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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations

EU – Georgia Relations

The EU cooperates with Georgia in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and its eastern regional dimension, the Eastern Partnership. Relations between the European Union and Georgia are based on the EU-Georgia Association Agreement including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which entered into force in July 2016 and strives for political association and economic integration. The implementation of the agreed outcomes of the High-level meeting between members of the European Commission and of the Government of Georgia on 21 November 2018, will further guide EU-Georgia relations. Georgian citizens have benefitted from visa-free travel to the Schengen area since 28 March 2017. Through its cooperation and assistance programmes, the EU remains committed to supporting a strong, independent and prosperous Georgia.

EU – Georgia Cooperation

EU support to Georgia aims at improving the quality of life of ordinary Georgians in a tangible and visible manner and provides over €120 million to Georgia annually in grant assistance. In this countext, EU assistance to Georgia supports country’s reform efforts in line with the Association Agreement/DCFTA. EU support is funded through the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) for the period 2014-2020. It replaces the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) of 2007-2013.

The European Union’s framework for cooperation with Georgia is the multiannual programing document for the period 2017-2020 (Single Support Framework). It is based on the Eastern Partnership priorities to achieve a: 1/stronger economy, 2/ stronger governance, 3/ stronger connectivity and 4/ stronger society. In addition it includes horizontal support to civil society, strategic communication, and capacity development/institution building.

In line with the multiannual programming framework, the European Commission adopts annual action programmes that aim to deliver benefits to the Georgian citizens. More information on specific programmes is available below. Other funding sources included thematic programmes, focused on human rights and civil society.

Key facts and figures

Stronger Economy

  • Economic development and job creation are key priorities for the EU in Georgia. As Georgia’s main trading partner, with a 27% share of its total trade, ties are very close, and the ongoing opening of the EU market to more Georgian products continually offers Georgians new export and income opportunities.
  • Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Georgian economy. To support their development, the EU provides funding, training, and export support through its EU4Business initiative. Since 2009, more than 63,000 SMEs, microenterprises and farmers have received loans. In addition, a total of €130 million in loans are made available for innovative SMEs and small midcap companies under Horizon 2020.
  • Through its ENPARD programme, the EU is modernising Georgian agriculture by supporting the roll out the agriculture cooperative model and providing 1,600 cooperatives with financial and technical support. EU support has also helped establish 59 information and consultation centres around the country, which have trained over 250,000 farmers to date.
  • To help stabilise the Government’s macro-economic policies, the EU provides macrofinancial assistance to Georgia – a third operation for up to €45 million was initiated in 2018.

Stronger Governance

  • The EU works with the Georgian government to establish an efficient, accessible, and fair state that safeguards citizens’ rights and makes it easier for them to pursue their lives and ambitions.
  • To ensure equal access to justice for all citizens regardless of their income, the EU supported the establishment of the Government Legal Aid Service. With over 20 offices across the country, the service has offered free assistance to over 330,000 people, including court representation in more than 123,000 cases. In many cases, these were citizens unable to afford a lawyer otherwise.
  • The EU has trained over 5,000 judges, prosecutors, prison and probation staff, police investigators, public defenders, and lawyers to increase their skills and efficiency and further protect Georgians’ rights.
  • To facilitate access to Government services, the EU has supported the establishment of 44 Government Community Centres in smaller towns and villages across the country. These centres bringing 200 public and banking services, as well as free internet and libraries to over 90,000 Georgians living in remote areas.

Stronger Connectivity

  • The EU provides large grants to Georgia for the development of its transport connections, electricity and water Infrastructure, including the East-West highway; large scale water infrastructure in Adjara, Kakheti, or Imereti; and the modernisation of the Enguri dam and other electricity infrastructure across the country.
  • The EU also supports large programmes on the environment, green economy, renewable energy and energy efficiency to tackle challenges in Georgia and other neighouring countries. For example, the EU’s Black Sea Basin Cross-Border Cooperation Programme, brings together municipalities in neighbouring countries to face common challenges such as marine litter.

Stronger Society

  • Since the entry into force of visa liberalisation for Georgians in 28 March 2017, according to Georgian authorities, more than 300,000 Georgian citizens have travelled to the EU without a visa.
  • Nearly 5,600 students and academic staff from Georgia have studied or taught in the EU as part of the Erasmus+ programme. More than 300 young people and youth workers are taking part in joint activities with their counterparts from the EU.
  • Since 2018, Georgia hosts the European School in Tbilisi, bringing together students from across the Eastern Partnership region, who receive a high quality education inspired by European and international teaching standards and will have the chance to engage in European values.

Factsheets available to download:

Cross-cutting issues:

Stronger Economy:

Stronger Connectivity:

Stronger Society:

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Key documents

For specific information (programme level), see below.