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Euro-Georgian relations
European Union   Georgia (country)
Map indicating location of European Union and Georgia
     European Union      Georgia

Georgia and the European Union have maintained relations for several years. With Georgia having recently undergone substantial reforms, President Mikhail Saakashvili has expressed his desire to see membership in the European Union as a long term priority. Links to the EU, USA and NATO have been strengthened, with attempts being made to move away from the Russian sphere of influence while attempting to advance co-operation with Russia.[1] Territorial disputes continue over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Georgia is considered the most favoured Caucasus country to join the EU, especially after the Rose Revolution, but territorial disputes and corruption are still an issue. Though Georgia has not yet formally applied for EU membership, President Saakashvili has said the country would be ready in three years' time— it is uncertain if the EU is prepared to offer membership on this or an alternative schedule.

Contents

History of relations

Sign in Batumi, Georgia (2007)

In Adjara, a significant hurdle in protecting the territorial integrity of the Georgia was overcome when the authoritarian leader Aslan Abashidze was forced to resign in May 2004. EU CFSP Chief Javier Solana indicated in February 2007 that the EU could send troops to Georgia alongside Russian forces.[2]

In July 2006 the European Union refered to then recent developments in South Ossetia zone of and to the Resolution of the Georgian Parliament on Peacekeeping Forces Stationed in the Conflict Zones, which was adopted on July 18, 2006 as follows:

The European Union is deeply concerned about continuing tension between Georgia and Russia and recent incidents in South Ossetia, which do not contribute to stability and freedom of movement. The European Union is particularly worried by the recent closure of the only recognized border crossing between Georgia and the Russian Federation. The European Union emphasises the importance of ensuring freedom of movement of goods and people, in particular by keeping the border crossing at Zemo Larsi open. —[3]

On 2 October 2006, a joint statement on the agreed text of the Georgia-European Union Action Plan within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was issued. The Action Plan was formally approved at the EU-Georgia Cooperation Council session on 14 November 2006 in Brussels.[4]

After the 2008 South Ossetia war a EU cease-fire monitoring mission in Georgia (EUMM) was sent to monitor the Russian troop withdrawal from "security zones" established by Russia around South Ossetia and Abkhazia.[5] The mission started on On October 1, 2008[6] and was prolonged by the EU in July 2009 for one year while the EU expressed concern that Russia was blocking other observers from working there[7] (a United Nations Security Council resolution aimed at extending it's UN Observer Mission in Georgia was vetoed by Russia on June 15, 2009[8]).

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External links

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