Georgia: Tens of hundreds rally in Tbilisi to demand EU membership
Tens of hundreds of demonstrators marched in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi on Monday to demand EU membership for the previous Soviet republic within the Caucasus.
Waving European and Georgian flags, an estimated 60,000 demonstrators gathered in entrance of the Georgian parliament, days after the European Fee beneficial ready earlier than granting Tbilisi candidate standing.
A number of pro-European organisations and all of the opposition teams had referred to as for a “march for Europe” on Monday night in Tbilisi, with a view to “show the dedication of the Georgian individuals to their European selection and to Western values”.
“Europe is a historic selection and aspiration for Georgians, for which all generations have made sacrifices,” the organisers mentioned within the assertion.
“Freedom, peace, sustainable financial growth, safety of human rights and justice are values that unite us all and can be assured by integration into the European Union,” they added.
The rally is meant to ship a sign to Brussels, as EU leaders are as a consequence of talk about this week whether or not to grant official candidate standing to Georgia, in addition to Ukraine and Moldova.
Whereas the European Fee gave a constructive opinion on Ukraine and Moldova, it mentioned on Friday that Georgia should first perform political and different reforms earlier than it may possibly qualify for the standing.
The EU govt beneficial that Georgia be “provided the prospect of EU membership”, a standing which has no authorized worth.
“It’s as much as Georgia to speed up (the reforms) and transfer in the direction of this open door,” commented Fee President Ursula von der Leyen.
“Georgia should now come collectively politically to design a transparent path in the direction of structural reform and the EU,” Fee President Ursula von der Leyen commented on Twitter.
“So we advocate Georgia to grant the European perspective, however to return again and assess the way it meets a lot of situations earlier than granting it candidate standing.”
The ruling Georgian Dream Get together in Tbilisi mentioned it was “joyful” to have a “concrete roadmap”, however mentioned it was “regrettable” that the Fee didn’t help candidate standing now.
On Friday, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili additionally welcomed “the historic determination to offer Georgia a European perspective,” including that “we’ll work with Brussels to implement all the necessities and we’ll get candidate standing.
The Georgian authorities has come beneath rising criticism in recent times over the human rights scenario, with NGOs expressing issues concerning the decline in freedom of expression.