David Kezerashvili, former Minister of Defence in Georgia, comments on the EU Commission's recommendation that Georgia should be granted 'candidacy' status for EU membership.
Wednesday 8 November 2023
“Today’s announcement represents a historic opportunity for Georgia.
“Opinion polls have consistently shown that more than 80% of the population support EU membership.
“What’s clear though is that the Commission believes Georgia still has much work to do in reforming its judiciary and committing itself to free and fair elections next year if further progress towards full EU membership is to be made.
“The Commission has also expressed concerns over the targeting of opposition media owners, and the ongoing imprisonment of former president Mikheil Saakashvili, which many believe to be politically motivated.
“In recommending candidate status with provisos, the Commission has tried to strike a balancing act between not rewarding the Georgian government for democratic backsliding, and not shutting the door on them entirely for fear they retreat further into the Kremlin’s grip.
“December’s meeting of the bloc’s leaders will likely see some robust debate on whether candidacy gets a formal green light.
“But for now, Georgians will be hopeful that their dreams of EU membership are very much alive.”
About David Kezerashvili
David Kezerashvili is a UK-based entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. David Kezerashvili is a founding member of the reformist United National Movement (UNM), the political party which came to power after the 2003 ‘Rose Revolution’. The nonviolent uprising was led by Mikheil Saakashvili, who was President of Georgia for two consecutive terms until 2013, and was an early mentor to David. In 2006, David was appointed as Minister of Defence within the Saakashvili government, serving until December 2008.