community was on events in Crimea and the rest of Ukraine I also took note that Russia continues to challenge the territorial integrity of Georgia and I have assured the Prime Minister that the EU will stand firmly by Georgia should it too come under pressure ahead of the planned signature of the Association Agreement. We also had good opportunity to discuss the relationship with citizens of the two break-away territories. I repeated our policy of non-recognition and engagement and we talked about how to strengthen the engagement with these citizens.Third, we have focused on the reform process in Georgia after two elections, unprecedented constitutional changes. I have stressed the importance of consolidating the democratic institutions, strengthening inclusive character of political and reform process.We have also talked about visa regime, I made the point that moving towards visa free regime depends on how far Georgia delivers on expectations. Here Moldova is a good example and I underlined the importance of the Anti-discrimination Law and I stressed that despite of what some critics are saying, it is not about imposing anything on traditional Georgian values. It is about universal values of non-discrimination.Fourth, I brought personal greetings from the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso who accepted the invitation from the Prime Minister to come to visit Georgia and there is a date for it in June. President Barroso also asked me to convey invitation for the Prime Minister and number of his key Ministers to come to Brussels for a joint meeting with the European Commission. While normally we have such meetings only with the governments of the Member States, this would be a unique opportunity to extend it also to a partner country. There will be much more on our political plate between now and the signature of the Association Agreement. We were talking about "the light at the end of the tunnel" and the importance of the Association Agreement not being the final station for those of our partners with European aspirations. It is of course up to the Member States but I have made a personal comment that the sentence the EU Foreign Ministers agreed few weeks ago on Ukraine (that the Association Agreement was not the final goal of our relations), the spirit of this sentence should also apply to other Eastern Neighbours who have European aspirations and will sign the Association Agreement with the EU.
||Handshake between Štefan Füle and Irakli Garibashvili, Georgian Prime Minister, and departure of the Officials