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Georgian parliament to ratify association agreement with EU

July 18, 2014, 5:14 UTC+3 TBILISI
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TBILISI, July 18, /ITAR-TASS/. Georgia’s parliament on Friday will hold an extraordinary session to ratify the association agreement with the European Union that was signed on June 27, 2014. The reported will be Foreign Minister Maya Pandzhikidze.

European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule, who took an active part in the association agreement negotiations, has arrived in Tbilisi to attend the parliament session. Latvian and Bulgarian Foreign Ministers, Edgars Rinkevics and Kristian Vigenin, will also attend the session. It is expected that Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili will deliver a speech.

No one in Georgia has any doubts the association agreement will be ratified, since both the parliamentary majority of lawmakers with the ruling coalition Georgian Dream and the minority of lawmakers with the former ruling party United National Movement are in favor of Georgia’s integration with Europe. All hailed the signing of this document in Brussels on June 27.

The agreement will come into force after it is ratified by the Georgian parliament, the European Parliament and legislatures of all other member countries of the European Union.

On July 17, Georgian Foreign Minister Maya Pandzhikidze said that before the agreement comes in force entirely, about 80% of its provisions will be enforced starting from September 1, 2014. “The majority of provisions will be enforced before the process of ratification by the European Parliament and parliaments of the European Union member countries is over,” she said.

As for Georgia’s accession to the European Union as a full-fledged member, Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili has repeatedly said this process would take about ten years, “maybe slightly more or slightly less.” “Everything will depend on how quickly we can modernize our country, develop our economy and how long it will take to satisfy admission requirements,” he said. This spring, top-ranking representatives of the European Union and a number of its leading member state either refused to say when Georgia may be admitted to the European Union or hinted to 15-20 years needed for that.

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