By Anthony Marcus, for Eurasia Business News, April 25, 2023

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, in a meeting with European Council President Charles Michel, said that the Republic of Georgia has implemented most of the Brussels recommendations and deserves to receive candidate status for membership of the European Union by the end of 2023, the Georgian government’s press service announced.

Irakli Garibashvili is currently in Brussels for a working visit.

The Georgian Prime Minister shared with Charles Michel Georgia’s efforts to implement the 12 priorities set by the European Commission, the press service continued. In this process, the government is in constant consultation with the EU institutions and Member States, as well as with the Venice Commission and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

The sides also discussed the situation in Ukraine and its impact on security in the region.

Mr Garibashvili also met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and said Georgia was ready to further deepen political dialogue and practical cooperation with NATO in all dimensions.

« We are grateful to the members of the Alliance for supporting the Euro-Atlantic path, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country of Georgia. (…) We are ready to further deepen our political dialogue and practical cooperation with NATO,” the Prime Minister said at a joint press briefing with Stoltenberg broadcast live on Georgian television channels.

The Prime Minister noted that “Euro-Atlantic integration remains the main priority of Georgia’s foreign policy.”

Stoltenberg said Georgia “can count on NATO’s political and practical technical assistance.”

« I expect Georgia to step up its efforts to carry out internal reforms and support democratic standards ” the Secretary General said in a comment on the alliance’s website.

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At the NATO summit in Bucharest in April 2008, the member countries of the alliance supported the aspirations of Georgia and Ukraine to join the organization, mentioning in the final declaration of the summit that these two states “were destined to join the Atlantic Alliance“. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has repeatedly stated that to this end, the alliance “supports and assists them on their path to further Euro-Atlantic integration, reform and support practical and political”.

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The IMF said in February that Georgia’s GDP growth had reached 10.1 percent in 2022.

Georgia has made a lot of progress over the past decade. GNI per capita converged towards European Union (EU) levels, from $3,048 in 2010 to $4,608 in 2021 (constant 2015 US dollars). The poverty rate (measured by the national poverty line) has more than halved over the same period.

Irakli Garibashvili  is a Georgian politician and a former business executive who has served as the prime minister of Georgia since 22 February 2021. He previously served as prime minister from 20 November 2013 until his resignation on 30 December 2015. Garibashvili is a member of the Georgian Dream party. He entered politics with his long-time associate Bidzina Ivanishvili, in October 2012. He served as Defence Minister of Georgia in the cabinet of prime minister Giorgi Gakharia from 2019 to 2021 and, prior to that, as Minister of Internal Affairs in the cabinet of Bidzina Ivanishvili from 2012 to 2013.

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