Georgia’s implementation of its Association Agenda in 2017, which has been supported by the European Union, confirms the country’s commitment to political association and economic integration to the EU.

The details of this progress are highlighted in the Second Joint Association Implementation Report on Georgia, released on November 10 by the European External Action Service and the European Commission, ahead of the EU-Georgia Association Council on December 8.

“The European Union and Georgia have invested a lot in a strong partnership that is proving deeper day by day and that is bringing great benefits to our citizens,” said the High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini. “Since last March, Georgian citizens have been able to travel without a visa to the Schengen Area for short stays, we see more exchanges between our students than ever before, and there are more possibilities for trade among our businesses.

“Today’s report demonstrates clear progress in Georgia’s reform agenda,” added Mogherini. “The European Union will continue to support the work that has still to be done in several important areas and will stay committed to the thorough and continued implementation of our Association Agenda.”

According to European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, the EU will continue to see positive results of the implementation of the Association Agreement.

“The revised EU-Georgia Association Agenda provides a practical framework of priorities for joint work until 2020,” he said. “The approximation to EU standards and regulations is allowing Georgia to become more and more an actor in the international market. The EU is Georgia’s largest trade partner and 2017 looks to have brought further increases. The accession of Georgia to the Energy Community Treaty as a full contracting party in July 2017 was another milestone bringing the EU and Georgia closer.”

The Second Joint Report assesses the state of play of Georgia’s implementation of the Association Agenda since the EU-Georgia Association Council of December 2016. It focuses on key developments and reforms undertaken in line with the strategic priorities agreed between the EU and Georgia.

According to the report, Georgia has implemented a number of reforms, strengthening democracy and the rule of law, as well as other key areas in the EU-Georgia Association Agreement. Overall, commitments stemming from the Association Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), have been implemented in line with agreed timelines. Georgia’s democratic institutions have been consolidated and a comprehensive legislative framework for human rights and anti-discrimination has been adopted.